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#43912 Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:09 AM
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"evangelist" (Ephesians 4:11)

This is what I am trying to grasp. Is our understanding of evangelists as mentioned in Ephesians as a gift of one being called faulty? We tend to separate the evangelist and the discipler, but I wonder if the greek describes a closer relationship between the two in Ephesians 4:11 ("some as evangelists")?

I just see evangelism without discipleship being mostly a lost proposition. It has very good intentions, but the end result is often making 'immature' Christians at best.


John Chaney

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Originally Posted by John_C
"evangelist" (Ephesians 4:11)

This is what I am trying to grasp. Is our understanding of evangelists as mentioned in Ephesians as a gift of one being called faulty? We tend to separate the evangelist and the discipler, but I wonder if the greek describes a closer relationship between the two in Ephesians 4:11 ("some as evangelists")?

I just see evangelism without discipleship being mostly a lost proposition. It has very good intentions, but the end result is often making 'immature' Christians at best.
1. The Greek word euaggelistas itself isn't going to offer much in answer to your question. In other words, the word simply means, "preacher of the gospel, evangelist". The word also appears in regard to Phillip, an ordained deacon (Acts 21:8) and Timothy who served as delegate with the Apostles and eventually it seems pastored a church (2Tim 4:5). In both cases, these men were recognized as having the "gift" of Evangelist. This is the emphasis of the Ephesians passage, i.e., "gifts" given and not upon "office".

2. I believe to understand what an Evangelist is or does, you need to look elsewhere in Scripture. Here's a brief summary of what I think is relevant:
a. Matt 28:19: The "Great Commission" issued by Christ emphasizes the "making of disciples" and "teaching them all that I commanded you". Thus, these men weren't simply to go around the country handing out Gospel tracts, so-called and holding Revival Meetings. There was definite instruction to be given by way of teaching after conversion.

b. Eph 4:12: The purpose of Christ giving the gifts enumerated in v. 11 was for the "the perfecting of the saints unto the work of ministry, unto the building up of the body of Christ:". Again, it is clear that Evangelists were to be teachers of the Word with the end that the Church should grow in grace (knowledge of God and conformity to the image of Christ, aka: sanctification).

c. We also can reference examples found in Scripture of those who were doing the 'work' of an Evangelist, e.g., Apollos (Acts 18:24-26), Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:2,18,19,26), Timothy 2Tim 4:1-5, Phillip (Acts 8:4,40. From these passages we can see that the Evangelists didn't have the authority of an Apostle nor the charge to serve a permanent congregation/church, but rather they were itinerant preaches of the Word. Their message was not simply what modern definitions would confine it to, i.e., an 'evangelistic Gospel message'. But rather it often included a defense of the faith and the teaching of the Scriptures regarding the Christian life, aka: discipling. Doubtless, their believing hearers were directed to a local church or in some cases, the Apostles would come and form a church appointing Elders to shepherd these new converts. (Titus 1:5)

Whatcha think? grin


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As this is the first item I noticed, then sign on to be part of: want to say thank you for being part of what I was "spured" by to get to this site. My question was in the area of "today" and "end time" and "now" for "A christian". Not too big, but with multiple denomination church etc, my wanting to know is where are we "the believer" going and How are we going to become "one" body?


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Very solid! Just because I am new today, to this site, and I am 3 years old in a 70 year old body after a medical problem, I wanted to get back into the WEB and christianity and found this site. So here I am. My thought was how does the "today" church get back into what I believe the bible says about being "one body"? If you look at todays "church" around the world?


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Welcome to this board. Hopefully, you will gain much from it.

I'll address one part of your question mostly. That is 'one body'. Of course, all Christians will spend eternity with God in Heaven.

You ask,
Quote
How are we going to become "one" body?

The body refers to the church, and the Bible teaches us that Jesus is the head of the church. So, it is through Jesus Christ whereby we can become one (in unity), not through the merging of the various denominations. The Reformed has a doctrine called the Visible / Invisible church that may help. The visible church is made up of all people who are visible within a church who make an outward profession of Christ. Including in this grouping are believers and unbelievers. Therefore they may be or not be one body. The invisible church are the true believers of Christ who actually possess Christ and they belong to the one true church (one body). So, no one denomination represents the 'true' church.

I'm sure there are others who can explain that better.


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Pilgrim,

Thanks for your complete take on it. I hear of young men when ask what are their gift or calling. And, they answer 'evangelism'; however in not all cases are they gifted in teaching. This may be too simplistic of a statement, but anyone who has some training should be able to teach a straight-forward passage by just going verse by verse. Instead of KISSing a passage, some make it way too complicated and confusing.


John Chaney

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John,
Evangelism and discipliship go hand in hand and were never meant to be separated.As you correctly noted, it often happens and leads to immature christians.Sadly,you see this in all churches especially where the pastor/leaders are not committed to helping new christians grow.
If you would like to see how evangelism and discipleship work in todays world look up The Navigators.Dawson Trotman founded this organization on one man working with another man until he was able to disciple.He developed many practical tools to help with memorizing scripture and bible study.
I was fortunate years ago when I became a christian, to have a Navigator in my church.I will always remember how he taught me about "quiet time and scripture memory".He always said that if you win someone to Christ and abandon them it is like a parent leaving a newborn on the steps of a church.
Many pastors preach about the "Great Commission" but they fail to tell their flock that the job doesn't end with getting that person into the family of God.It is an ongoing process just as nuturing a child would be.


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I went through several Navigator discipleship classes when I first became a Christian as well. It really grounds you in the Word and taking responsibility in your spiritual growth.

I went through the Design of Discleship courses and the Colossians 2:7 course.


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I agree absolutely with what Pilgrim has written. I'd just like to make the point that the pastor, the teacher and the evangelist need not always be the same person. 'I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase' (1Cor 3:6 ).

I suppose that I am a sort of evangelist in that I'm an itinerant preacher at some of the little evangelical churches in my part of the world that can't afford their own minister, or I cover for a minister who's away sick or on holiday. It's a bit of a hit-and-run operation; I turn up and preach and then I'm gone for six months or so. If someone is convicted or (please God) converted by my preaching, it will fall to the church officers to counsel, disciple and teach him.

Steve

Last edited by grace2U; Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:46 PM.

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