Some of my fondest memories involve hearing evangelists who came to our church for revival and evangelistic meetings when I was a youth. I remember well hearing evangelists John R. Rice, Bill Rice, Bill Rice III, Pete Rice, Glen Schunk, Monroe Parker, Ron Comfort, Bill Hall, and others. The memories stand out because God spoke to me in a specific way through the ministry of evangelists.
When, as a teenager, I surrendered to preach, I was soon burdened about doing the work of an evangelist. I wanted to know if that was the gift God had bestowed. A subsequent study of the evangelist in the New Testament confirmed my calling, and over the years, this study has continued.
The evangel is the gospel, the good news. Evangelists, then, specialize in the evangel, focusing on the gospel—the good news that Jesus saves from the penalty of sin and frees from the power of sin. The gospel to sinners is the good news of salvation and the gospel to saints is the good news of revival and the Spirit-filled life.
The Ministry of the Evangelist unfolds the significance of the 135 occurrences of the stem evangel in the New Testament words evangelist, evangel (gospel), and evangelism (preaching the gospel). The Bible has far more to say about the evangelist than many may realize.
The health of New Testament churches is meant to be strengthened through the God-given gift of the evangelist. It is important for evangelists and pastors to know the difference between the gifts. As pastors are like general practitioners with a broad knowledge, so evangelists are like specialists with a narrow focus. That focus is a person—Jesus. Jesus is the good news personified. He is the Savior, Sanctifier, and so much more. This good news focus is the ministry of the evangelist.
The Ministry of the Evangelist is available from the Revival Focus webstore and Amazon.com.
John Van Gelderen