THE ROLL OF MISSIONARY – EVANGELIST
By Ken Blue
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;” Ephesians 4:11.
I have no interest in hurting anyone’s income. My objective is to give a biblical definition and explanation of what I, and many others believe the ministry of the evangelist should be.
In the early church, all of these were contemporary. However, in time, the apostles and prophets passed of the scene. Some suggest that the call of the evangelist also ended. Personally, I do not believe it has, but I do believe the title and the purpose has been greatly misunderstood and abused.
The Bible does not mention the missionary at all. Although all believers have a mission, the title of the missionary is never mentioned. The reason for this, I believe, is that the evangelist did what the missionaries are now doing. In other words, they were missionaries. Also, every local church is to do the work of an evangelist, or missionary, by starting new churches.
The evangelist/missionary went to the cities and villages and preached the gospel to the lost. Sinners were saved and in time, a pastor was appointed to pastor the new church.
The evangelist went and preached the gospel to the lost. When enough sinners were saved, a pastor was appointed to pastor the new church.
Albert Barns says. “What was the precise office of the evangelist in the primitive church it is now impossible to determine. The evangelist may have been one whose main business was preaching, and who was not particularly engaged in the government of the church. The word properly means, “a messenger of good tidings;” and Robinson (Lex.) supposes that it denotes a minister of the gospel who was not located in any place, but who travelled as a missionary to preach the gospel, and to found churches. The word is so used now by many Christians; but it cannot be proved that it is so used in the New Testament.” (Barns notes).
“Evangelists were itinerant preachers like our missionaries, as Philip the deacon (Ac 21:8); as contrasted with stationary “pastors and teachers” (2 Ti 4:5). The evangelist founded the Church; the teacher built it up in the faith already received.” (JFB).
“The gift of an evangelist (euaggelistas ). This is the gift of carrying the gospel all over the world. It is the gift that specializes in proclaiming the gospel to the lost of the world. It would include both what we call the evangelist and the missionary”.—Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible – Commentary.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary says, “a “publisher of glad tidings;” a missionary preacher of the gospel (Eph. 4:11). This title is applied to Philip (Acts 21:8), who appears to have gone from city to city preaching the word (Acts 8:4, 40). Judging from the case of Philip, evangelists had neither the authority of an apostle, nor the gift of prophecy, nor the responsibility of pastoral supervision over a portion of the flock. They were itinerant preachers, having it as their special function to carry the gospel to places where it was previously unknown. The writers of the four Gospels are known as the Evangelists.”
Many of today’s evangelists are anything but the founders of New Testament churches. Today we have Evangelist that: Sing, Tract, Clown, Construct and even tell pastors how to run their churches. It is not uncommon to see evangelist who: work at county Fairs, Rodeos and Stock Car races. There are evangelist who work with: Children, Teens, families and a host of others. The only true Evangelists are those who are winning souls and establishing churches. The rest are nothing more than traveling gypsies.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.