Are We Evangelists?

July 19, 2000

This discussion of evangelists began with the statement that I do not have the gift of evangelism. I had to ask myself, Why not? As I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that there is the gift of evangelism, the office of evangelist and the responsibility to evangelize. None on this list actually say that they are an evangelist but it was mentioned that we could, had, and should fulfill the role. From the responses, we know that we have learned from evangelists, we are around people that need to be evangelized and we minister to them, we need the evangelists to go and preach and that evangelism is on the rise. These things are all great, but what of our own responsibility to evangelize?

When we think of evangelists, the mind conjures up the kind of person that preach to thousands of people at once like in a tent revival or a traveling evangelist in the churches. We think of Billy Graham and Oral Roberts or ones that have a big TV or radio ministry or missionaries sent to evangelize other parts of the world. Jesus has told us to go out into the world and preach the gospel. The word gospel comes from the word evangel - the good news. That means to bring the gospel to others is to evangelize. All of us should be bringing the gospel to the nations, especially our own. We are to start in our Jerusalem which is in our own neighborhood and our own city, then unto Samaria, which is the other side of wherever we are at, even if it is those people that we naturally look down on, and then to the uttermost parts of the earth. That is our responsibility as Christians - to evangelize. This is what has been commissioned to us.

If Jesus has told us to go - and He has - then it is our responsibility to go. We may or may not have that ministry office of evangelist but if we are told to go out and evangelize, then we should at least be asking for the spiritual power to carry that about. This is perhaps the hardest thing for many of us to do but the time to speak salvation has always been now.

In my own life, I have seen so much hypocrisy in the church, so much backbiting and division, so much hatred and condemnation masquerading as spiritual authority that I can really see what others see as well. I must be able to look into the inner depths of my own soul to be able to recognize what my own problems are before I can come to the point that spiritual boldness takes over what previously can only be described as fear. Others have seen the hypocrisy in the church, they have seen the preachers and evangelists trying to part them from their money, they have seen the church used as a tool of self-righteousness bigotry, prejudice and persecution. My problem is the fear of rejection; I do not want others to see me in the light of what Christianity is perceived to be. I would rather just live out my Christianity and let me see my love for them instead of bringing them the gospel of Jesus Christ and trying to get them saved. I would be hypocritical myself if I would not do what I can to GO before I ask you to. Nevertheless, I would be amiss if I did ask you to do the things that I see is necessary for us to evangelize the world. Go into every part of wherever you are and preach to all people. Go into the world and show them the love of Jesus not only by your actions but also by your words of the testimony of Jesus. There, it is said. I must do what I can to fulfill my part and ask you to do what you can to fulfill yours.

Lord Jesus, give us that gift of evangelism, give us that boldness to approach others with your word and with your love. Give us the opportunities to share our testimony and give us the strength and power to make our own opportunities. Make us vessels of your honor and give us the wisdom and knowledge to spread your message in spirit and in truth.

What is that gift of evangelism? I see it listed as one of the five-fold ministries, but not as a gift. Maybe there is not really a gift of evangelism but all the spiritual gifts support this one function in all of us. What do you think? Let's discuss evangelism some more. We are not all prophets or apostles or have the gift of tongues or interpretation but maybe we should all be evangelists. Get back to me on this. Is the church fulfilling its rightful role in the world? Or are we all just praising the Lord that we are saved and then keeping it to ourselves?


Hi Jay,
The subject of Evangelism is dear to me because the seeds being born upon the works of these people are the very ones which can sprout up and intensify the Word of God. Jesus gives them their charge, and they obligingly bring the Word to those of us who are hungry for the Word. I have enjoyed many of the messages the Evangelists bring forth. I have learned so much from them. It was the Evangelists who kept me on fire for the Lord and increased my understanding of how we must apply the Word of God, the ways of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit to our every day existence. I thank God for them! As time went by I began to notice some things, though. Suddenly, the messages from the Evangelists began to differ widely. Some of them called their ministries, "television ministries", while others began to bring their self-imposed interpretations of fellowship, identity of God, and how God wants us to live, to all of their gatherings. Many of them are highly prosperous. Many of them are in great demand at churches across the world. And many of them come with their own line of products. "Teaching tools" they call them, and they come in the form of videos, cassette tapes, and books. The titles range from, "How to Get God to Answer Your Prayers" to "Finding Your Soul Mate". Their interpretations of the scriptures range from prophesying the end times (as if Jesus did not say no man knows the day or hour) to explaining why our blessings are being blocked because we're not tithing - to them. There are a few out there who are very consistent with their message, but the ratio of those who are using the Word of God for their own materialistic fulfillment to those who are only seeking to please God, is astoundingly in favor of the former. One television Evangelist has a great message to depart with viewers every week, then once you give what you can to the ministry, you are flooded with requests to help in buying new broadcasting equipment, or some other kind of financial disbursement - on a weekly basis!

The role of the Evangelist is special, important and downright necessary. The role of the Evangelist goes beyond the message being imparted, the role also calls for a humble presentation of dynamic personal proportions. But it also calls for humility, the ability to suffer (as Christ did), and the need to enlighten, encourage and edify. Few Evangelists do this today. We don't need our hands slapped because of the things we do which keep us away from our God. We need the comforting touch of the Master. We need to be told that the Bible is the only "Teaching Tool" that we need in order to fulfill our lives. We need to be shown that praying and worshipping within the confines of bricks and mortar do not a Christian make - that the Spirit and the Kingdom of God is inside of us, and that it is beneath every stone or behind every tree. In essence, we need for the Evangelist to be the one who lives like a prophet but has the goal of John the Baptist. Unfortunately, the ways of the world will not allow such a thing.

Bill Caraway

Glory to the name of the Lord. We've heard the terms Teachers ground, Evangelists gather. Without Evangelists to gather, there would be no one to ground. Amen! I, myself do not have this gift, but I am a teacher and a pastor by giftings and have operated in both as well as prophecy at times. We need the evangelists to go and preach to the ends of the earth, to carry the message. They sound the trumpet of the Gospel and prepare the people, to gather, to revive, to lift up, to unify, to encourage and make a people ready for HIm. It is not always the calling of the Apostle do this, although we see in Paul, that it was. What I notice about certain "denominations" is that almost always, women get called to be evangelists, but you hardly see a man. Is it me, or is that stereo-typing? It seems to me that "they" make it a woman's job to evangelize while the men get the "manly" giftings. God forbid. What is going on? The Church certainly is in dire need of more evangelists, yet God is not a respecter of persons, just like the other gifts! Comments welcome. Love in Jesus, Joseph

Dear Jay, Thanks for extending this forum to anyone in the Body of Christ. It gives all of us a broader perspective. I have never thought of myself as an evangelist, but one who helps others grow in their walk in Christ. Here lately, there has been a real thrust on evangelizing the lost outside the church doors. In these last days, the Lord is pouring out a supernatural anointing to evangelize. For instance, the Lord has used several people by giving them a very unusual sign and wonder that helps get people saved. It is the sign and wonder of the gold dust. The Lord sprinkles gold dust on Bob Shattles, a Spirit filled, Baptist preacher and it makes people ask... what is that? In one and half years, he has won over 150,000 people to the Lord. Fragrant oil pours out of his hands and red cross appears in his hands. Feathers and lightening have appeared in his meetings to make people realize that God is real. Not just someone that people talk about. They are seeing tangible evidence of the reality of God. It reminds me of Jesus when He said, then would not believe Me for My word's sake, so I had to do miracles. People are being saved, healed, delivered, and called into the ministry when we get into the awesome presence of the Lord. Many creative miracles are happening. Bob Shattles is just one among many that God is using in this unusual way. David Piper is product of this ministry. A young man who sought God with all his heart at a camp meeting in Ashland, VA last summer is having the same miracles. I am not putting these people up above others. God is the only One who is being lifted up in these last days. As He manifests these miracles , God in Christ is being glorified. Praise the Lord. What I wanted to say, God is giving a super natural anointing to evangelize. It is working in a mighty way and we give God all the Glory. Sue

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