Delineation of the Evangelist's Ministry
In II Timothy 4:5, Paul tells Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist.” Paul was exhorting Timothy to do a specific work connected to the gift of the evangelist. It is obvious that Paul expected Timothy to just know what “the work of an evangelist” was, and then, to do that work. So, evidently, the evangelist has a certain “work.” This “work” is the evangelist’s ministry. We will now notice some truths concerning the evangelist’s ministry – his work.
Delineation of the Evangelist’s Ministry
The Bible reveals that there are two “groups” of people to whom the evangelist is supposed to minister, making the work of the evangelist, or the evangelist’s ministry, two-fold.
Reach the Lost
First, the evangelist is to reach the lost. We can clearly see this in Acts 8:5, 12.
- “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them…. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” – Acts 8:5, 12
Evangelist Philip preached the gospel to the unsaved in Samaria. They believed and were baptized. What a meeting! Later in verses 26-38, we find Philip in the desert sent by the Holy Spirit to witness to the unsaved Ethiopian eunuch. Philip “preached unto him Jesus” (vs. 35) and “said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he [the eunuch] answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (vs. 37). As seen from Philip, the evangelist’s ministry is partly reaching the lost.
Revive the Saved
Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” It is thought because of the definition of evangelist, which is “a preacher of the gospel,” that the evangelist is to only reach the lost. This assumes that the gospel is only for the lost. However, as we will see in part two of “The Message of the Evangelist” (Chapter 5), the gospel is not just for the lost. Here in Ephesians, we see that both the pastor and the evangelist must work together for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. That is why Christ gave both gifts to the church. The phrases “to perfect the saints” and “to edify the body of Christ” indicate that the evangelist’s ministry also extends to the saved – the local church.
To state it briefly here, the good news of Jesus gives life to the lost who are dead in their sins. The gospel of Jesus also gives fresh life to the saved who are dead in sleep. To Roman believers, Paul exhorts in Romans 13:11, “it is high time to awake out of sleep.” (Romans was written “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints” according to Romans 1:7.) To the saved Ephesians in Ephesians 5:14, Paul quotes, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” (In Ephesians 1:1, Paul writes “to the saints which are at Ephesus.”) The evangelist comes along and helps the pastor “perfect the saints” and edify Christ’s body. In other words, the evangelist is a wake-up call for the saved. Since many of God’s children have fallen asleep spiritually and become dead, the evangelist must come in and preach the gospel of life in Christ. This is often called “revival,” which means to restore to life or life again. Revival can happen when an evangelist is preaching the gospel to the church.