In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather round them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NIV)
Have you been wondering if God is calling you to be an evangelist? Perhaps you have even undertaken some preaching engagements or given Christian talks. Through these you have tested the gifts God has given you and now you want to take the next step.
The verses above were directed at Timothy (a young Christian) and Paul wants him to recognise that the calling of an evangelist carries with it certain responsibilities to:
- preach the word – what most people think is the main job of an evangelist, however Paul adds –
- be prepared in season and out of season – this seems to hint at the immediacy of evangelism. Sharing the good news at every opportunity, not just in formal preaching situations;
- correct – explaining the truth of the gospel and correcting any misinterpretation of Scripture. To do this the evangelist needs to know the Bible thoroughly;
- rebuke – requires courage and tact as people (even in church) don’t take rebuke easily;
- encourage – developing others is a great privilege, so use praise to develop those around you.
This is all to be done with
- patience – as people progress in their understanding at different rates, so the evangelist requires patience in dealing with people;
- careful instruction – sharing God’s Word requires significant time for preparation, so be prepared for study.
Paul also encourages Timothy to ‘endure hardship’. If you are ready to take on all the other aspects of the role of an evangelist, are you prepared for hardship?
Having seen what God is calling you to do, are you now ready to take the next step towards the role of evangelist?
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