The Shofar Man's Newsletter Volume 8 - Part 5
Where are God's Equipping Evangelists?
IMPARTING THE REVELATION OF
EQUIPPING EVANGELIST IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
Ephesians 4:11, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;”
And he gave them to do all the work by themselves…uh uh. But I’ve got to ask myself…it does not say that, but how come most of the time it seems like they’re doing all the work by themselves?
He gave them the five gifts – he didn’t just give one, two, three…he gave five gifts to the church for the perfecting of the saints.
Who are the saints? We are the saints. He gave those five to teach us all so that we would go out and do the work of the ministry. The work of the ministry does not belong to the 5-fold ministry; the work of the 5-fold ministry is to teach all of the saints so they will go out and do the same things that Jesus did. Amen? That verse came up alive in my heart 18 years ago as a new baby Christian; I read that and something jumped within me, and it was like I’m that evangelist guy.
Here is what happened: As soon as God started to make that real in me, somebody in the church meaning well came to me and said, “Brother, here’s a check for a $1000 for when you buy your tent.”
I said, “What are you talking about?”
He said, “All evangelists buy tents.” And then he said, “And all evangelists break away from the local church and go out on their own.”
That is not God. But now Carla and I travel the world and in ninety nine percent of local churches – everywhere we go, I always ask the pastor, “Who is the evangelist in the house?”
I always get the answer that we are supporting one in Columbia…we are supporting one in Nigeria…we are supporting one in India.
I said, “I didn’t ask you that. Who is the evangelist in this house?”
They then say, “I guess we don’t have any.”
But the Word says he gave some to be apostles, and he gave some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists. If he gave them, they are in the house. I’m going to tell you tonight there’s an evangelist in the house, and it isn’t just me. And I’m going to tell you that there are some of you in the house who never even considered the thought that you could be God’s evangelist. Some of you have said…but I have a full time job…how can I be an evangelist…I have two businesses and I’m in full time ministry.
Just because you have a full time job, that does not exclude you from the 5-fold ministry. Man may try to, but the Word of God doesn’t exclude you. You can be a business man or woman working forty hours a week and still be an apostle, prophet, pastor, evangelist, or teacher.
You might say…but I’m not called to travel. Do you know what the first role of an evangelist is? It is in the local church...in the house. Let me give you a statistic that will shock you. Ninety seven percent of all born again Christians have never led a lost soul to Jesus. Let’s say there’s a 100 people in the house. Going by statistics, 97 in the house have never led a lost soul to Jesus. Why did Jesus come? …To seek and save that which is lost. What was His mission? …To seek and to save that which is lost. What is my mission when I get saved? …To seek and to save that which is lost.
One of the reasons, and I believe the biggest reason that ninety seven percent of Christians do not share their faith is because there is no evangelist in the local church. The evangelist is the bearer of good news. It is the evangelist’s role to teach the saints how to share the good news. When an apostle looks at the Word, he sees one thing. When a prophet looks at the Word, he sees something else. When a pastor looks at the Word, he sees something different than what I see as an evangelist. And the problem is the unction of the evangelist has not been in the house, therefore, you have not caught it. The church at large worldwide hasn’t caught it. This is just not in America today; this is a worldwide epidemic. Ninety seven percent of Christians everywhere do not share their faith. Ninety seven percent…
It is partly because ninety nine percent of the churches do not have evangelists in the house. How can we be expected to know how to share our faith if the missing anointing is not there to teach us how to share our faith?
I want to share a scripture with you, and it is found in II Corinthians 5:17. I want you to listen to this scripture in a way that maybe you’ve never seen it before. Now I’ve been told this by Christians who have been Christians 20, 30, and even 40 years. The first time they heard me share this scripture, some of those people said to me…in all these years of being a Christian, I have never understood this verse before until you explained it from the perspective of an evangelist. Get ahold of this verse…it’ll change your life.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Is anybody here today in Christ? That means you’re born again. That means Jesus is alive inside of you, so this is talking to you. Therefore if any man, woman, or child be in Christ, he is a new creature. I’m glad that I’m a new creature. I’m not that guy that I used to be. Aren’t you glad that you’re a new creature? Praise the Lord. God can change us!
Therefore if any man or any woman be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; the old Jim is gone. Behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God who hath reconciled us – to reconcile means to take something that was once one that has now been ripped apart, severed, and put it back together again. We have been reconciled unto God through Jesus Christ. We have been put back together with Him by what Jesus Christ did. We didn’t deserve it. We couldn’t earn it – God just did it. Why? It was love – because He loved us.
“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ,”
There’s a comma there; there’s no period. The sentence does not end there. When you get saved it is not the end of the story. It doesn’t stop there, but listen to what it says.
“And hath given unto us…” That’s the same us that said “us” before.
“And hath given unto us the ministry of reconciliation.”
Who does the ministry of reconciliation belong to? It belongs to us! When does it happen? After we go to college? After we’ve been to seminary for twenty years? When does it happen? The moment that you get saved, you get the total package. You’ve got the goods. He’s alive inside of you. The Lion of Judah wants to roar, but God’s people aren’t letting Him, and that’s what we’re here for today. He wants to release that roar. He wants to release that shout. He wants to break those religious demons that say it is not my job to share my faith. I can’t tell you how many Christians – five years, ten years, fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty…over the years have basically put themselves in the place of saying it is not my job…I pay the pastor to do that. Not according to this verse. This scripture says very very clearly that we are His ministers of reconciliation. The only qualification is to have been reconciled unto God.
So if you are saved today, you are His minister of reconciliation, that ministry belongs to you! Now let’s get down to verse 20:
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
We are His ambassadors. We are His representation on the earth. When we go to work, we are to represent Him. When we go shopping, we are to represent Him. When we’re out on the street, we are to represent Him. It is our job, duty, and obligation to represent Jesus everywhere we go because we are His ministers of reconciliation.
Do you see what I mean – how it opens up the Word differently when you hear it from a different gift? An apostle will bring this from a totally different perspective; a pastor will bring it from one; a teacher will bring it from another, but the anointing on the house evangelist is to motivate, to stir you up, and move you into action so you will go out and share the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ.
One of things that I want to challenge you today is to stop for a moment and just ask yourself a question: Could I be one of your evangelists Father? Father, could I be one of your evangelists?
Do you ever feel like you just want to shake the church – shake the people? Do you want to move beyond the walls of the church? That’s a gift. The problem is that gift has been either running away from the church – you see a lot of God’s evangelists have split. They’ve run or have been run out, and both are wrong. It’s wrong to run, and it’s wrong to be run out. Some of God’s evangelists are laughing right now. Some people laugh when it gets close. Pastor Sam needs an evangelist in the house, or two, or three, or four. Pastor Glenn needs an evangelist in the house, or two, or three, or four, or five. That’s because it’s that evangelist’s job to proclaim the Word, and bring the Word in the way that sets saints on fire so they will go out and do what Jesus has called us all to do. That is to tell people about the love of God and what Jesus has done for them.
Today the Father is saying, “Are you going to do your part? Are you going to rise to the occasion? Are you going to step up and quit running, and move the church?”
I see the new generation of apostles rising up. I see the new generation of prophets rising up. The pastors and teachers have been in the house for a long time, but I don’t hear anybody…nobody talking about the evangelist. I read in a book that the gift of the evangelist was restored back in the 50’s with great healing revivalists. I don’t agree. Here’s why I don’t agree. Let’s go back to Ephesians 4:11:
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ
For the perfecting of the saints…that’s Christians. Where are you going to find the Christians? …In the house. So if the evangelist is going to perfect the saints, the evangelist has got to be found where? …In the house. There’s a big problem – everywhere we go, ninety nine percent of the pastors tell me they do not have one. The truth is one hasn’t been recognized yet. Some of you are His evangelists.
Now, we’re not all evangelists. Get ahold of this now…we are all called to evangelize. We are all called to be ministers of reconciliation, but some are called as the gift or the office of evangelist to motivate and stir all of us so that we will go out and evangelize, or go out and be ministers of reconciliation. I’ve heard it said from many a pulpit that we are all evangelists. That is wrong. Some have been given to be an evangelist. So we’re all called to share our faith, but some of us are called to be the catalyst, the fire starter, the one that pushes us a little bit so that we will go out and all do the work of the ministry.
Part of the focus of the evangelist is to pray for that local church; to pray for that city; to touch the heart of God and devise a plan led by the Holy Ghost on how to move the saints in the action to reach a city. If the evangelist isn’t in the house, who is seeking the heart of God? Who is motivating the saints and equipping them so they will go out and share the good news? The pastor can try, but the pastor can’t do it all. We’re not equipped to do it all. The apostle can’t do it all. The prophet can’t do it all. We need all five gifts functioning as one flowing together so that we can be fully equipped to do everything that Jesus wants to do. The only one that can do it all is Jesus. Jesus had it all. He was the great apostle. He was the greatest evangelist and best pastor, and the best teacher. But when Jesus ascended, He poured himself out. He poured all of the anointing out to the church, and He gave it to us in five vessels. The only way we can have a fullness of it is to have all five vessels together working in unity, and then we’ll reach the world.
We need it all, but today I want to talk to you about the evangelist. That’s where my gift lies. That’s where my calling lies…to identify that gift…to extract it…to pull that gift out…to bring it to life.
One of the ways that God has shown me how the evangelist can help mobilize the saints, the body of Christ, is through using CD’s. I’m not going to talk about this alot because we’re going to cover this on another day, but each one of these CD’s have a different message specifically geared for lost people. It’s not a hard thing to take a CD and hand it to somebody and ask them to listen to it.
In the average church in America, only three percent of the people share their faith. By using CD’s as a tool and teaching our local congregations how to take these and give them to family, friends, neighbors, co-workers or whatever, we have mobilized the local church. Over fifty percent of the body in these churches is now out sharing the Gospel message. That’s what an evangelist does. An evangelist listens to God and comes up with a plan on how to reach a community with the Gospel, and then orchestrates that plan so that you and every other Christian are out there sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
So the evangelist has to seek God, pray, and then move in the direction God is saying to move the Body to be able to go out and share the good news in their everyday life. We are told here in Ephesians that the evangelist has a job to do perfecting the saints. That takes place where? …In the local church.
Now there’s another spot in scripture that talks about Philip. Philip to me – he’s the street guy. He’s that street evangelist. He’s the one who is out there, and I know quite a few of those, but I don’t know hardly any Ephesians evangelists. Most of the evangelists have said…I’m out of here, and they go out and do their thing. One of the mistakes we can make as a Philip type evangelist is trying to take someone who has never done anything when it comes to sharing their faith, putting a megaphone in their hand, and take them down on the street corner and stand them up on a milk crate. That is not what the Ephesians evangelist does. The Ephesians evangelist helps you to go from a place of fear in most cases, to a place of confidence and being able to share your faith.
When a Philip evangelist tries to do what the Ephesians evangelist does, he usually fails miserably, because he’s outspoken. He’s dynamic. He’s in your face, and the truth is, most people in the church don’t like Philip. Be honest. Philip makes you nervous, but the Ephesians evangelist has the wisdom of the Lord, and allows the Lord to move through him to move you, so you will go out and do the work of the ministry.
One of the other ways that I’ve been taught to do this is a very simple tool. This book is our newest project that just came out two weeks ago. On the back of it are 48 faces of people. These are all born again Christians. Their testimonies are in this book. It’s a tool used for the glory of God. One of the best tools that we’ve ever used is a book like this with faces of people just like you, and your story is on the inside where you can carry this around your community and hand it to somebody, and they can read what Jesus has done for you. You see, this is so easy; everybody can do it.
The last five days Carla and I have been traveling, and we’ve given away probably 120 copies of this book everywhere that we’ve gone. Not one person has rejected it. The Gospel message is laced between the stories in this book. When we give them this book, we give them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The rejection rate is almost non-existent. One of the reasons we don’t like to share our faith is because of rejection. But we’ve always got to remember when somebody says no, they’re not rejecting you. They’re rejecting Him. Your mission or your job is not to twist their arm and get them to say the sinner’s prayer. Your job is to be His witness, whether it’s a witness that gives someone a book, CD, or talks to a person. At the time that you are his witness, you have been successful. You can never fail at witnessing as long as you witness. Amen?
“And he gave some, apostles; prophets; evangelists…” Could you be one of those? Could you be one that God has called to stand alongside your pastor and help motivate the saints to share their faith in your church to reach your community? Could that be you?
…But I’ve never been to the seminary. I’ve got news for you – I’ve never been there either. …But I don’t have a degree. I don’t either. Do you know what and how I learned? I had the best teacher there ever was – He’s called the Holy Ghost. If you will study the Word, God will teach you what you need to know. He will fill your mouth. He will equip you, and He will train you. If God tells you to go to a school, then you need to go to a school. I had many people trying to push me to go do this and go do that, and God told me no. He said you stay out there; you keep doing what I tell you to do. Today, we’re doing things based on hands-on experience that all line up with God’s Word and lives are being touched and people are being changed. And Christians who have never shared their faith are starting to share their faith because the evangelist is alive and the evangelist is in the house.
We’re not going to drag this out because I believe God’s already got His evangelists’ attention. In Exodus 19:19 the scripture says:
“And when the voice of the trumpet (shofar) sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.”
God is still answering His people. My sheep hear My voice. That’s a promise. That means if you ask God a question, you should be ready to hear an answer because He talks to us. I want to do what they did in Exodus. I’m going to sound the shofar long and loud, and as I do, I want each of you to ask God this question:
Am I one of your evangelists, Lord?
But Brother Jim, I’m only ten. Age hasn’t got anything to do with it. …But I’m old brother! Age doesn’t have anything to do with it. …But that’s for the men. No it isn’t. Just ask Him and listen…
The question is: Am I one of your evangelists, Lord?
(Shofar blowing softly a long time along with piano music)
Matthew 4:17-18, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers of men.”
These were two men who had already met Jesus; they already knew Him. As born again Christians, we already know Him, but this is taking it to another level.
“And he saith unto them, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
And He’s saying unto some of you today, “Follow Me. Yes, I have called you as my evangelist. I have placed you in a local church to be part of the team. Yes. Follow Me and I, Jesus, will make you.”
You don’t have to know how to do it. All you have to do is say “yes”. Follow Me, and I will make you. I’ll do it through you if you follow Me, and I will make you a fisher of men.”
Some of you today, you’ve served Him; you’ve been part of a local church, but you’ve never answered the call as an evangelist. There’s something that’s burned in some of you for years. You’ve asked the question: What do I have to do to get the church to move? How do I shake things up around here? And you felt like you didn’t fit. Let me tell you something. I had to work harder at fitting in God’s structure as an evangelist than anything I’ve ever done in my life. Do you know why that is? The devil doesn’t want the fullness of the 5-fold ministry in the church. The devil doesn’t want the evangelist in the house. The evangelist can’t win the world for Jesus out there by himself! The evangelist has to energize the ninety seven percent so they will go out and they will reach the world for Jesus. It isn’t going to happen if the evangelist isn’t restored.
(Shofar playing long time)
Father, am I your evangelist? If you said yes, slip your hand up so I can see who you are. All of you who raised your hands; I want you to stand up and come up here so we can anoint you and pray for you.
You can see the video version of this message at this link : http://www.step-by-step.org/ephesianslinkpage.htm