Are Evangelists a Dying Breed?

There was once a generation of pastors who would have evangelists come in and preach evangelistic meetings. These meetings were focused on clearly communicating the gospel in order that unbelievers who would the truth and give their lives to Christ. These meetings were called revivals or crusades. Many pastors of days gone by were more evangelists than pastors or teachers because their messages were strictly gospel messages. They didn’t explain the Scriptures or veer into other subjects other than the basic gospel message. Ephesians 4 clearly states that the gift of the evangelist and the gift of the pastor and teacher are separate gifts. I have never proclaimed to have the gift of an evangelist, therefore I know that I need preachers to speak the clear gospel to our group at Overcomers. I love to teach and disciple, but there are those who have the anointing of God upon them to preach a clear gospel message and people will be saved.

With the passing of Billy Graham and the decreased number of churches that want to be “relevant”, we are seeing many churches ignore the gift of the evangelist. Many have this gift, but pastors will not invite them because it is not considered “cool”. If you think even on a surface level about this, how many people are truly coming to Christ in our churches? Very few! One of the reasons is that the gospel of Christ has become so watered down that no one would realize the real thing if it slapped them in the face. Too many preachers are giving out self-help and self-esteem pep rallies and few are letting people know that the only way to God is through Jesus Christ. You don’t have to be hateful to preach truth. People still need it. On the broad scale, the lack of truth-telling is seen in the workplace, the home, and everywhere imaginable. We tiptoe through the tulips rather than telling people what they need to hear.

With that said, I do not see evangelists to be a dying breed. What I do see is the lack of desire among many pastors and churches to acknowledge that gift and see true conversions in their churches. They are hurting not only themselves but many who could hear the truth and come to Christ for salvation.

If you are a pastor reading this, I challenge you to reconsider the gift of the evangelist. If you are attend a local faith community and you are not hearing how to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, drive as far as you have to in order to hear this and how to grow in that relationship. You can tune in to Oprah for a pep talk. Jesus is your only answer when it comes to a right standing with God.

16 thoughts on “Are Evangelists a Dying Breed?

  1. You are right on, Matthew. Not only do pastors have a problem with a clear Gospel message, they are afraid of what anyone who takes their pulpit would say once they have the Mike. Many have been burned by supposed men of God before, Many have seen evangelists fall left and right. It is sad that people who call themselves evangelists cannot live a separated life!

    I consider myself an evangelists, but I do teaching along with presenting the Gospel. As you said, there are few around anymore who only deliver the Gospel as Billy Graham did. We need true evangelists to rise up and take the call.

    Good and timely post

  2. Great distinction re Ephesians 4. Many times we forget about the role of the evangelist. Since I am of an “older generation”, when I was growing up in church, once a year we had an evangelist in for 5+ days. Every message was a pure message to come to Jesus and be saved.

    It seems to have disappeared. I am thinking some Baptist churches still have Pastors who more Evangelist than not. My guess is though that most churches today really have Pastors and Teachers.

    Is it time to go back to the “crusade concept” once or twice a year in our churches?

    1. We are planning a series of services in late August before everyone starts worshiping Clemson football. These will focus on evangelism due to the reality of how many lost people pack church seats on a weekly basis. This will be in conjunction with area churches also with an emphasis to unite churches of various ethnicities.

      1. I’ll pray that too! I believe there are hundreds, thousands of people who believe they are Christian but aren’t really saved. I grew up Catholic…I didn’t know anything about a relationship with Jesus. I was away from the Catholic Church for over 7 years before I got saved and was born again. I was 48 years old…lived my whole life “thinking and proclaiming” to be a Christian…it’s scary. But God is good, All the time. His grace is sufficient…and He patiently waited for me to cry out to Him…and then, like a Mighty Eagle He swooped down in that pit I had dug and rescued me! Praise God!

      2. Me too. I’m in a Non-Denominational church now and pray my Catholic family/friends come to know the truth as well. It’s hard to have discussions about salvation with Catholics…I just try to plant those seeds of truth in His Word and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

      3. I am nondenominational also after a long stint in a very conservative denomination. I found that many within the previous denomination did not see my calling as still valid following my divorce. My core beliefs have not changed, but the trappings are now gone. I am enjoying true freedom in Christ now while maintaining God’s true (not manmade) standards of holiness.

  3. Spot on! My mom is always telling me this! Haha you sounded just like her for a moment there. We need to hear the truth as you said and not just a pep talk. Thanks for sharing! Oh and we need to be bold when it comes to sharing our faith and stop being fearful of man 😦

  4. I am thinking today the evangelist goes more into the world with the message than the church. I see this even in the groups that go into our schools teaching the gospel, and camps for kids and teens, even Vacation Bible Schools.

  5. I saw this post and I was thinking the same thing. When most think of evangelism they think screaming,shouting, and speaking in tongues or that may just be my southern roots. I go to a baptist church and once a year we hold a week long revival with our community churches, each church is a host from year to year and each preacher from each church preaching on a different night. The last time I attended, i believe i was one of the youngest there, at the age of 34. A lot of problems today is that we are missing our youth in church and they do get frightened by some of the evangelistic ways, i know the first time i ever experienced a true revival i was quite intimidated. As a kid i used to see signs advertising revivals on every corner, now you don’t see that much anymore. I guess we need to put that old time religion back into our souls and start coming together as communities mre and offering more to our youth to keep the evangelism alive.

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