How Your Church Can Grow by Conversion
To reach people for Christ, we have to change our perspective…on one very important issue.
Have you ever read Acts 2:47? It says “the Lord added to their church daily those who were being saved.” In fact, all throughout Acts, it was the Lord who added to the Church. He grows His Church. And He has provided the means by which this was done during the New Testament, as well as today. Yes, the Lord can add daily new believers to your church! He wants to, and I’m about to show you how He does it.
Let’s take a quiz. Read the passage from Ephesians 4 below and find the 5 kinds of people the Lord gave to the Church. Then find out why He gave them to the Church.
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Do you see it? Jesus gave 5 different kinds of people to the Church to build it–to make it grow. There’s difference of opinion regarding the apostles and prophets and their roles today, but the scope of this blog post is on the last three anyway: evangelists, pastors, and teachers. (Some scholars put “pastors” and “teachers” together. Either way works for my point.)
Our perspective, generally speaking, on the necessary roles of leadership for the local church is to have a pastor. And rightly so. Then we add another pastor. And then another. The New Testament definition for the word pastor is one who shepherds, cares for, and nurtures the flock. In most pastoral roles today, this person is also the lead teacher. The pastor instructs, directs, and leads the flock. Some pastors are called senior pastors. They cast the vision and provide the necessary steps to fulfill that vision by leading the staff of other pastors.
The role of the pastor and/or teacher is vital to the growth of the local church. But I have one question: where are the evangelists today? The Ephesians passage said Jesus gave evangelists, too. In fact, it is listed before the pastors and teachers. (Often in Greek, a list of items indicates priority.) Where are they? Surely, they are still necessary for the Church today! And, in fact, they are.
Perhaps the problem lies with our perspective on what we believe are effective roles of church leadership to make the local church grow. There are lots of great books on the shelves about church growth. Many knowledgable men have formed fantastic strategies to increase the number of worshippers in our churches.
But one thing seems missing: the evangelist. Obviously, evangelists are quite important to Christ. After all, He Himself gave some to be…evangelists…for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
And what do evangelists do? They are persons specially gifted by the Holy Spirit to effectively spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. And how do evangelists equip the saints for the work of ministry? They do this by training other believers to effectively share the gospel, too. When this is done, the Church is edified, unified, and perfect.
Where are the evangelists? We are here. The Church needs evangelists just as much as pastors. Evangelists must rise up, stir up the gift God gave you, and bring others along with you to teach them. The Body of Christ is not completely edified without the work of evangelists.
What are your thoughts regarding evangelists in the New Testament and today? Post a comment!