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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Do The Work Of An Evangelist

The "gate" of entry to the forums at contains this challenge and reminder to those of us who so freely chatter online. It's a great reminder that all we do must lead to doing the work of an evangelist.

How are we doing?

As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.-2 Timothy 4.5

The great revival of the 5th-9th centuries which exploded out of Ireland across Wales, Scotland, the Low Countries, southern France, and most of the rest of Europe was borne on the preaching of the peregrinati pro cristo. Celtic missionary-monks took up the mantle of martyrdom and went in every direction, by the thousands, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, calling pagans to faith and backslidden believers to repentance and renewal. Traveling sometimes alone, sometimes in groups of 2-12, they established bases near major political and economic centers and made
it their business to embody and declare the Gospel to everyone who would listen. Many of them paid dearly for their commitment, as the term, “red martyrdom” implies.

Have today’s pastors lost that cutting edge of evangelism? Can we say of those who lead our churches today that they are renowned by their congregations for their commitment to going among the lost in their communities, by every means and in every season, to fulfill their ministries by doing the work of evangelists? Churches today have generally adopted a “come/see” mindset toward their communities, rather than the “go/tell” posture that Jesus commands.

Is this because pastors have left off the work of seeking the lost, of penetrating the darkness of their unbelieving communities with the light of the Gospel of Christ? Certainly the people will go no further than the pastors, and if today’s evangelical Christians are known more in name than in demonstration, it can only be because they are following the lead of their shepherds.

How can pastors recover the work of being an evangelist? What would it take for pastors to discover their own peregrinatio and let that be as important a part of fulfilling their ministries as are their teaching, preaching, counseling, and leading of worship? Your thoughts, responses, and suggestions will make up this month’s conversation around the Fireside.