Two Offices, Gifts to the Church: Evangelist and Pastor
Two offices given by God as a gift to the church are the evangelist and the pastor-teacher, as written by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:11. Scripture doesn’t say much about the evangelist. That office is mentioned only three times in the entire New Testament. The word itself should give the first clue as to this role in the church. It’s root understanding is someone who proclaims the good news. The good news is the gospel, which is the good news that someone can and should be saved. Salvation comes through Jesus Christ. The evangelist is about preaching the gospel so that people will be saved. It would be best if he was uniquely gifted to do this. We know that Philip in Acts 6 and 8 was an evangelist, so looking at what he did gives another clue for the evangelist. The root of the role is preaching the gospel, but this is someone who evangelizes with the idea that a church is duplicated somewhere else. A term used today for this role is missionary. The first pastor of a new church is probably an evangelist, who is starting this church. It may be a pastor, who is doing the work of the evangelist, like 1 Timothy 3 says a pastor must be able to do. Or it could be an evangelist doing the work of the pastor. The evangelist won’t necessarily stay long term, but the pastor will. It’s good if a church can get an evangelist and a pastor together for awhile, because both roles are very helpful to a church. They perfect the saints for the work of the ministry, which in a technical sense is to evangelize and make disciples, the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ.