Guardians of the Gospel

Only one person holds the title of "evangelist" in the New Testament--"Philip the evangelist" (Acts 21:8)--and he was an outlaw.
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Evangelists equip the church in strategic methodologies for winning the lost to Christ. They exhibit a unique creativity and keen insight as to how to win people to Christ. They promote boldness within the Body of Christ to reach out to those who need Jesus as Savior and Lord. They inspire new ideas, new ways and new approaches for presenting the gospel to each generation. They are on the cutting edge of culture and have unique insight into the changes in culture, often serving as the bridge between the church and the world.

Am I Called to Be an Evangelist?

To be an evangelist worthy of the Cross, one must live a righteous life. This is not to say that any of us are perfect or that we preach a message of condemnation. This is to say we are marvelously saved by the wonderful love of God through Jesus Christ and that we are different because of that good news. We have a high and holy calling, which calls for our utter dependence on the Spirit of Christ within to guide, empower, correct and use us for His glory. Let none of us quickly say, "I am an evangelist sent by Jesus Christ." Let the fruit of our ministry show that God has chosen us.

Evangelists who will be guardians of the gospel in the 21st century must walk in holiness before Jesus Christ. The church cannot afford to promote, affirm or support in any way those who do not live and serve with integrity. But the issue is not a one-way street. How will the church know whom to support and minister if there is no relationship with the evangelists? How will the evangelists in the 21st century have credentials and credibility if there is no interaction with the church? In what ways is the church actively identifying, training, affirming, utilizing and supporting gifted evangelists?

To understand if you are called and gifted as an evangelist to serve the church in ministry, there are several essential questions you must answer: Do you have a desire to minister as an evangelist? Does your passion consistently burn for winning people to Christ? Do you seek out the lost? Are you excited about speaking, preaching or praying for the lost?

Do you see people coming to Christ through your ministry? Does the Spirit of God use you as a reaper of the harvest? As you interact with people, do they come closer to a commitment to Jesus Christ?

Do others in the church say you have this gifting? Do church leaders affirm your gifting and call you an evangelist? Do others seek your counsel and mentoring in reference to evangelism? Are you asked to lead in the area of evangelism in the context of your church or sphere of influence?

Because God is a God of love and relationship, He desires to make Himself known to people. He wants to connect with those He has created in a personal way, and He uses His chosen children to be the instruments of this communication. So today, in ever growing numbers, I believe the Spirit of Jesus is raising up a whole new generation of evangelists to share the transforming message of the good news of Jesus Christ.

Are you called to be part of sharing that message?

From Telling the Story, © 2006 by Luis Palau and Tim Robnett. Published by Regal Books, www.regalbooks.com. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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