Ephesians 4:11-12, “11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
In today’s passage Paul taught that Jesus gave the five-fold ministry gifts to the church when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost for the building up of His Body. They are as follows; (1) Apostles: Disciples who are sent out to start new churches. (2) Prophets: Disciples who speak on behalf of God and give direction to the church. (3) Evangelists: Disciples who win souls and rise up new soul winners. (4) Pastors: Disciples who shepherd and care for God’s people. (5) Teachers: Disciples who explain and guard the truths of the Bible.
The role of the evangelist in preaching the gospel is to train and mentor all disciples in the local church to be gospel preachers.
Some in the church have wrongly assumed that if they don’t have the calling in the five-fold ministry to be an evangelist then they don’t have to do evangelism. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Because Jesus commanded everyone to do evangelism in places like Mark 16:15, it’s the job of the evangelist to train them.
Nothing in this life is more important than preaching the gospel, that’s why the role of the evangelist is so important. Once Jesus said to a potential disciple who desired to go to his father’s funeral before joining with Him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:60). It might seem at first glance that Jesus wasn’t compassionate, but it was because Jesus loved people so much that He wanted them to know God’s Kingdom business always comes first- lest everything else come to nothing like a sand castle. It was and is Jesus’ pattern to teach all His disciples to be Kingdom preachers- no exceptions and no excuses!
The word “evangelism” comes from the Greek word “euaggelizo,” which means, to “preach good news.” Jesus wants everyone to be trained to preach the good news of Jesus. As a result, the “evangelist” or the “good news instructor” is to teach others to do what they do. Just like the teachers instruct the disciples to know sound doctrine and the pastors care for the church. If your church doesn’t have an evangelist, the pastor can fill in for them until one is raised up. However, I would still recommend getting resources from trusted evangelists that will give you greater depth and instruction. Follow the example of Philip the evangelist in Acts 21:8 and win souls and make disciples!
(Special Note to Those Sensing a Calling to be an Evangelist: Lester Sumrall, a great evangelist of the 1970’s wrote, “Evangelists get discouraged sometimes when they go to a church and fail to get many people saved. The reason is they are doing their evangelizing in the wrong place. You cannot expect to grow corn if you plant the seed around the church altar. Evangelists need to go out and plant their seed where the sinners are, and then they will reap a harvest. We need to pray that God will give us some great evangelists, and that could mean you.”)
Have you received instruction from an evangelist on how to preach the gospel?
- Seek further training to do evangelism by an evangelist either in person or from their materials.
- Practice and perfect what you learn from them.
- Preach the Word of God as often as you can to as many people as you can!