Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Unlike Apostolic and Prophetic, which are taboo words in my heritage, evangelist is on the other extreme. It has been used as an umbrella to cover the other functions, and no doubt, as a verb to brow beat people into inviting people to church or doing one on one Bible Studies. Even as I think about what to write about this function, I am flooded with overlapping concepts and ideas, blurring into a discombobulated blob of ideas.
This word though is a power packed word and is actually a key function in the body. In fact, this function is low maintenance in that it does not need special circumstances to operate. The evangelist is one who loves to share with people what God has done. They may do this through witnessing, inviting, or prayer. Either way, they are oriented towards helping people transition into the Kingdom. When you tell them about an opportunity to help someone learn, experience or become exposed to God, it ignites a passion in them.
Do not confuse this function with a sales rep at a store though. It is not personality specific. It is much broader than the extroverted personality. The evangelist is the one who, by virtue of their interactions with people, penetrates their relational network with the aroma and message of the Good News. So it is not a cookie cutter style or presentation. It is a life lived so the message will have a crack at some one's life.
I love the web site www.offthemap.org It basically says that evangelism is doable, so don't package it as an elephant.
So what does evangelism look like? Here is a brief and limited example. Every Sunday, me, my wife, and two other kids along with their mom go to a skate park here in Clarksville and skate the ramps and concrete waves. What are we doing? We are skating. Is this evangelism? Some would say we are skipping church. I say we are bringing the church to where life happens! I am meeting some of the parents, kids and skater dudes. My goal in being there is to have fun skating and build relationships with people. This is doable. I am not trying to get them into a building. I am not trying to coerce them into talking about God. I am building relationships in public and praying intensely in private.
The apostle orchestrates communities of the message, the prophet critiques with the message, the evangelist shares that message to those in darkness. What a vital and critical function in the community of Christ!
My guess is that there are a lot of evangelists out there who do not know it. Laying dormant or operating in 007 mode. Let's ask the Lord of the Harvest to raise up workers for the harvest.
Posted by Tim Catchim at 4:47 PM