Summary: When the five-fold ministry is not operating properly, the church is handicapped. What we call an evangelist today is really a "Revivalist" Let’s look at a biblical Evangelist.
The Office of the Evangelist
Intro.: Apostles are sent to establish order. Prophets speak for God to build up the body. Evangelists declare the good news to the lost Pastors shepherd, lead, protect and feed the sheep Teachers instruct in truth, revealing instruction, guidance, enlightenment, doctrine, direction and knowledge.
As I have said each week during this series, “When the five-fold ministry is not operating properly, the church is handicapped”. Before we look at what the evangelist is, let’s look at what he is not. An evangelist is not the minister that comes to a church now and then and preaches a weeklong series of messages. This person is a “revivalist” and more than likely, if he has a gift and passion for firing up the saints in their personal relationship with Jesus, he has the gifting of a prophet. Remember, one responsibility of the prophet is to “stoke the engine” as the fireman of our RR analogy. The evangelist is the conductor; he gets off at every stop, invites new passengers onto the train and calls out “All aboard!”
READ: Eph. 4:11-12, And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
The evangelist has a distinctive ministry of bearing the message of salvation in Jesus. He has an overwhelming burden to see the lost saved. Another part of his ministry involves equipping others to share their faith. Part of the evangelist’s calling is to focus the attention of the church on the plight of lost people.
There is a two-layer effect of evangelism: There is the ministry gift of the evangelist as we just discussed and the ministry of evangelism which all believers are called to.
I. The Nature and Function of the Office of the Evangelist
A. The Messenger of the Office – Gr. Euaggelistes (3 times in NT)
1. This word specifically refers to the messenger holding the office
a. Acts 21:8, “…Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven.”
2. This messenger has a resident gift that naturally results in winning souls
3. This gifting will be recognized and accepted by the church
B. The Message of the Office – Gr. Euaggelion (77 times in NT)
1. This word is most often translated “gospel”
a. Literal: Good message, good tidings of THE Kingdom
NOTE: This message is unchanging from the beginning of the church throughout succeeding generations. Regardless of the messenger, regardless of the denomination and regardless of the passage of time, the message remains “salvation by faith”
C. The Ministry of the Office – Gr. Euaggelizo (90 times in NT)
1. This word essentially means “to preach” and stresses actual ministry
2. Evangelists have a great ability to see the “good” in people
a. Especially those that have been “written off” by others
3. The evangelist sees virtually everyone as “salvageable”
4. He sees people as the “may be” not as they are
5. In other words, the evangelist sees people as Jesus sees them…
a. The unclean, outcast woman with a 12 year hemorrhage
b. Zaccheus, the hated tax collector
c. Blind Bartimeaus – a blind beggar, of great worth to Jesus
ILLUS: Tony Campolo tells the story of 2 thieves that break into a dept. store and merely change price tags and bring 1,000’s of $’s in the next day to purchase the items at prices much lower than they were worth. He says the same thing has happened in our society. Professional athletes are paid millions of dollars to play their sport while many schoolteachers have to work a second job just to make ends meet. Greed is often rewarded while honesty, character and integrity are played down. Human life is worth less than animals. Someone has switched the price tags
NOTE: For this reason we need the evangelist to keep reminding us that everyone is important to God.
II. The Heartflow of the Evangelist
A. Strong emphasis on the value of an eternal soul.
NOTE: Of all the five-fold ministry offices, the evangelist is the most concerned about eternity
1. The apostle is focused on the present functioning of the church
2. The prophet is focused on the active earthly future of the church
3. The evangelist reminds us that none of this matters if they aren’t saved!
B. Strong emphasis on preaching the Word of God, Jesus Christ and the Kingdom
1. His preaching focuses on the cross, repentance and faith in Jesus