Summary: Looking at the difference between the office of Evangelist and the work of Evangelism that we all can take part in.
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
First, let’s just define the term Evangelism. Now we should always look to Scripture to get the proper definition but I thought just for fun I would look up the term in the dictionary just to see how they define it. EVENGELISM- the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ
That’s not such a bad definition but let’s try to dig a little deeper – Although the word “evangelism” is not found in the Bible the office or title “evangelist” is at least on 2 occasions. The English term “Evangel” comes from the Latin term euangelion which means Gospel. So evangel means Gospel therefore Evangelism is the sharing or the preaching of the gospel.
Someone might say but isn’t it a Pastor that preaches the gospel and isn’t it the average Christian who is supposed to be out there sharing their faith? What makes an Evangelist different from your average preacher is that they actively go out and preach to new people, many of which have never heard the gospel before.
A Pastor typically preaches to the same people week after week, he has a flock that he shepherds and that is the Pastors primary responsibility. An Evangelist goes place to place preaching to different people. A good example of this is Billy Graham, Billy Graham doesn’t have a church and he is not a Pastor. During his ministry, he was always going city to city, county to county trying to reach new people for Christ.
If you think about it an Evangelist is more like a Missionary than a pastor, in fact some would argue that since the term Missionary is not found in the Bible either, essentially what we call a Missionary the Bible calls an Evangelist. Some might disagree and I don’t want to get hung up on terminology but I think it is worth pointing that out.
But let’s not focus so much on the office or the Spiritual Giftedness of an Evangelist let focus more on the broad term Evangelism. In the broad sense of the word we can all be involved in Evangelism. We often hear and use the term Evangelical, you may tell people that you are an evangelical Christian, or that Moores Corner Church is an Evangelical Church. I think that is accurate because we not only believe the gospel it is the focal point of the ministry here. we want the gospel shared! We want to see people converted to Christ – in other words we want to see them saved!
Not all churches have a gospel centered ministry. Millions of people sit under a ministry centered around a social gospel – helping the poor, feeding the homeless etc. Many are drawn to the prosperity gospel where the preacher (or the “life coach”) talks more about getting a promotion at work then he does about getting promoted to heaven! The there are the churches that are center their ministry around civil rights and ethnic identity and on and on and on!