Evangelism: Commanded and Empowered
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…
“Evangelism is not one of my spiritual gifts, so I focus on other ministries where I am gifted and called.”
Yes, I have heard this more than a time or two. At least the thrust of it, if not nearly the same wording. It stems from the idea that only certain Believers are fit to share the Good News of the Gospel, the ones that we call “Evangelists.”
While it is true that there are certain individuals that are gifted and referred to as “Evangelists” in the 4th Chapter of Ephesians, it is not true that they are the only Christians called to evangelize the lost. A closer look at the passage above yields the needed clarification.
And he gave…evangelists…to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.
Some Believers are “evangelists”, and they are given for the equipping of the saints… and/or for building up the body of Christ. Upon the “evangelists” rests the obligation and opportunity for equipping others and building up the body of Christ, but not the sole responsibility of evangelizing the lost world.
All believers are commanded (Mt. 28:19-20) and empowered (Acts 1:8) to proclaim the Gospel to a lost and dying world. There can be no “making disciples” of Christ without sharing His message. So, every Believer that is called to fulfill the Great Commission is called to evangelize. Every believer has the Holy Spirit, and it is the Holy Spirit which empowers a believer to be a witness for Jesus. Therefore, every believer is empowered, or able, to proclaim the Gospel.
You may not be an “evangelist,” as Ephesians 4 would define it. You may also find that you are gifted in different ways and called to serve in some other ministry. However, what you will not find from Scripture is that you are called away from evangelizing as a faithful and true Child of God! Every Christian is called to evangelism. Every Christian is empowered for evangelism!