In this sermon, we’ll talk about what an evangelist is, his work, how to be an evangelist and what not to do as a preacher of the gospel.
- Are you an evangelist?
- What a good evangelist looks like
What does evangelism mean? To evangelize means to bring “good tidings.” Good tidings mean “good news,” and the good news is the gospel of Jesus Christ—God’s kingdom—the salvation of mankind. “Evangelize” comes from the word “preacher” so an evangelist and a preacher is basically the same thing.
Evangelists grow the local fellowship by preaching the good news to their surrounding neighborhoods. The work of a preacher is mostly external—preaching to the world instead of the saints. This is why I say most so-called pastors today are really evangelists, and they should be in the streets instead of the pulpit.
However, if necessary, evangelists turn their ministry inwards and preach to the Church to revive the saints in times of depression. We’re all called to share the gospel as the Holy Spirit leads and evangelists teach the Body of Christ how to do it effectively.
Are you an evangelist?
The office of an evangelist is for some, but not all. You must be called by God to be an evangelist. It’s usually a full or part-time job interacting with the world on a daily basis to win souls. Evangelists are usually not alone—going in two or more to spread the good news.
The preacher is an honest salesman for the kingdom of God, charismatic, ambitious, and “on-fire” for the kingdom of God. He’s like Jeremiah when he said:
His word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it! (Jeremiah 20:9 NLT)
While the neighborhood the evangelist covers has initially been “worked” by the apostles, it’s God’s love that sends preachers back to remind the people who rejected the message the first time.
God makes sure everyone hears the gospel enough and is given a chance to respond (Matthew 24:14).
What a good evangelist looks like
The majority of the preacher’s message should be positive.
Telling everyone their going to hell isn’t the good news. However, good preaching must not leave out the harsh truths about the penalty of sin.
The good news must be encouraging.
John the Baptist preached with “exhortation” which means to encourage, strengthen, and comfort (Luke 3:18). When the preacher comes to town he should be like fresh air, a bright light, and healing to a sick and dying neighborhood.
The gospel must be balanced with teaching.
All preaching without teaching is incomplete. When converts are made, they’ll need teachers and pastors to help them understand the kingdom and guide them in their growth. Preachers should have a way for new believers to follow up and connect with teaching and fellowship.
Preaching must be done in humility.
Souls are for God and are not trophies for the preacher. Evangelists should defend Christ rather than debate unbelievers to win arguments for their own pride. A good evangelist always remembers he was a sinner like the souls he’s trying to reach and never becomes arrogant.
The gospel should be free.
Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:18 said he wasn’t going to charge, and this goes without saying. Preachers should rely on God and the saints to fund their ministry and not ask for money from those who need to hear the greatest news on the earth.
Preachers must be led by the Spirit.
Because God is actively choosing who should hear the gospel (Titus 1:1), it’s a waste of time to randomly preach anywhere, anytime, to any group. Evangelists must be sensitive to the Spirit and only preach where God has sent him.
The gospel must be presented with simplicity.
The good news is simple and it’s for the humble. Paul said, “Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect” (1 Corinthians 1:17) See verses 18-31 for more on this:
18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”
20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.
24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)
2 Timothy 4:5 says, “As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” Are you called to be an evangelist? Ask God and get confirmation before doing the work.