Sermons

Summary: What it takes to build an Evangelistic church. This is part of cooperative mini-series on servant leaders. All of the messages were based on Eph 4:11-16

Name one Miss America winner

Name three Academy Award winners

Name the five wealthiest people in the world

Name five Heisman Trophy Winners

Name five winners of the Nobel Prize

Name five World Series winners

As you reflect on these questions you quickly realize that very few people would know the answer to even one of them. But let me ask you a different set of questions. Try these on for size…

Who are the most influential people in your world?

1. List the one teacher who helped you through school

2. Name three friends who stood with you through a difficult time

3. Name five people who taught you something worthwhile

4. Think of five people who have made you feel appreciated

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with

6. Name five heroes whose stories have inspired you

The people who have made a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money or the most awards. It’s not the ones who are the most beautiful or who are jet setters.

They are the ones that care. They are the ones who have been involved in your life.

Today I want to continue our conversation about those servant leaders that God has called out of the church to be an influence on the world. The passage of scripture we’ll look at again today is part of a letter from Paul to the people of Ephesus. This is what he says:

Servant Leaders

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Ephesians 4:11-13

God has called some to be Servant Leaders

Everything we need to understand how God designed the church to accomplish the task he gave us – that is the seeking and the saving of the lost. This is the work and purpose of the church.

Apostles - Sent with a message

Prophets - Forth tellers the truth

Evangelists - Bearers of good news

Pastors and Teachers- Shepherds and disciplers of those who have decided to follow Jesus

It’s all about the message of Jesus isn’t it. An Evangelist is simply a servant leader who effectively tells the story of Jesus. In the NT we find that there were those who were called evangelists. Men like Stephen, Phillip, and Apollos all spread the word about Jesus to everyone they could.

Today, we think of Billy Graham and television evangelists. But there are many others who are faithfully carrying on with the calling of God. They don’t write books. They aren’t on TV. They don’t have huge crowds gather in enormous arenas to hear them speak. They simply and dependably serve God by serving God’s people.

One of these solid, dependable servant leaders was a man named Timothy, who just happened to be the pastor of the church in Ephesus. Here Paul writes to the church. In the letters to Timothy he has more specific guidance. In 2 Timothy 4 Paul counsels Timothy with this powerful challenge. Paul writes…

The Work of an Evangelist

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

2 Timothy 4:2-5

This is a description of what God has called me to do and to be.

My name is not Timothy. My name is Rick.

The year is not 60 AD. The year is 2007 AD.

My church is not in Ephesus. It’s in Okemos.

But here the differences end.

My calling is identical.

My challenges are no different.

My work is exactly the same.

The Work of an Evangelist

…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you...

Jesus – Matthew 28:19-20

For me this is intensely personal. This is not something I have been called to do… like a job or as a professional. This is something I have been called to do… like breathing and moving. This is what I am.

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