EVANGELIST – ON THE ROAD AGAIN
By Danny Green
Many evangelists and pastors who believe the Scriptures to be the inspired Word of God and who are concerned about serving Jesus Christ as fruitfully as possible seem to have a strange blind spot when it comes to serving Him through organization and administration.
Some go as far as to decry planning, organization, and management as dependence upon the arm of the flesh, while others see it as a wearisome task. It may be called the sagging weight they must carry as the cross the minister must bear. Dozens call management a waste of time while others see it as a necessary evil. Many resent the time that it requires which keeps them from doing the “real work” of the ministry.
Yet, throughout the New Testament, it is proven that managerial ability is a crucial qualification for the selection of an effective overseer. Paul said a minister cannot properly carry out the work of an overseer without this ability. Certainly the evangelist is an overseer of the church of the living God.
To think of organization and administration as dependence upon fleshly means is foreign to the precepts of the Bible. Management may degenerate into fleshly dependence on worldly ways and means, but this does not have to become a necessary con sequence. One of the most disgusting and unchristian ways of dishonoring God is by the careless, sloppy and confused manner in which some try to carry on His work.
In this chapter, we shall turn our attention to some of the data that must be organized and managed in order to effectively conduct revival.
There is a time when all good things must come to an end; nevertheless, the blessed hope lies in the fact that they cease not to happen again. So it is with the evangelist and his mission; he goes from town to town, church to church, from good to not so good conditions.
Above the fact that God has called and allowed you to be a keeper of his trust and to preach, teach, and live the spiritual aspects of life, there are several things you must consider. Some evangelists feel that their ministry (not God’s) is so flamboyant that pastors are waiting in line for them to come and exhort their assembly. Do not be sadly mistaken. The pastor of a church, regardless of its size, has or ought to have a schedule of prospective events by which to pattern his days. In such a schedule, time is allotted for revival meetings.
It is very important to both pastor and evangelist that they reach a clear understanding of a specific time or date in which a revival meeting is to begin. It has been proven time and time again that a local church reaches a condition in which the opportunity is right for the evangelist to come and a great revival to transpire, and yet, because of the evangelist’s schedule, he hangs up the telephone, pleased that people were waiting on him. “I just cannot come right now. Call me later. After all, I am a very busy evangelist. I cannot jump when every pastor calls.”
Had he been sensitive enough to know, the Spirit was willing but the flesh was weak. God wanted to perform a miracle in that community, but the evangelist’s ego trip is causing him to leave the spiritual and enter the carnal.
Never forget, Evangelist, God called us to reach every nation with Bible salvation. If you have obligated yourself to be at a certain city on a designated day, be there. Do not be a “No Show.” Do your very best not to forfeit that engagement. You may or may not realize that the pastor has purchased a news paper article, attained spots on the local radio station, posted leaflets and fliers throughout the community. He is expecting you to be there.
It also must be considered from another view point, however, that some pastors are simply not overly organized or schedule minded. You have set a time to be with his church. So you phone him on Sunday prior to starting on Wednesday, and you hear the words, “I must have overlooked it because we are having something special this week. I’ll have to cancel.” The key word to solving all these problems is organization. It is very important to organize your schedule, your time, and your finance.
Organizing Your Schedule
In organizing your schedule, the first priority must be to examine the places you have obligated yourself to be. Due to the high rate of travel expense, it will be greatly beneficial to set exact dates and work accordingly. At times, schedules are broken and the evangelist must adjust. If you are not careful, you can begin to crisscross back and forth across the nation until you meet yourself coming and going.
I saw a cartoon recently about the former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. On one side of the page was an airplane with Mr. Kissinger aboard waving. Across the page was another airplane traveling in the opposite direction with the same Mr. Kissinger waving back at himself. It is easy for the evangelist to catch himself doing the same thing. The problem is that the expense will be on you. Your income will not change just because you spent extra money to go back and forth.
The evangelist can also work his schedule, if he so desires, so it will be convenient to attend his home district during camp meetings, conferences, and other special meetings. The General Conference and its location can also be considered. For example, if the General Conference is to be in the midwest, it would be better to schedule meetings in this area during this time.
Depending on the type of travel equipment the evangelist has, such as a travel trailer or an auto mobile, adequate time must be allowed for travel from city to city. There are too many evangelist who rush in at the last moment to set up and be ready for the first night. Give yourself plenty of time to get there. It will be better on your nerves and especially the pastor’s. Many times a pastor has started service the first night of revival and the evangelist was not yet there.
There must be within the schedule a time for maintenance and repair. The more equipment, the more time must be considered. You can never predict when something will go wrong.
The road aspects are basic for each individual to consider. Our purpose is revival. Every mile traveled, every new tire, and every gallon of gasoline—are all for the cause of evangelism. Our purpose and our goal is to save souls. Please keep your schedule; it will help fulfill our mission.
Organizing Your Time
The organization of an evangelist’s time is very important; it may determine his or her success or failure. Good habits of utilizing time wisely have always been the backbone of success.
We have often mistaken what the successful evangelist is. The tendency has been to say; “The larger the church and the nicer the automobile, the more success ful he is.” This is not necessarily so. Grant it, the man in such a position must be doing something right to attain such recognition and opportunity. However, the man who never reaches this plateau has no excuse for not attaining success. Success is the time-conscious person; every moment becomes valuable to his or her spiritual and physical existence.
It has been stated and repeated many times that success is not based on ability but attitude and desire. For this to be true, priorities must be set up and kept. The organization of time is a very important factor in the evangelist’s devotion. You will not find a successful man, either in business or in the ministry, who wastes time.
I remember an old antique clock my father has. Printed on the face of that clock are the words, “Time is Money.” Every time I look at that old clock, I realize each moment is valuable.
Once a minute is past, it shall never come again. Ask yourself, “Did I use that minute to its fullest potential?” God did not call a man to waste time with continual self-centered pleasure, but to uplift His kingdom. There are great moments of relaxation and enjoyment, but not at the expense of the will of God. Never forget that organized time and success walk hand in hand.
Organizing Your Finances
Evangelizing is more than just packing your suit case and loading the car; you must consider your finances. The old saying in show business is, “Keep those cards and letters coming in.” Your mailbox will be full, not so much with cards and letters, but bills, bills, and more bills. It begins with dry cleaning and fast foods to new clothing and gasoline (Oh yes, the gasoline lest we forget!). And the endless list travels on.
It is easy to become discouraged with these problems. Organization can help eliminate this discouragement.
To organize simply means to arrange your business in an orderly way. First, there must be some priorities set which you intend to follow. These priorities must always be kept in the right prospective.
To organize your finance, it is a must to maintain detailed financial records. We recommend you keep a weekly report on all your transactions (income and expenses). Included in your weekly report should be ministerial and non-ministerial income, all expenses such as food, gasoline, propane and such which have a tax deduction. These must be in order and there must be some type of proof (receipts, statements, etc.) to sup port each report. These type records will prove themselves beneficial in two areas: for self gratification and satisfaction and for the securing of loans and other financial transactions such as filing income taxes. They will give each individual a sense of security about his livelihood and provide a sound financial basis for business purposes.
It is highly advisable for any evangelist, especially one fresh on the field, not to allow himself to become overcharged with an expensive lifestyle in which he may purchase more than he can afford. Limit yourself to a budget. You never know when an emergency will arise and extra cash will be needed. Due to the fact that the United Pentecostal Church does not have a financial program for the evangelist to work under, he must always consider the fact that he does not know what his income will be.
Budgeting your finances accordingly will definitely be helpful.
It is firmly believed that God will provide for His children; not one has been, or will ever be neglected. However, God gave us intelligence to put together some of the loose ends of our lives concerning finance
It is easy to notice others who have attained more than ourselves There may be two reasons for this (1) either they have progressed to churches that pay higher salaries for an evangelist, or (2) they are efficient budgeters and have stretched their dollars sufficiently. We should never allow ourselves to be over taken with spirits of envy or jealously towards others whom God has blessed It is up to each individual to press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus
For the Evangelist
Consider your attitude toward organization. Is it:
Rate your abilities and performance with reference to:
GOOD POOR INADEQUATE
Leadership Responsibility ______ ______ ________
Planning ______ ______ ________
Organization ______ ______ ________
Success ______ ______ ________
Example ______ ______ ________