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How An Evangelist Can Compromise, And Grieve The Holy Spirit (Part 1)

30 May 2013 9 Comments

the evangelistIn this blog I am going to talk about evangelists.

An evangelist is someone who is gifted by God to spread or proclaim the gospel.

Someone without the gift of evangelism who spreads and proclaims the gospel is an evangeliser, not an evangelist.

So what’s ‘the gospel’?

The gospel, as Jesus used this phrase in Mark 16:15 (Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel), is a message which can be communicated either verbally or in writing.

The message explains to non-Christians:

  1. Why we must be saved.
  2. How Jesus can save us.
  3. What we must do to be saved.
  4. The cost of being a disciple.

If this content has not been covered, ‘the gospel’ has not been proclaimed.

Now, this is where it gets interesting.

There are three types of evangelist and only one of them is not compromising their God given job description which is found in Ephesians 4:11-14

THREE TYPES OF EVANGELISTS

equipping evangelists(1) The “equipping” evangelists: These evangelists are working at the ground level doing the hard yards motivating and equipping people how to spread or proclaim the gospel.

Usually, they work for a pittance, live in shacks, drive old worn out cars, and are generally viewed by the general Church as being of little value.

There are many reasons for this, and they are all explained in my book.

To download a free digital copy of my book, please email me: julian@esisite.com

(2) “Stage” evangelists: Billy Graham and Reinhard Bonnke are examples of this type of evangelist.  Stage evangelists fare much better than the “equipping” evangelists and are typically well supported and sought after.

This is mainly because they do the evangelism for the Church, and place no demands on the Church to do the evangelism.

(3) The “do it myself” evangelists: This third type of evangelist are those who just “do” personal evangelism.

Their focus is not on mobilising others or doing stage evangelism.

They just faithfully chip away day after day reaching people with the gospel.

They go about their work, hardly noticed by anyone in the Church.

What are we to make of these three types of evangelists?

According to Ephesians 4:11-15, if an evangelist is not mobilising othersdo not grieve the Holy Spirit to proclaim or spread the gospel, they are not operating in the fullness of their God-given job description.

The truth is, they are compromising it.

As such, they are grieving the Holy Spirit.

The consequences? There are five.

  1. The Church suffers (because it is missing a vital piece of the jig saw for growing a healthy church)
  2. the Glory of God suffers (for Jesus is most glorified when all of His bride is actively doing the priority of His will and presenting the gospel to a lost person is the most potent way to glorify Jesus)
  3. the evangelist suffers (because the fullness of God’s blessing are reserved for those who are walking in the fullness of His will)
  4. the person in the pew without the gift of evangelism suffers (for Jesus taught that there is a vital connection between ‘doing’ evangelism and vital spiritual health: see Mark 8:35)
  5. and non-Christians suffer (because the chance of them hearing the gospel is dramatically reduced when all but the gifted evangelists are doing evangelism)

For these five reasons, I am, therefore, charging all evangelists to return to their God-given job description.

This doesn’t mean stage evangelists and do-it-yourself evangelists will stop doing what they are doing.

It just means that if they are not already motivating and equipping the average layman to proclaim or spread the gospel as part of their ministry, they ought to start, and start immediately.

Furthermore, stage evangelists and equipping evangelists ought to be doing evangelism personally, otherwise they will have no authority or experience to teach others.

The few “equipping evangelists” who are already walking in their job description must be funded and backed with prayer.

DOING THE MATHS:

crucialCalling evangelists back to their Ephesians 4 job description is crucial if we want to see a resurgence of the Great Commission.

We must focus on mobilising the whole Church to evangelise the world.

It is the quickest and most efficient way of completing the The Great Commission.

It’s God’s “A” plan for getting the job done.

By evangelising the world I mean that every person on the earth gets to hear and understand the gospel message at least once.

God wants the mission completed (Matthew 24:14 says “This gospel must first be preached in all the nations, and then the end shall come.”)

“The End” is a reference to the Second Coming.

Jesus wants to receive His bride (i.e The Church), but He won’t until and unless His world has been evangelised.

How feasible / realistic is it to evangelise the world?

Well, let’s says NZ has a population of 5 million, and 5% are genuine believers i.e. 250,000.

If each believer were to share the gospel only once a week, we could evangelise NZ in a blistering 20 weeks.

You might be tempted to say “What difference to NZ would that make?”  CLICK HERE to find out how Jesus would answer.

His teaching on this is literally stunning.

NoCompromise 2 copyToday, sadly,  if a pastor opened his doors to an evangelist,  he could no longer be sure the evangelist would equip his people to spread or proclaim the gospel.

Today’s evangelists are under enormous pressure to compromise their God-given job description and the vast majority have succumbed.

Instead of equipping people how to proclaim or spread the gospel they have instead turned to teaching people how to build friendships with the un-churched, how to be a person of influence, how to give a testimony, how to invite people to church, how to attract people to church etc..the list is endless.

Not that these any of these skills / behaviours in and of themselves is wrong.

Clearly they are not.

They are all to be encouraged.

So what’s the problem with evangelists deviating from their God given job description in this way? I’ll answer this question in my next blog.

The problem is much bigger than you might think.  In fact, it’s having a much greater negative effect on the Church than you’d think.

Until then, keep going into the world and spreading or proclaiming the gospel :)

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  • Alan Woods says:

    Ouch! this could be painful.

  • Bruce McIntyre says:

    I recieved a email from revival.com Andrew Stroms site. I have added it to this message. It is hard hitting but Ido agree with it to a large degree.
    Despite the thousands in our megachurches today, soaking up the
    warm entertainment offered to them every week, I want to put it to
    you that we have lost Christianity. Despite the Christian books
    now found in every Walmart, and the “crossover” of Christian artists
    into the mainstream, and our Christian mega-stores and CD´s and
    DVD´s and Study-Bibles, I want to put it to you that we have lost
    Christianity.

    Despite our lavish Cathedrals in the suburbs (`Charismatic or not)
    with their pastel hues and comfortable pews, their projector screens
    and $30,000 sound systems, I want to put it to you that we have
    utterly lost Christianity.

    We left it behind somewhere when we shifted our churches from
    the inner city into the “comfortable” suburbs. We left it behind when
    we stopped welcoming the bums off the street into our meetings
    and started welcoming only the “respectable” people. We left it
    behind when we stopped preaching “take up your cross” and
    turned the gospel into a success formula – `Seven Steps to your
    Best Life Now.´

    Somewhere in our comfortable suburban streetscape with its
    manicured lawns we lost the real thing. Somehow in our concern
    for “property values” and a better `dental plan´ we left it behind.
    But that is not the worst part of it. The worst part is that we don´t
    know how to get it back again. Or perhaps we don´t really WANT
    to get it back again. The cost simply doesn´t bear thinking about,
    does it? And so, as we drive around in our nice shiny cars with
    our groovy plastic toys, and attend “church” as we know it twice
    a week for 2 hours;- As we live a life that is about as unlike
    Jesus as you can get, a life of comfort and coddling undreamt
    of by billions around the world;- a lifestyle in the top 10% of the
    earth today (-in debt up to our eyeballs all the while) – the fact
    is that we don´t really CARE that we have lost original Christianity,
    do we? We are too busy, man. Don´t bother us with that kind of talk.

    It will all be OK, the preacher tells us. We will all make it to heaven
    in the end. We are all “decent” people here. We have “prayed the
    little prayer”. We have `given our heart to the Lord´.

    But what is this? What is that thundering voice I hear? “DEPART
    FROM ME.” `But LORD… But LORD….´

    “I said – `DEPART FROM ME´. Don´t call me Lord. You never truly
    lived like I was your Lord and you know it. For I was hungry and
    you gave me no food; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink; I
    was a stranger and you did not take me in; naked, and you did
    not clothe me; sick and in prison, and you did not visit me….”

    What is the essence of true Christianity that we have lost, my
    friends? It is simply described by James as follows- “Pure religion
    and undefiled is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their
    affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (Ja 1:27).
    It is time for the Church to realise that we are not here to receive from the Lord to satisfy our own position or to be entertained or to go to Church on a Sunday and sing songs of praise to Jesus or even go to Bible studies during the week. These are all good things, but not what we are called to.
    It is time for the people of God to stand up and be counted as His Disciples and go and make disciples of the nations.
    I am reading a book at the moment called “LIVING THE INVESTED LIFE”
    It was written by Joel Rosenburg and I E Koshy, I would encourage all those who are serious about being about the commision that Jesus gave us, that is to go and make disciples. Not pew warmers or one day worshipers or especially entertainment seekers, but those who are prepared to take up thier cross and follow Jesus in the same steps and life style that He revealed to us.
    Our cross is not a place of comfort or respite but a place of but a place of death and commitment to dieing to self. But it is also a place of ressurection life, but we must die before we can live in that ressurection life. This life has been attained for us through the death and ressurection of our Lord and King, but our cross will take us to a spiritual maturity that will enable us to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • Julian Batchelor says:

    Wow! Sobering thoughts Bruce. And very very convicting…and true.

  • Julian Batchelor says:

    Hi Alan, yep, it’s the great challenge we evangelists face. It’s tough work under current conditions, but none the less, it’s what Jesus has called us to. Bless you my friend in Australia!

  • john cromarty says:

    its true that it is easier to go and reach the lost then motivate the
    church to reach the lost. it is true that it is easier to do it yourself then to motivate and equip the church to do it.
    plse give me a ring julian asap 0211712194 or 03 2162121, its time for an equiping seminar down here in southland.

  • Philip Giles says:

    Id like to express my gratitude to all bloggers on this site who have sharpened my focus on what really matters in our very brief lives down here.

    I have been involved in K rd and Queen St Evangelism for over 20 years now and like many of you who have suffered fainting fits in ministry, it was so refreshing to meet up with genuine loving believers .

    I attended an all day seminar with Julian in the Gate way church and I saw with my own eyes Gods people deeply moved and greatly convicted about lost souls and the lack of concern to warn them to flee from the wrath to come.

    I’m devouring Julian’s Evangelism book and loving the way he keeps the focus on the real power that comes from one source only. The incorruptible, indestructable seed of the Gospel.

    Sometimes it doesn’t even pay to take notice of all the modern Churches who place more faith in marketing strategies and entertaining attractions than in the only ordained means by which God promises to build his church.

    He Soveriegnly has his chosen people in places we never dreamed of and all because his word will not return void or empty. So for the faithful people scattering that precious seed every day and believing for a harvest of souls in heaven, the real gift wanting is the gift of spiritual encouragement.

    Let the knockers and scoffers and mockers come, so long as we continue to join hands and defy Satan even to his front door, the gates of hell, for he doesnt even own his house keys. The keys of hell and death hang upon our Lords girdle. Revelation 1:18.

    It’s so much easier to pull down than to build up, to see the problem and not be an answer. To discourage and fail to encourage. To become the prodigals elder brother and never experience a prodigal penitence. Romans 10:15

    How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things! Philip Giles

  • Alan Woods says:

    This challenging post did not evoke the number of resonses I thought it would.

    Am I to conclude that evreyone is “doing it” and felt no need to respond or are there no evangelists left?

    Perhaps the church is just rock hard against evangelists and everyone has just given up.

    John has offered a reality response, anyone else?

  • Julian Batchelor says:

    Hi Phil, you have been a great encouragement to me…an angel from heaven! Bless you my friend

  • Julian Batchelor says:

    Hi Alan, John Stott called this ‘a guilty silence’

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