This 13-part series of classes has been many years in the making. About 25 years ago I began in earnest to examine the features, character and characteristics of the church as it existed in its earliest years. As I sometimes do, I kept my notes all along the way, and this series of classes is to a large extent the product of those years of on-and-off studying the subject. Several things in my experience contributed to my interest in making this 25-year study which I will mention along the way, and those go much further back.

There may be some difficulty in using the individual parts of this series separately, although viewer are free to do so if it serves their purposes. But to those whose interest is in knowing what the church was like in its earliest years, I recommend starting with Part 1 - Introduction to the Church of the New Testament and proceeding through the parts consecutively.

I have prepared some slides that I used in presenting the series in a classroom setting before adapting it to use as sermons. I have left my cues to advance slides or activate animations in the notes as posted on Sermon Central. If anyone is interested in having the PowerPoint files with the slides, I will be happy to send them. Send me an Email at and specify what part(s) you are requesting. Be sure that the word “slide” appears in the subject line. It may take me several days to respond, but I will respond to all requests.



I. Introduction

II. The Origin of the Church

III. What is the church?

IV. The First Christians

V. Authority in the First Century Church

VI. Problems in the New Testament Church

VII. How the Church Functioned

A. Introduction to Functions

B. Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers

C. False Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers & Various Gifts and Functions

D. More Gifts and Functions

E. Evangelists, Preachers, and Ministers, Servants and Deacons

F. Pastors, Elders, Bishops, etc.

VIII. How the Church Worshiped



We go now to the third of the primary texts where Paul lists functions of members in the church.

*Advance to Eph 4:11-13 slide

Eph 4:11-13 (ESV) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, (12) to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, (13) until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

Having already discussed apostles, prophets, and teachers in the church of the New Testament as being listed in 1 Cor 12 and Rom 12, we now move to two functions that are not mentioned in those passages – evangelists and pastors. We will consider evangelists first and then, in the next part, pastors.

*Advance to 1st Evangelist

EVANGELISTS, PREACHERS: The Greek words most frequently associated with this function are:

kerusso, which means to herald, announce, or publish

euaggeliste, meaning bringer of good news (3)

*Advance to 2nd Evangelist

There are some other forms of the word euaggeliste:

euaggelizo, means to bring good news (52)

euaggelion, is the good news itself - the word means “gospel” (73)

Parallel texts of the Gospels of Luke and Mark reveal a synonymous relationship between euaggelizo and kerusso, which means "to herald, announce, or proclaim," the only difference being that kerusso is specifically public, and euaggelizo may be, but is not necessarily public.

*Advance to 3rd Evangelist

Eu, Latinized to Ev (because of the absence of U in the Latin alphabet), means “good.” “Angel” means messenger.

From this bit of etymology, we deduce that an evangelist is a “good messenger,” or “bringer of good message.”

The Euaggeliste, or evangelist, then, is a herald, or announcer, of the gospel.

Acts 8:2-4 tells us that following the stoning of Stephen, the church at Jerusalem was scattered throughout Judea and Samaria (except the apostles), and those who were scattered went about “preaching” the word. The word Luke used there is euaggelizo. They were (euaggelizo-ing), telling good news.

In the late 14th century the idea was prevalent that the “evangelist” was a preacher who was itinerant—a circuit riding preacher; and a “preacher” worked in a local church.

Remnants of that idea continued into my lifetime.

There is no biblical basis for the distinction.

Neither the words used nor New Testament history demands that for one to be a bearer of the gospel, he must be itinerant, though in the first century some were because of the requirements for performing the function at the time. Being heralds, or announcers of good news, their work often took them to where the news had not been heard.

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