A PLEA FOR THE CASE OF EVANGELISTS
BY HARLAN S. MORGAN
The evangelist and his family traveled several hundred miles to get to the revival. He drove a three-quarter ton pickup and pulled a twenty-six foot travel trailer, averaging seven miles per gallon of fuel. The family spent approximately one hundred fifty dollars on fuel alone driving to the revival and back home. Meals and other necessities added up to nearly sissy dollars. Tithes, of course, were immediately paid In the amount of thirty-five dollars, and they needed to hold out at least fifty-two dollars and fifty cents for Uncle Sam.
The family’s total expenses just to get to the revival and back home totaled $297.50. Anybody can see what a great profit margin the family had that week. The evangelist smiled with satisfaction as he thought of the $52.50 he would be able to hold back for hard times.
But wait, he still had to pay a truck and trailer note, utilities, maintenance on vehicles, doctor bills, insurance, credit cards (that they had to live on during slow times), offerings, and countless other things which demanded their finances.
After traveling on the full-time evangelistic circuit, I can assure you the above scenario is more than a story…too often, it is reality for an evangelist. I certainly am not complaining, I would not trade one moment of our evangelizing days for any other experience. I am grateful to every pastor who opened his pulpit to me and gave me opportunity to minister to his church; however, now that we are serving in a different capacity of ministry, I felt a need to plead the case of evangelists.
FINANCES: According to our experience and after taut” to other evangelists, it can be safely said that finances are an evangelists
greatest stress factor and the greatest struggle “faces.
As can be dearly seen in the previous illustration, $300 – $350 per week will barely pay travel expenses, tithes, and taxes. This
amount will hardly begin to touch any other monthly obligations the evangelist family may have.
Recently, a study was made and a report given by the Louisiana District of the United Pentecostal Church. In the report, the
committee, which was comprised of pastors and evangelists, recommended a minimum payment of $600 per week for an evangelist. I wholeheartedly agree with this proposal. When you subtract tithes and taxes, you have a “take home pay” of approximately $450. Subtract from this fuel expense and upkeep on a truck and trailer, an evangelist may by able to get by. (Remember, evangelists have no retirement, no paid vacation, and no group insurance.)
I have preached in many small churches and home mission churches. Many times, these churches took as good or better care of us financially than some of the larger churches. They were able to do this because they prepared themselves financially for a revival.
There are slow times in the ministry of an evangelist camp meetings and Christmas. Many pastors are very generous and take an
evangelist out to eat or give him an offering at a camp meeting or conference. Some pastors will have an evangelist preach his regular services during the Christmas season and pay him like it was a revival. These are very commendable things.
It is good for us to remember evangelists during these times. Consider taking an evangelist on your heart and send him a special
offering during camps or the Christmas season.
PRIVACY: An evangelist and his family need their privacy as much as any other normal family. Many times, the evangelist’s trailer is his only home. Pastors and saints need to remember this and respect it as such.
When my wife and I evangelized, often on our days off, I would tell the pastor not to worry about us, and we would spend those two days by ourselves, enjoying the attractions in the area. This proved to be very helpful, giving the pastor and we a little breathing room.
Some pastors expect an evangelist to run with him all day and be at his best for the evening service. A pastor should respect the evangelist’s need of time for prayer and study. Allow the evangelist and his family some privacy during their stay in your town.
A PLACE TO STAY: Some evangelists do not pull a travel trailer with them. If you invite an evangelist who has no trailer, adequate facilities should provided for the evangelist and his family.
Do not just throw them into a roach-infested spare Sunday School room that has no shower or toilet. Give you, evangelist living quarters that you would be willing to stay in permanently. We may think, “That’s good enough for anybody for a week.” Remember, an evangelist may only stay in your evangelist quarters for one week, but he will be in an evangelist quarters somewhere nearly every week. Make sure his living conditions are adequate and comfortable while he is with you.
If a pastor is supposed to meet the evangelist at the church upon his arrival, the pastor should be prompt. The church should make sure adequate hook-ups are available for the evangelist’s trailer. Many of the larger trailers require a fifty amp electrical service while the smaller trailers generally require a thirty-amp service. Also, a water faucet and sewer drain should be available for the trailer.
AN EVANGELIST IS NOT A SECOND-RATE PREACHER: “And be 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.” Ephesians 4:11-12.
An evangelist is as much of a God-called man as a pastor. Some pastors would like to limit the evangelist to preach only to sinners. According to the above scripture, the office of the evangelist is for the perfecting of the saints. An evangelist who is not allowed to help perfect the saints is not allowed to perform his Biblically appointed duty.
We must remember, this is God’s church–not ours! “. .It pleased Cod by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” I
Corinithians 1:21. Pastor, take the chains off your pulpit, and allow the evangelist to preach as God directs him.
An old cliche’ states, “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” Many have the conception that evangelists only
sleep late, preach, and eat fried chicken. There are many stress factors and costs to being an evangelist.
I have great confidence in our pastors. I am certain if they are aware of the plight of evangelists, evangelists will be given more
consideration. The purpose of this article is simply to make people aware of the position of an evangelist.
Rev. and Mrs. Harlan S. Morgan traveled for nearly two and one-half years on the full-time evangelistic circuit. Bro. Morgan currently serves as Assistant Pastor and Director of Youth at First United Pentecostal Church of DeQuincy, Louisiana, where Rev. T.D. Cardwell is pastor.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE LOUISIANA CHALLENGER, AUGUST 1999, PAGES 2, 8.
THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY