The 21st Century Retooling of the Church – Part VI
Today’s image of an evangelist is a man standing behind a pulpit formally preaching a three-point sermon or a man on the street with a bullhorn, or a lone figure handing out gospel tracts, leaving a paper trail behind him. He is the central figure of all activity. We need to retool the evangelist’s image in the 21st century to becoming not a lone figure doing all the evangelizing, but a team player, which is a completely different mindset to the art of evangelism.
If a believer in Jesus Christ has a passion to win the lost, but frustrated in the technique on how to reach them, the other four points of view and passions of the five fold team would help. They need to tackle the project as a team.
The first step would be corporate prayer and worship by the group. “Listening” would be the key, for the group would want to unanimously hear the Will of the Father for this given situation. A Railroad Crossing Sign reads “Stop/Look/Listen”. The group would have to do stop what they are doing, look to Jesus, and listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit to tell them what to do.
The hard part is the second step, the “doing”: being “obedient” to what they have seen and heard, for there lies the solution to the problem. Jesus often modeled this approach, often going in solitude to seek His Father’s will to which he always got answers. The obedient part came in walking on the water, feeding the 5,000, raising a widow’s son from the dead, healing the sick, and the biggest challenge, the Cross. He did all that through obedience, and all proved to be effective evangelistic tools.
Once a strategy is agreed upon, all five points of view is heard and accepted in unity, the third step of “release” occurs. The evangelist is “released” to “birth it”; the shepherd is “released” to set things in place to “maintain it” after the birth of the new lambs; the teacher is “released” to make sure the plan is “scripturally sound”, and the Bible will be the central rock, the foundation, for the new lambs growth; the prophet is “released” to “worship”, to do “spiritual warfare”, to help with “prophetic evangelism”, and to bring “Rhema life” into the endeavor; and finally now that the “Big Picture” or “team strategy” has been “released” by the Holy Spirit to the group, the apostle is now “released” to “see over” all that is to be done while “releasing” each of the other four in their passions and directions while maintaining unity in Spirit and in purpose. The secret to "equipping the saints" is "releasing the saints" in the passions, gifting, and point of view they already inhabit.
The fourth step, I believe, is the most difficult: each member of this group has to practice I John 3:16 beside John 3:16, that is they have to “lay down their lives for the brethren”. This method of team evangelism and Body growth will only work if each and every participant is willing to lay down his life, his agenda, his passion, his gifting, his point of view for the other four and “serve”, “serve”, “serve”. Ephesians 4 is all about “equipping the saints for the work of the service.”
Step Five: Once the group has heard in unison and is released, a beehive of “obedient” activity begins as each of the five fold “sets in order” that which they have been “called” to do by “serving” one another in a unifying effort that will win the lost, build, develop, and maintain the Body of Christ while bringing unity, not division.
Current and old mindsets of the way Church has done “revivals”, has always brought divisions, new factions, new splint off groups, but by retooling the way the 21st century Church does “revivals”, “renewals”, “rebirths”, “evangelistic endeavors” through this five fold group approach, unity will be its benchmark, not division, a totally new concept to the Church!