That’s right. The Lord God, when building His Church, gave to it not only apostles and prophets, but evangelists. These are gifted people who have been burdened and blessed with a desire to evangelize lost souls and strengthen weary churches. In the era of the church-age in which we now live, we have come to consider the gifted person known as an evangelist as one who ministers in church after church, preaching revival to saints and the urgency of salvation to those who are not yet born again. It has become known, in our day, as a calling, a vocation if you will. The work of an evangelist, which missionary-evangelist Paul of Tarsus encouraged Pastor Timothy to do, complimented the work of the pastor who is the gifted under shepherd of the flock of God called to feed and lead the local assembly.
I have loved evangelists from my earliest days. Maybe it was infatuation with the office, usually held by a powerful personality whose preaching commanded the attention of six-year-old boys and sixty-year-old men. Maybe it was admiration for the ability of one to stir the saints to prayer, surrender and holy living. Maybe it was the tug of God’s Spirit at a young, tender heart to cultivate a love for God’s man who was sold out to preach God’s Word wherever and to whomever the opportunity would present itself. That love for the evangelist has never left this preacher’s heart in the 70 years since it was birthed there. I have loved them, been honored to serve alongside of them and at one time very early in my Christian walk with God felt like the Lord was leading me to join their ranks. I admire a God-called evangelist immensely and some of my life-long friends are evangelists. Glen Schunk, at one time a house-hold name in independent Baptist homes, was holding special meetings in my home church in Ottumwa, Iowa, in the fall of 1961, and it was in that meeting that I surrendered to full-time ministry.
To be sure, I have never known an evangelist that did not have some inexplicable, inimitable idiosyncrasies, but that just made you love them all the more. They were extroverts yet often withdrawn. They exuded self-confidence yet up close would show a marked insecurity. They were called of God and gifted by His Spirit and such a man would leave any church that had an ear to hear stronger in faith and busier in works than what he had found it. God bless you who are such and know that pastors love you, pray for you, thank God for you and beg the Captain of our Salvation that your tribe will increase!
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ…And he gave some, apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” (Eph. 4:7,11).