Summary: Who is an Evangelist? What are they called to do? What does scripture say about who an evangelist is and what his/her calling is?
Friends, when I say ‘evangelist’, what is the image that appears in your mind? How would you describe an evangelist? What words would you use to describe an evangelist? Well, I would like you to take a moment and write down what comes to your mind first for the above questions before reading the rest of this article.
Now that you have written down who is an evangelist and what you believe that ministry is, let us look at what scripture says about the ministry of an evangelist? What does scripture say about who an evangelist is and what his/her calling is?
The best example of a ministry of an evangelist is given to us in Acts chapter 8:5-40. In this portion scripture we are told about Philip and his ministry. How do we know that he was an evangelist? Acts 21:8 calls him as Philip the Evangelist. So, what does this portion of scripture tell us about an evangelist?
1) Acts 8:5 ‘Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there.’ -
Evangelists are called to travel from place-to-place proclaiming Jesus Christ and preaching His good news.
2) Acts 8:6-7 ‘When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed, or lame were healed. -
The Lord will use evangelists amongst unbelievers with signs, wonders and miracles to confirm the Good News by the demonstration of His power for the glory of His Name.
3) Acts 8:8 ‘So there was great joy in that city.’ -
God will use evangelists to impact cities. When salvation comes into the lives and homes of people, the whole village, town and city will encounter the love of God because they will hear with their own ears and see with their own eyes the goodness of the Lord unfolding in the lives of those who follow Him.
4) Acts 8:9-13 ‘Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great,and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery.But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.’ -
Evangelists will face demonic forces face to face. They are called to the frontlines of the battle for souls. They are called to war and destroy the darkness of deception, sin, bondages and curses and set people free in the Name of Jesus through the preaching of the Word and Prayer.
5) Acts 8:14-17 ‘When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.’ -
Once the work of proclaiming the Gospel, the initial batch of souls coming to salvation and church being planted (if there is no church there in that place) is complete, the evangelist must handover the work fully to a Pastor in order to shepherd and disciple the new believers in the faith. An evangelist is not called to plant a church and wait there for the rest of his or her life. He or she is called to do the initial work, then hand it over and move to the next mission God has for him or her. The evangelist can always re-visit a place to have further meetings to win souls but must never plant themselves in that place permanently. The evangelist must co-work with the church when they re-visit a place or visit a place where a church is already planted. They must never work in isolation or independently . What about finances? If an evangelist does not have a regular congregation how will they receive offerings? If God has called you to be full-time evangelist with no church-like regular congregation or services, He will provide most surely. He will meet your every need.
6) Acts 8:18-25 ‘When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.” After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.’ -