NT Tuesday: Doing the Work of an Evangelist 
Last week we considered the topic of evangelism and, specifically, in relation to evangelism in a New Testament assembly. In my post, I suggested strongly that Jesus Christ’s command to “make disciples of all nations” was made primarily to individuals rather than to the Body. I’d like to substantiate that assertion, as well as, discuss the roll that the corporate Body plays in evangelism.
First, the Bible verses that charge us to share the Word of God are directed to the individual Christian. I don’t recall (but if you do, please share some verses) where the assembly corporately was instructed to “reach the lost.” (I think we need to hit the “refresh” button and double check ourselves on a number of verses. In many cases, I think the individual believer is being addressed and given various responsibilities and obligations, but we have abdicated the individual’s responsibilities to the corporate Body. There are various and sundry ways in which that has manifested itself. Lord willing, I will be addressing some of those areas in future posts.)
One of the Bible verses that I didn’t mention last week, but which proves my point here is found in 2 Timothy 4:5. Paul exhorts Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” Timothy’s gift wasn’t that of an evangelist, but he is being exhorted to do the work of one. Why, you might ask? Because Paul recognized that each and every believer had the responsibility to share the gospel with the lost.
The second reason for my suggestion is that the spiritual gifts were given to individual believers to be used within the Body to train/equip other believers to do the work of ministry. Individual believers are being equipped to do the work – not the church, not the “pastor”, not the elders, but each and every believer is being equipped to do the work of ministry. And certainly, part of that work, is sharing the Good News with those who are lost and headed toward an eternity in Hell.
Here’s where the assembly comes into play. Every member of the Body has a spiritual gift that is meant to be used for equipping all the other members of the Body so that they can do the work that Jesus Christ gifted them to do. In other words, all the believers gathered together unto the name of Jesus Christ in your local fellowship has a responsibility to work together to equip one another to do the work of an evangelist (and other needed ministries).
Additionally, the believers within the assembly can encourage one another (daily) to do the work of an evangelist, to collectively meet the obligation to share the Gospel, even to provide funds to support those that are more active in the work. However, the responsibility remains with the individual. No individual can accurately complain that the “assembly” does not have a heart for the lost, or the assembly doesn’t reach out enough. We are individually responsible and we can’t abdicate that individual responsibility to the corporate body. If we call ourselves New Testament Christians, we must accept the responsibilities placed upon us individually. We so readily accept the corporate responsibilities, but we must also accept the individual ones.
Let’s encourage one another to be more vigilant as the days are short, we must redeem the time and fulfill our ministry.
Photo credit: Chris Buggins, used with permission.