What is evangelism and who is an evangelist according to the Bible? Find the answer to this question in this post using the example of a man that was referred to as an evangelist in the Bible.
What is evangelism?
Evangelism is defined as the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the purpose of letting people know about the love of God to all mankind through Jesus Christ. The final goal of evangelism is for a person being preached to, often times a sinner, to accept the gospel, repent of his/her sin, and proclaim their faith/belief in Jesus Christ.
Evangelism is not about urging people, forcing them or subduing people to accept the gospel of Christ. It is simply reporting the good news of Christ to people in a loving manner and allowing them to decide for themselves if they want to accept the gospel and believe in it. The whole summary of the message of evangelism (i.e. the summary of the gospel being preached) is that God created all mankind but man has sinned against God. The Lord has sent Jesus Christ to die and pay the sacrifice for man’s sin because of God's love towards mankind. On the third day, Jesus Christ resurrected and conquered the power of sin.
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Who is an evangelist?
Christians whose main ministry is evangelism are referred to as evangelists. An evangelist is someone who shares good tidings. According to the Bible, in Ephesians 4:11, evangelists are annointed by God. The title of an evangelist was applied to Philip in Acts 21:8.
Philip went from one city to another preaching about Jesus Christ. So, judging from the ministry of Philip, an evangelist is someone who carries the gospel of Jesus Christ to cities and places where the gospel is previously unknown.
Evangelists do not have the authority of an apostle. They are not like pastors and are not particularly responsible over a group of Christians i.e. no pastoral role over a church. Some evangelists are regarded as church planters. They travel to a city, village or place where people don’t know about Christ or where there is no church and preach to the people residing there. They can do the preaching by going from house to house or calling for a crusade. After some days or week or month of evangelising, they can decide to start a church with the new converts if there is no church in the place already. They will look for someone to pastor the church or the church that sent them on the mission will send a pastor there.
In this modern day, evangelists also go from churches to churches on invitation to preach. But in summary, evangelists are not pastors over any church but the carriers of the message and testimony of Jesus Christ from one place to another.
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See video of Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke Crusades in Nigeria.