The Role of the Evangelist or I am in Fulltime Ministry
(too hard to choose just one subtitle!)
“I am an intercessor! Not an evangelist!” Those were the words coming out of the mouth of a friend in Bible School. He was not called to outreach, but to prayer. Even as a young believer, I responded, “We are all called to share our faith—just as we all must pray.”
Right? You know it…and I know it. So why don’t we share this great treasure with others?
- Fear of rejection?
- Not wanting to be labeled as one of them? (And trust me, for a Jewish believer, those feelings are very strong!)
- Not feeling qualified to explain salvation?
- Or, who am I to tell someone else what to believe? (You are a caring, loving person, who like God, doesn’t want anyone to perish, but all to have eternal life.)
And yet, even after we answer our objections, we often feel paralyzed. Can you relate? This is the first in a series of blogs to encourage you to talk to people about Yeshua.
We will look at three types of people who share their faith. Big ‘E’, Small ‘e’ and regular Joe. In this article, we will focus on Big ‘E’.
Ephesians 4:11 states there are five equipping gifts given to the body of believers.
The purpose of these gifts is to, “to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Messiah may be built up.” (Eph. 4: 12) God gives leaders to the body of Messiah, each with a unique function, to train believers for ministry.
you are in full-time ministry!
Misnomer #1: Only professional ministers are called to ministry. According to the passage, the purpose of those who walk in any of those five anointings is to train believers for kingdom exploits. A well-known Jewish evangelist, Bob Wiener, has a message where he has the audience repeat over and over, “I AM IN FULL-TIME MINISTRY.”
His goal is to get everyone—businessman or woman, housewife, student, schoolteacher, dog-walker, dog-catcher—everyone—to see that we are all called to ministry. So say it out loud: I AM IN FULL-TIME MINISTRY!
Big ‘e’ is in the congregation too!
Misnomer #2: An Evangelist is someone who only preaches about Yeshua. The truth is, the very word evangelist conjures up images of slick-haired, well-dressed, Rolex-donning charlatans, preying on sincere believers for money. Sadly, some have gone down this dishonest road, tainting the precious message of the Gospel as a means to riches.
Putting those images aside, the word evangelist means one who proclaims good news. He is a herald. Isaiah 52:7 comes to mind from the Hebrew Scriptures:
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
So why am I saying it is a misnomer that he is only a preacher? Indeed we have all seen the fruit of preachers like Billy Graham, proclaiming Yeshua to the masses. I witnessed firsthand multiple miracles in Africa, as Reinhard Bonnke preached the Gospel to over 300,000 people.
However that is only half of the job of the evangelist. His other job is in the congregation—equipping God’s people to share their faith. This, we rarely see. Sid Roth, one of the greatest one-on-one Jewish evangelists I have ever seen, for years traveled the U.S. conducting Sharing Yeshua seminars, training believers to share their Faith with Jewish people. Ray Comfort may be the most effective equipping evangelist in the world. His book Hell’s Best Kept Secret is, in my opinion, the most effective tool a believer can read on how to share the message of Yeshua.
While Ray spends a good deal of time actually sharing his faith—debating atheists, open-air preaching on college campuses—he spends just as much time equipping believers to share the Good News of Yeshua in our daily lives.
Conclusion to Part 1: An evangelist in the New Covenant (Big ‘E’) is called not only to share the message of Yeshua, but to train others to do so.
Question: What obstacles keep you from sharing your faith? How have you overcome them? How can we pray for you? Use the comments section to answer.