The Vision of an Evangelist:
“Without Vision The People Perish”
One of the major premises of my study of the five fold ministry in the Church is that the five fold is not necessarily offices, but passions, or points of view. What passion drives a person in his love in and for the Church? Through what glasses does the believer see things? What is his vision?
The evangelist “sees the lost”, and his/her heart is broken by what he/she sees. They are driven to share “the Good News”, the Gospel, with those who have never heard it. Their passion is to bring the lost into the Kingdom of God. They see the “needs” of the poor, the effect of poverty, the hopelessness in mankind, and they are driven to bring a message of hope, of salvation, to meet the spiritual need of the lost: Jesus.
A person driven by the evangelistic spirit is a creative person who will “birth” innovative ways to share the message of spiritual birth, “you must be born again.” Wesley and Whitefield broke from the tradition of sinners coming into the house of God to hear the salvation message by taking it to the miners at their work place. The whole tent-meeting movement was birthed. “General” William Booth packaged it as an Army which became effective in reaching the poor in England, birthing the Salvation Army. Dwight L. Moody and Billy Sunday developed it into large evangelistic city-wide tent meetings. Billy Graham used technology to birth an electronic evangelistic message via television to millions. I am waiting to see who and how the “gospel” will be impacted by today’s “social networking” where the world is but a click away, and the message of “the new birth” will go to the world wide masses. Evangelists major in “birthing”, and I am sure God will raise up an evangelist to use the technology that is present today.
Amazingly, the most effective form of evangelism doesn’t come from the use of current technology, but by one-one-one contact with believers and nonbelievers on a personal, relational level. The church is willing to spend large sums of money on large scale city-wide, or television campaigns, but the greatest majority of new believers comes from another common believer sharing his/her faith, his/her walk, his/her journey in Jesus Christ.
Still, the evangelistic spirit breaks the heart of the evangelist in order for him/her to move on, move forward, continuing to explore and birth new ways of telling the message, sharing the message, living the evangelistic message, the gospel, the good news to the next lost, dying individual who needs Jesus who crosses their path. Being an evangelist is a never-ending battle, a sacrificial lifestyle “driven” by the passion to save the lost.
The Evangelist “sees the lost and the dying” and is driven to share the answer: the new birth of Jesus Christ in each person’s life assuring them of a relationship with the God-head that was broken by sin, but reestablished because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Sacrificial Lamb, giving life and hope to those who chose it in this lost and dying generation. That is how the evangelist sees it; that is what drives the evangelist.