by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Among the duties or roles within the church listed in Ephesians 4:11-12 is the work of the evangelist. The word is translated from a Greek word which referred to a person who brought joyous news of victory from the battlefront. When the same word is used in reference to what that person does, it is often translated "preaching the gospel" as in Romans 1:15. An evangelist, then, is a person who brings good news to the world.
The same work is also called preaching. Paul said he was eager to preach the gospel (evangelize) in Rome in Romans 1:15. In II Corinthians 1:19, Paul said that he, Silvanus, and Timothy had preached in Corinth. In I Timothy 2:7, Paul said he was appointed to be both an apostle and a preacher. The word translated "preacher" comes from the Greek word for a herald or a town-crier. Such a person delivered the messages and commands of the king. He was not the originator of the message, but merely its deliverer. Yet another word for the same work is ministry. "But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:1516). "To be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power." (Ephesians 3:6-7 NASB). This word comes from the Greek word for a servant. The same word can refer to a servant in a household, a deacon in the church, or a minister. It is the context which defines which English word should be used. A minister serves Christ and His church by teaching the word of God. The terms are used interchangeably. "Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God" (Colossians 1:25). Paul was made a minister in order to preach the word of God. "But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." (II Timothy 4:5). Timothy's ministry was to do the work of an evangelist. Many denominations distinguish between an evangelist, preacher, and minister. In their terms, an evangelist goes out to reach the lost souls, a preacher teaches from a pulpit, and a minister does service for the less fortunate. However, the Bible does not draw such a distinction. An evangelist is involved in the building up of members in the church (Ephesians 4:11-13). A preacher brings the good news to the lost (I Timothy 2:7; II Timothy 1:11). A minister also taught the lost (I Corinthians 3:5).
do the work of an evangelist. An evangelist is one of those placed by Christ to build up his people (Ephesians 4:11-13). However. "As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia. which give rise to mere
. For I am not ashamed of the gospel. Such guardianship will at times place the preacher in opposition to false teachers. persevere in these things. speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. it is the preacher's duty to ensure that the message is preserved accurately. "O Timothy. nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. Paul warned Timothy to keep his teaching accurate." (Titus 3:8). guard what has been entrusted to you." (I Corinthians 1:21)." (I Timothy 6:20-21).13). "This is a trustworthy statement. "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God. for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. exhorting them to do what is right (I Timothy 4:13. However. "But as for you. so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. give attention to the public reading of Scripture. avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge" -. Grace be with you. the treasure which has been entrusted to you. and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently. to exhortation and teaching. Hence. to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Such teaching is also a part of a congregation's worship (I Corinthians 14:26). it is a mistake to think that a preacher's duties only relate to those who are lost. Titus 2:15). These things are good and profitable for men. II Timothy 4:2. God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. God chose this seemingly foolish method to save mankind. What then is the work of an evangelist? A preacher is a herald. a preacher reaches out to the lost to guide them to the words which will save their souls. The word "pastor" is from the Greek word for someone who feeds sheep. for my part. fulfill your ministry." (Titus 2:1). "So.
Paul tells Timothy." (I Timothy 4:16)." (Romans 1:15-16). a preacher must teach Christians how to live in accordance with God's will (I Timothy 4:11." (I Timothy 4:13). "Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me. Guard. "Until I come. be sober in all things. proclaiming the good news of salvation. endure hardship. "Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching. Ephesians 4:1112 shows that a pastor is a distinct role from the evangelist. "But you." (II Timothy 1:13-14)." (II Timothy 4:5). Hence. Part of that teaching is the public declaration of God's will. Since the message does not originate with the preacher.You will also find the word "pastor" used in the denominational world to refer to men who essentially perform the work of a evangelist / preacher / minister. He gives encouragement to fellow Christians. for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines. Such is the duty of another group who are referred to as overseers (Acts 20:28) or elders (Acts 20:17).
When a preacher finds a person not living in accordance with God's commandments. Paul said. "YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING. my son. "Preach the word. to maintain these principles without bias. accurately
Obviously. "In pointing out these things to the brethren. but the preacher has been given authority by God to carry out his duties. The authority is not within the preacher. rebuke. but rather in speech. Preachers are also involved in rebuking elders who sin. a preacher comes from a position of authority. Let no one disregard you. After telling Timothy about the digression to come. faith and purity. that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you" (Titus 1:5). doing nothing in a spirit of partiality." and "The laborer is worthy of his wages. such duties requires a preacher to know God's word very well. No one. Timothy. the Bible records several other miscellaneous duties for the preacher. which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. "These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. "For this reason I left you in Crete." (I Timothy 1:34). with great patience and instruction. exhort." (Titus 2:15)." (I Timothy 4:12) A preacher is involved in the selection of elders in congregations and seeing that congregations are properly organized. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels. He is to set an example for others in how to follow the Gospel." (I Timothy 5:17-21).speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. be ready in season and out of season. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith. you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus. In carrying out these duties. that the rest also may fear. constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. conduct. love. Preachers are to maintain the accuracy in following the truth. that by them you fight the good fight." (II Timothy 4:2). reprove. especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. including the overseers of congregations. "This command I entrust to you." (I Timothy 1:18-19). While a preacher's primary duty is heralding the word of Truth. "The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor." (I Timothy 4:6). is exempted from this and preachers are charged with seeing that such faithfulness is maintained. "This testimony is true. in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you. show yourself an example of those who believe. "Let no one look down on your youthfulness. "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all." (Titus 1:13-14). not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth." Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. For the Scripture says. keeping faith and a good conscience. it is his duty to rebuke them.
such as Titus appointing (or ordaining) elders (Titus 1:5). 2:14-15).handling the word of truth. By centralizing the training. In our society. the question remains. However. this is not the way it was originally done. A preacher is treated no differently than any other member. just as they have the right to accept or reject any member. commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (II Timothy 2:2). However.
. the true church’s only headquarters is in heaven. Timothy’s knowledge of the Scriptures came from his training in early childhood (II Timothy 1:5. does it take the designation of another man to make a fellow a preacher? The apparent answer is “no. However.” No one is mentioned in the New Testament as being selected for the role. with decentralized training no one preacher can impact the teaching in the majority of churches. Galatians 1:6-10). He then traveled extensively with Paul and other preachers (Acts 16:1-3). Support for a preacher comes from the local congregation (I Corinthians 9). except that his living is gained from the support given to him by those he teaches. that congregation has the right to accept or reject a man as a preacher. Besides Paul.) Since ministers generally serve a local congregation. 18:15). “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses. Denominations use ordination papers to state that a man is approved by the denomination to preach their doctrine. If a congregation feels a preacher is not doing his duty in upholding the gospel." (II Timothy 2:15). many preachers attend formal schools to learn the word of God in depth. the devil’s work is made easier. (This is in contrast to elders and deacons who were appointed to their duties. Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23) and it is Christ who has authorized or appointed the duty of an evangelist (Ephesians 4:11). Timothy spent a good bit of time in the company of Silas (Acts 17:14-15.
The idea of ordination is to choose or appoint a man for an office. they can withdraw both their fellowship and support (II John 9-11. Still. we learn that preachers are responsible for the training of other preachers. Hence. Soon Timothy was being sent to various congregations by Paul either in the company of another preacher or alone. All that is need is to corrupt a few teachers in the school and false doctrine is rapidly spread throughout the brotherhood. The idea of going to a school to learn how to preach is actually fraught with danger.