By Keith Clark
Let us begin this wonderful journey across the written page with this statement: Since God has called you to be an evangelist, you have been chosen to do a great work in this last hour.
In Ephesians 4:11, the Apostle Paul, in listing the five-fold ministry, named a unique calling when he wrote the title, the evangelist. Its uniqueness is not that it is a greater ministry than the other four, for they are all equal, but that it is such a far reaching ministry. The effect that the evangelist has had and will have in the future on the work of God is astounding. The evangelist not only touches the lives of untold thousands of sinners and exerts a positive force in the lives of many saints, but he also helps motivate the pastor in his quest to reach his city for Christ. One can readily see why it is so important for an evangelist to have a deep, personal relationship with the Lord.
The work of an evangelist in one year alone is in estimable in eternal results when you think of his travels. If he preaches an average of fifteen revivals a year in churches with an attendance of two hundred each, he has touched the lives of three thousand people that year. In five years of his ministry, fifteen thou sand people may be drawn closer to the Lord. But this is possible only when the evangelist walks with God. I realize the numbers may be low considering that some evangelists preach to many thousands of people in one year in conventions, camp meetings, youth camps and overseas campaigns. Oh, the great need for evangelists who can hear from the Lord!
In discussing a man’s walk with God, three things come to the forefront: prayer, fasting, and knowledge of God’s Word. Let us see why these three things are so important in the life of an evangelist.
Let’s Build A Pipeline
If God is the source and resource of all pure spiritual energy (and He is) and man is the working machinery that God uses to perform earthly tasks, then prayer has to be the pipeline that moves that energy to the place of need. Prayer not only helps an evangelist personally, but it also enables him to infuse into a church the faith, conviction and a desire for the things of God.
Going from my hometown of Texas City, Texas, is a gas pipeline that travels all the way to New York. It makes its journey through all kinds of terrain to reach its destination. So it is with an evangelist as he builds a pipeline of prayer and revival. He will encounter many kinds of spiritual terrain and attitudes.
No two churches or revivals are alike. That is why you must be prayerful; you will need to discern the present need when entering a church for revival.
Some churches may be in a valley and need a pipeline flowing with faith, while others may be hard rock and need deep conviction preaching to break open the stony hearts. If you are a man of prayer, you will have the Word of Christ for that revival, but if you do not pray, you will continually stumble and grope for the next, move to make.
Prayer should be the number one priority in your day. Generally, I find if I will arise and go to the church and pray for about an hour or so, I can be in the right frame of mind for the day. If I have prayed early, then I can take care of the daily tasks that have to be done. Then in the afternoon I like to return for a season of burdened prayer and Bible study to get me ready for the evening service. Some feel they have to pray so many hours every day or they have not pleased God. Prayer is not spiritual calisthenics, but it is communion with Jesus. Personally, I enjoy praying often and for long periods of time, but I have found it is not how much I pray, but how I pray.
In this first section on prayer, I am not dealing with the mechanics of prayer as much as I am with the need to pray, but how I pray.
In this first section on prayer, I am not dealing with the mechanics of prayer as much as I am with the need to pray. However, these things should always be in your prayer: (1) praise and worship of the Lord; (2) that you will have the mind of Christ for the service; (3) that God will prepare the hearts of saints and sinners; and (4) for the pastor to be blessed and filled with desire for a great revival. I recommend that you obtain a1 hour prayer card from the Home Missions Division of the United Pentecostal Church. It will give in more detail the ways a man can have fulfillment in prayer.
Evangelist, nothing, absolutely nothing, can take the place of praying in the Spirit. Some men depend on personality, oratory, or the faith of the saints to bring victory in a service, but eventually this type of dependency will tell in your life. Never let prayer be something you do just to get God’s blessings, but let it be a part of your life.
An evangelist friend of mine related to me an experience he had that taught him a lesson in walking with God. In the first week of a revival he was preaching, many souls received the Holy Ghost, but in the second week nothing happened. In agonizing prayer he asked God what went wrong. The Lord told him as long as he had to preach every night he would earnestly pray, but when nights came he forgot prayer and went off and had a good time. God wants us to relax and have a time of rest, but prayer to him is not a toiling experience but a fellowship.
A Fine-Tuned Investment
One of the most disheartening things that can happen to a preacher is to see a service or revival come to a close without God having done the full work He desired to do. It leaves us with such an empty feeling.
There are many hindrances that Satan can use to block God’s complete will. I realize we as evangelists do not like to take the responsibility for a miscue in a service, for sometimes it isn’t our fault. But the burden of a service does lie heavily upon us. We must be in tune with God to be ready to overcome every obstacle Satan might employ.
Fasting is an effective weapon in our arsenal, but we must use it. There are a number of reasons why a person might fast, but the basic one a spiritual state of mind that we can hear from God.
In Ezra 8:21-23, we have scribe Ezra leading God’s people, from Babylon. They carried some valuable possessions to Jerusalem for worship in the Temple. There were enemies that wanted to keep Ezra from completing his journey to the Temple. He called a three fast and for prayer that the people might hear from God concerning the right way to go to Jerusalem. God heard their prayer and showed them the way to go up to the house of God.
When an evangelist fasts, he gets in the where he can hear from God concerning the right key that will unlock the door for revival. Remember there is a key for every service and every revival, but will have to be a finely tuned instrument in God’s hand to find it.
An evangelist often has a problem of finding for extended fasting. He cannot always take length of days due to the fact his paycheck – coming in when he quits preaching. Some evangelists are able to fast and preach at the same time, I have found that fasting on the rest days or taking a week every once in awhile and fasting is best for me, good to fast before revival if possible. Then you can give all your strength to preaching and working in the altars. Fast often and you will be amazed at wonderful things the Lord will do!
The Powerful Word
There is nothing that can get things moving quicker in a revival service than a mightily anointed message from God’s Word. You can sing and try every possible means to stir things up and nothing happens, but get in that pulpit and preach God’s Word and watch demons flee, saints come to their feet, and sinners to their knees. To have a powerful ministry, you not only have to fast and pray, but you must also be filled with God’s Word. To be filled with God’s Word takes time and effort. I know of a great preacher who has had one of his personal Bibles rebound three times because he has read and memorized and used it so much.
Evangelists, tell all the true stories you want. They have a part in your message, but preach the Word! You should set aside every day a time for Bible reading for personal needs and for new messages. Memorize verses of Scripture and quote them, and you see the tremendous effects they will have on your preaching.
A well-rounded evangelist will use everything available to bring to fruitage a powerful ministry. Along with a knowledge and use of the Word, he will obtain a good comprehension of modern events around our world and weave them into your message to make it even more relevant to our generation. Ask the pastor if you could read some of the books in his library that have made an impact on his life. Don’t be a lazy evangelist. Use this most precious time of your ministry to grow in every area of your life.
If an evangelist will truly walk with the Lord, he not only does positive things for God’s kingdom, but he destroys the works of demons. Satan and demons fear an evangelist who can hear from God.
I know of an evangelist who went into a restaurant one night following a great service and came face to face with demon powers. This evangelist was sitting with the pastor and his wife when two men walked in and seated themselves a few tables away. While the evangelist and pastor talked, one of these men began calling to the evangelist. The preacher ignored the man, for God had already told him that the man was possessed and what devils held him bound. Finally, after the man called four times out loud, the evangelist asked him what he wanted. By this time that part of the restaurant was quiet, the people wondering what was about to happen. The man spoke out, “You’re a preacher, aren’t you?” The evangelist acknowledged it. The man continued, “You’re not just any preacher. You’re an evangelist called of God to preach the end time and to herald the coming of Jesus Christ.” He continued, I know who you are.
After a few more words, the evangelist asked the man how he knew him. The man pointed to his own eyes and declared, Oh, I’ve never seen you with these eyes, but I have seen you with my other eyes. I know who you are.
Evangelist, walk in the fear of God and devils will walk in the fear of your God-given ministry.