What makes an evangelist?

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Wole Agbaje, director of the IMPRINT Church, London

Wole AgbajeWHAT makes an evangelist? I struggled with this question for a long time. It is often believed that an evangelist is someone with great charisma, eloquent language and biblical knowledge. For these reasons, we can often exclude ourselves from evangelization and sharing our faith with people. To be honest, I've met great evangelists who haven't met any of these “requirements”.

However, one characteristic that I have seen in all of them is the general intention to share stories and testimonies. and I used that too. We don't have to be the most eloquent: let's try to be the most authentic and tell our real stories about how God got into our situations and what He did.

I did an interview with BBC Radio some time ago and they asked me: What attracts so many young adults to your church? And I replied, "We have no specific strategy: the people in our church tell their friends what God has done in their lives, and that awakens their friends' interest in God." Society regards God as an imaginary creature; Therefore, there has to be additional intentionality to tell our stories about God at work – it reminds and educates society of God's reality.

My favorite biblical story is about the Samaritan woman. I love it because John 4 says at the end of the story that "a lot of Samaritans from this city believed in him because of the testimony of women – Jesus." It is phenomenal and all she did was tell her story about what Jesus did when she met him. And my question is: what did Jesus do for you?

I think if you can highlight what Jesus did for you, the next part is articulation. There are several ways to give a certificate, but choose a path that is authentic to you. My friends always call me a storyteller because I paint a vivid picture of the scenes and the event so they can really understand what happened. In our church we have an evangelistic production that tells the story and what God did and that we tell with creative means such as music, dance, poetry and image.

We think this is a great way to share Jesus because it is first of all contemporary and people can actively watch how a person's story brings God's salvation into their lives. Many people have seen the mercy and goodness of God in our showcases. I remember one person saying, "They didn't know God was so forgiving – especially for our darkest sins."

My encouragement to all who read this is to be real and honest. Regardless of how large or small your testimony is, it can set a person's journey of faith in motion. God bless.


The Reverend Dr. Stephen Hance, National Leader for Evangelism and Witness

The Reverend Dr. Stephen HanceI interviewed a priest from a town in the north who had been nominated for membership of the Archbishops' evangelical college and who said she did not know why her name had been proposed. "I'm not an evangelist," she said. "Tell me about your ministry," I said and she did.

I heard about an inner-city parish church in the liberal Catholic tradition that grew among non-church families and explored faith through toddler groups, baptisms, and confirmations, all inspired by the desire to help people get to know Jesus. "It's just a normal pastorate, isn't it?" said the priest. "I wish!" I have responded. "Welcome to college."

What makes an evangelist? It is not the ability to give an inspirational lecture from a platform, although I praise God for the service of J. John and others with this gift. It is not a thorough understanding of apologetics and the ability to discuss the basics of the gospel with others, although we need people who can. Rather, it is the special ability to go through the transition phase of their pilgrimage with others when they first consider themselves to be followers of Jesus and put their faith in him.

Of course, this can mean talking to the spectators in a stadium or arguing for the rational basis of believing in the debate with others. For others, however, this means that the ministry is really well done through an evangelistic lens so that people can come to believe in Christ. or talk to neighbors and friends and invite them to join the faith community. If there is someone in your church who always seems to have a friend or two at Christmas service or an alpha dinner, she is probably an evangelist.

Not all of us are, although I suspect there is more than we think. We are all called to be witnesses who are willing to say something about our faith and to tell what we have learned about God. Only a few of us are gifted as evangelists and they do not all show this gift in the same way.

However, they have some things in common. In addition to the gift or ability we have already talked about, they have a passion. It is a passion for God and a passion for people: more and more people would get to know the love and grace of God for themselves and experience the transformation that God brings about in us. This passion can sometimes make you a little impatient with others who don't fully share it.

You also have courage. Do not imagine that it is easy for the gifted evangelist to speak of Christ with gentleness and wisdom. It may be for some, but not for everyone. Rather, they draw from the gift of courage to do what is sometimes difficult and trust that God will do the rest.

My prayer is that God will raise more evangelists in our time and that we as the church know how to support, encourage and use them.

Caz Pinder, a student of M: Power, the diocese of Blackburn's city tour school

Caz PinderEVANGELISTS are ordinary Christian people who live everyday life, serve the Church and the Word of God, and show love and acceptance to others while speaking naturally about the scriptures about Jesus. I believe that there is a spiritual gift of connection and a great passion for sharing the gospel with unbelievers.

I love the word "leadership": if you split it up, you'll find "G (od) U" and "I dance". I see myself dancing with Jesus every day, and like every dance when I started, I only knew the basic steps and wanted to lead. It doesn't work when two people try to lead: the steps are everywhere and it feels so rigid. When you let go and let God guide you in dance, everything becomes one, the steps flow and you can express yourself freely.

To be an evangelist means to dance with God for others. If you are free and know the steps, you can express yourself authentically and transparently, be open and honest and connect with today's life in society.

I am new to evangelization and probably not your "normal" would-be evangelist. I have a funky hairstyle, lots of tattoos, and a few piercings. But hey! What a starter are the tattoos – especially those of Jesus – and most people want to know more. Talking about the tattoos has opened up several ways to reach people on the margins of society: praying with individuals, explaining the gospel story, and talking about how Jesus changed my life – and I just love it.

If we constantly pray for someone, we increase their chances of finding Jesus. I have been persistently praying for someone I happened to meet in a shop recently. This person stopped to say that they loved my tattoos and this was where the conversation started. We encountered each other again and again and through the strange "hello", friendliness, love and acceptance a trusting relationship developed to the point where we met several times for coffee. It may not be there yet, but it seeks and wants to find Jesus. She is considering coming to church, which is just wonderful. In these few small steps we see the spirit of evangelism – the gospel is beginning to come to life.

I am currently doing an M: Power training that has contributed to my transformation and self-confidence, along with the urge to be an evangelist. The course also taught skills in listening attentively to what someone is saying, which encourages a transition through the different levels to deeper honesty and openness. It becomes more natural for me to tell my own story of spiritual transformation and find the right opportunities to share the gospel.

To be an evangelist is God's love in action. and we are all responsible. "I will sing of your steadfast love forever, Lord. With my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations." God intends that we are all His evangelists wherever we are. In Godfrey Birtill's song "The Truth Is True," he tells us, "The gospel cannot be written on one side, so let it play, let it play." Amen.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt. Rev. Stephen Cottrell

The Rt. Rev. Stephen CottrellI have worked as an evangelist for almost ten years. I was a complete flop: I didn't convert anyone. But I had – if you understand my meaning – the great privilege of being a midwife with a number of safe deliveries. Let me explain what I mean.

God is the evangelist, not Saint Paul, not Saint Francis of Assisi, not John Wesley, not even J. John. The people we call “evangelists” are those with a special gift and calling to invite people to respond to the challenge and beauty of the gospel. They do this service in many different ways: it is just as likely to happen when chatting in front of the school gates as when they are having a large, open conversation.

When I was a pastor, Margaret was the best evangelist in the church. She believed in her seventies. As a new Christian, she was not told that we kept the faith to ourselves in the Church of England. She did the opposite: she told everyone, and through her testimony and testimony, many people in her network of friends and acquaintances came to believe.

God the Holy Spirit worked in Margaret. She did the work of an evangelist: people were drawn to Christ. The evangelist is therefore like a midwife who helps people understand what happens when they have a feeling for something that they cannot explain but that seems to grow within them. They tell them when to put pressure on them and make sure the conditions are there for that safe delivery that will be reborn into the new life of Christ.

But when it happens, it is a sacred secret. It is not something that we can create, force, or control. None of us can say that it's our job. As Paul put it (and I confuse my metaphors as I walk): "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave growth" (1 Corinthians 3: 6).

Like pregnancy, evangelism takes time. Just as you cannot speak about evangelists without speaking about God, you cannot have the service of an evangelist without an evangelizing church. We all have a role to play. We can all be witnesses of Christ; and in addition to the evangelist, there are a number of other people whose testimony and greeting services are an integral part of this process, in which individual men and women become disciples of Jesus.

Because that is our goal: not just people who were born again in Christ, but people who grew up in Christ and work for his kingdom of justice and peace. There is therefore also a service for teaching and catechesis and places of education – alpha and pilgrimage courses – where people can learn about the Christian faith and where the faith can grow.

But this piece of evangelism that comes to believe in Christ is always the mysteriously beautiful response of the human heart to the invitation of the gospel. It is a new creation in a new humanity and it is always the work of God. The evangelist shows the way.

The Church needs more evangelists. What a relief that the conversion itself is God's department, not ours. As a patient midwife, living guide and good companion, the evangelist profitably uses his best gifts of wit and creativity to tell the story of Christ and to invite people to an answer.

Pastor K. D. Joyce, Curate of Communication and Evangelism, Saint Philip & # 39; s in the Hills, Tucson, Arizona

It seems too simple to say that an evangelist's job is primarily to bring good news to others, but there is no other starting point. Being the bearer of good news is a necessary, if not a sufficient, part of any worthwhile job description for evangelists.

The problem naturally arises when we have to be specific. Even if we could agree on what type of news should be considered good and we often cannot, the question of the truth arises. The prophet Jeremiah viciously condemns those who would insist on bringing only the news that people are comfortable with and want to hear. "You carelessly treated my people's wound and said," Peace, peace "if there is no peace."

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger expressed the same feeling in more modern words when he wrote: “The word of truth can certainly be painful and uncomfortable. But it is the way to holiness, peace and inner freedom. A pastoral approach that really wants to help those affected must always be based on the truth. In the end, only the truth can be pastoral. "

This may be a pessimistic way to think about what makes an evangelist, but I think it is absolutely necessary. The message that an evangelist is called to share is generally not good news, but the specific, true, and generally good news of the coming government of Jesus of Nazareth, who has become and has been made flesh by God. Evangelists are called to preach this message relentlessly, knowing that it is indeed good news whether it is received as such or not.

God's will is the liberation of all creation from every chain of sin and death, oppression and bondage. From Abraham to Moses and David to the prophet Mary of Nazareth, God carried out the plan of salvation and used imperfect people to do it. God's final victory was assured in the incarnation, teaching, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ raised from the dead will never die again. Death has no rule over him – or over us. A fatal wound has been inflicted on death, and although it may claim us because of the resurrection of Christ, it cannot hold us.

As the body of Christ, freed from the rule of death and sin, we are called to do this work in the world. We proclaim the good news of Christ not only by teaching catechetical facts, but by working to end systems of exploitation and oppression that provide consolation to some at the expense of many. The way we act says more about our true theological beliefs than the words we could ever say.

So this is the work of an evangelist: to speak and live at all times as if we really believe that the world can and will be different than now and that death no longer has the last word.

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