Do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
—2 Timothy 4:5
An important role of a pastor is to be an evangelist. “Do the work of an evangelist,” Paul reminded Timothy (2 Timothy 4:5). Now, Paul didn’t say, “I want you to travel the countryside with five suits and five sermons.” That was not his idea of an evangelist. He meant: do the work as a pastor of an evangelist in proclaiming the good news of the gospel. You see, the Great Commission is for us to go into all the world and make disciples, fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20). Before you can be a disciple, though, you have to be a convert. You have to be introduced to faith in Christ. So one of the primary things that a pastor is to do is to be involved in evangelism.
How can a pastor do the work of an evangelist? Let me suggest several ways. First, through his preaching. In 1 Corinthians 2:2 Paul said, “I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” Now, Paul was not saying, “I never preached about anything other than the crucifixion of Christ.” In that same letter to the Corinthians he talked about marriage and divorce, lawsuits, the Lord’s Supper, and the resurrection. But Jesus Christ was foundational in his message, and He needs to be foundational in our message too. One way we do that is to make sure every message includes an explanation of the gospel.
The second way we act as evangelists is through equipping. Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” The reason believers gather on Sundays is give you the supplies you need to go out and do the work of ministry and equip you to share the gospel.
A third way pastors act as evangelists is through organizing. As you read through the book of Acts, you realize that Paul had a plan for reaching his world for Christ. Now, sometimes his plans got vetoed by God. But the point is that he had a plan. Paul just didn’t sit and wait for something good to happen. He wanted to take the gospel to everyone. What is your church’s strategy for taking the good news of Christ to your community? We have to have a plan. Since God has placed your church as a lampstand to illuminate the Lord Jesus Christ, then maximize that opportunity by developing a plan.
The preservation of our nation for the proclamation of the gospel depends on the effectiveness of local churches in fulfilling their mission. And the effectiveness of local churches in fulfilling their mission depends on pastors fulfilling their calling as preachers, as prophets, and as evangelists.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “America’s Last Hope” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.