LESSON 01: The Evangelistic Purpose
There is no better place to begin than with the first of the Fivefold Ministries. Perhaps you think that it is obvious what and Evangelist is called to do, but consider this one principle:
The Evangelist is called to minister to the church!
You should be familiar with this passage, but let me mention it again just for posterity:
Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some apostles, and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; 12 For the equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ: (AMIV)
When you think about my statement in context of this verse, it makes such perfect sense! The Lord gave the fivefold ministry for the equipping of the saints! So what does that mean to you if you are called as an evangelist? It means that as an evangelist you should be igniting the hearts of God's people!
I remember an incident once when I was invited to preach at a church where everyone attending not only knew the Lord, but were very well grounded in the Word as well. As I tried to get a topic for my message, all the Lord said to me was, "Present a Gospel message." To which I replied: "What? Lord these people are already saved!"
But in obedience I stood up and shared the gospel with them. You see, this church was so well grounded in all the principles and in being a Christian, that they had lost the fire and zeal of their conversion. Being a Christian had become something very ordinary to them. God wanted to remind them of the fire that had gone dull within their hearts. He wanted to ignite that fire afresh!
The church does not need more evangelists to reach the lost, the church needs more evangelists to inspire the saved to reach the lost! One evangelist can only do so much, but if he would maintain the fire in his own heart and then ignite the fire in the hearts of God's people, the lost would be coming to Christ all the time!
You see, evangelism is not about having rules and a good gospel presentation. It is about the reality of Jesus Christ. Yet for most believers, they have forgotten that reality. They have forgotten the gems that they have in their hearts and exactly what Jesus has done for them! If only the prophets would teach the church to see Jesus and if only the Evangelists would cause the church to remember their love for Him!
Can you imagine a church that is on fire for the Lord and the truth that they hold? How will this come about? It will come about by the evangelists inspiring and igniting those fires in God's people! It will come about by YOU keeping your fire. Try to remember what it was like without Jesus. Can you remember how your life changed? Can you remember how lonely you were? How you were bound by guilt and fear? How Jesus took that away? THIS is the good news and every single believer has their own good news to share.
How did the early church witness? They shared their exciting news with their friends and their family! They were excited about what Jesus did in their lives. It is about time that the church got excited about what Jesus is doing in their lives and it is about time that the Evangelists rise up to ignite that fire. Igniting it through decree, through impartation and above all... igniting it by maintaining their own unquenchable fire!