I’m glad I was influenced by several evangelists early on in my Christian life. These people did something profound – they modeled the normal Christian life as they saw it. To them sharing Christ all the time was natural, doable and attainable. Evangelism flowed from them. As a new Believer I didn’t know any better than to develop a lifestyle that reflected theirs. I’ve been leading from that perspective ever since.
In his excellent blog entry here Rice Broocks recently pointed out that a very small percentage of the Church is set apart for the role of evangelist (he suggested that is about 1%) yet that part is catalytic. They energize the local church to do great works of outreach.
Paul explains the principle of modeling in his text about the office gifts. “He gave some as… evangelists…for the equipping of the saints.” (Eph. 4:11,12, NASB). Evangelists, along with the other offices of the Church, equip the local church to do the work of ministry. That is, evangelists (1%) equip the saints (99%) to do the work of evangelism. We need to get over the notion that evangelists are just about doing evangelism this way or that. Their greatest contribution is to usher in an atmosphere of faith to the local church to see evangelism take place.
The added value of an evangelist is to cause others to believe they can do evangelism. Apart from the influence of an evangelist Believers are overwhelmed at the thought of seeing souls brought into the Kingdom. If you are a church planter but not an evangelist, growth by outreach probably seems overwhelming. Yet when an evangelist enters the scene a can-do dynamic is released. Suddenly “normal” is defined as seeing others come to Jesus. Salvations increase. Baptism rates soar. The church grows!
I am an evangelist-pastor. This gift mix has made it easier for me to plant and lead churches outwardly over the years. If Evangelist does not come up in your gift mix don’t panic. Pray! Ask God to send you a couple. He will provide in his mercy. It only takes a couple to fully engage your community. They are catalysts that will, along with you, usher in a profound faith atmosphere.