THE EVANGELIST – WHILE YOU ARE THERE
By Scott Carley
Of all the men in history, Jesus Christ was not one to be wasteful. He was very interested in bringing out the best of an individual and pressing him to be more than just average.
Mediocrity is a poor trait in the ministry. I share the prayer of my peers: “Anyone can be ordinary, God. I want to be more!” I am assuming that you share this deep conviction. We must give ourselves and press to ward a greater effectiveness.
DO ALL YOU CAN
The evangelist of today is taking on a new desire. We are discovering that our ministry must be more than mere sermonizing. If we expect to leave a church in better condition spiritually and structurally, we must produce something lasting and concrete. Our entire ministry must become available to the needs at hand.
Much money and time has been invested to train you for the work in God’s kingdom. Messages are great and we need them all, but is all that we have to offer God’s church just a few dozen sermons honed down to a fine edge?
Surely there are other areas in which we have training and experience that can be used to help God’s church. In Matthew 25:15, Jesus spoke of talents. He was not bashful about the fact that the man who used all that he had was blessed with abundance, but he who failed to use what he was given, that which he had was taken from him.
You are untapped potential! You have more to offer than you have given! There are areas you have not touched that you are qualified in. These things could be a great help to that pastor and congregation to maintain continual growth. Jesus is saying, “Do all you can.”
WHAT DOES MY MINISTRY 1AVE TO OFFER?
This is a good question that deserves an honest answer. You owe it to yourself to make an in-depth study and come to a positive conclusion. It is very possible that you are more valuable than you have given yourself credit! Some areas of your life that were successful in the past could avail themselves now in your travels. Look back over the steps that brought you to an active, full time ministry. Make a list of the areas you were involved in and what you helped to get started on a local basis. Most needs nation-wide will not vary from the needs in your home church. Help a church by offering your area of evangelism and not include so many other areas of the local ministry:
1. General Evangelism
2. Youth Evangelism
3. Bus Ministry
4. Outreach and Follow-Up
5. Special Ministry
1. General Evangelism. This, of course, is such a broad term that it covers a wide array of possibilities. Faith is transferable, and you are the one leading the revival effort. If the saints arrive on Sunday night to see a banner on the side walls and one across the front pushing for souls and revival, they are affected. When your voice is heard over a local radio station, pushing the revival campaign that you are leading, it breeds faith. When you organize some people to be specially trained in altar work as you make your altar call, you have done some real good! What are we saying? You are demonstrating to that pastor and congregation your desire to help them experience revival and growth.
Now remember, you were asked to lead a revival campaign. The pastor needs you to do just that. He may have exhausted his ideas. You must initiate these things because you are the revivalist! With the pastor, lead the congregation to revival!
2 .Youth Evangelism. Every concerned pastor has his eye on the youth. Getting that bunch involved in church is something be has interest in. However, many pastors are out of touch with their youth. They do not understand them. They have forgotten the needs that young people have. But there is so much potential with youth work. So here again, you are the key!
Youth have a need for something that is theirs, so why not devote Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of one week to a Youth Crusade? Do it i.rp right! Special songs and trios for the youth are a must. Get them together for youth prayer meetings. Have them print up‘- some fliers and put them on cars at the football game. Plan a street meeting. Get the youth excited about living for God. Let them know they are a vital part of the church. They have 50 to offer. Make friends with the youth and give them a contact with the adult world. if you will be their friend, they will follow your example and do what you ask them to do! But you have to lead.
3. Bus Ministry. Bus ministry is an important ministry to the neglected of our cities. For those who have no means of transportation to and from church, it is a lifesaver, it touches the homes of many adults and children with the gospel light.
Right now there is a lull in bus work, but in time that will change. it can be an effective part of a church’s outreach; it lets the community realize that “the gospel is preached to the poor.”
It takes a lot of motivation and excitement to keep a bus route active. You can be such a help here. Any promotion you are acquainted with can be introduced by a new voice with a greater in excitement and love for those kids are the keys to bus work. You could initiate a home Bible study program into each bus student’s home. The sky is the limit!
4. Outreach and Follow-UP’. As we survey the needs and 05 in the church, we cannot help but see the need for follow-up, a badly neglected area of supreme importance. Here we are in revival. Our prospects are coming to service. We preach, convictiofl5 falls, but some are afraid to come forward. We pull for them but do not quite get them to respond. We busy ourselves in the altar with seekers. Then we lift our heads to see prospect leave.
Nobody has his name; no one knows where he liyes; and that is the last contact he has with the church. We rely totally on that person to bring himself back to God, tearing away from Satan’s claws.
The new convert gets a great experience, but now where does he go? How can he learn the basics of the Christian life until he can stand on his own two feet?
“It was a great outpouring tonight! Several received the Holy Ghost. Some want to be baptized. There were some testimonies from a few, but what about the others? Did anyone get their names and addresses?”
It is the week after the revival and the new convert faces life’s day-to-day problems plus the old life’s temptations. Is there anyone to help him?
“Wait a minute!” you answer. “That’s not my responsibility! That’s the pastor’s job. That church has got to take care of those things.” You are right, but let’s suppose they do not understand that need, or do not know how. You could help, evangelist! Deploy a hostess crew to greet the visitors and get their names. Ask some of those altar workers to fill out a New Converts Spiritual Status Card on each person who comes to pray, to be baptized or is filled with the Holy Ghost.
NEW CONVERT SPIRITUAL STATUS
HOLY GHOST DATE _____________________
BAPTIZED DATE ________________________
HOME BIBLE STUDY______________________
Ask for volunteers to go to the homes of visitors who have come to service. Sure, all this must be done through the pastor, but this is what he wants. As the revivalist, you must take the initiative to impress the need for these things to make your campaign successful. Rally his support, for without it your efforts will be fruitless. Sitting down with a pastor to offer your abilities and plan out your 5 is not carnal. It is preparation to advance in the effort to effectively reach the lost. You will be the one to point the way.
5. Special Ministry. I’m so glad the kingdom is at the place no where “special ministries” have room to grow. Some are blessed with special abilities. They have a knack for it or a special burden in that area.
The more we learn the more valuable we are to God, if I was able to minister in sign language, it would be a greater asset to the kingdom. By putting together a youth seminar, prophecy seminar, or maybe a “rock and roll” presentation you will attract the interest of special groups. This gives an inroad a local church otherwise would have missed. For some it is jail or prison ministry; for other it is puppets in Sunday school. If you speak a foreign language, have a bilingual service.
By now, it is hoped that you have been inspired to make a list of abilities you have to offer. There is always more potential than the first glance reveals. Yes, you are a vital part in the evangelistic work of the kingdom. There will be services you just are not qualified to offer, but that is not the area of your concentration. There are many others you are gifted in that need to be exposed in the work of God. So hear the voice of Jesus say, “Do all you can!”
LEAVING SOMETHING BEHIND
It is Sunday night. You have preached your last message and closed with a powerful impact. Several have received the Holy Ghost and have been baptized. Tomorrow you will hitch up the trailer, go by the bank, and head for the next place.
It has been a good revival. So let’s take a survey and look at what is left behind when you are gone. There are some new converts and a few backsliders back in. The saints are excited and encouraged with some sermons you hope will stick to their ribs. And what else? Is that all? No, you printed some good fliers and had a couple of ads in the paper. All of these are good! They were vital in the move of God you had while you were there. But now you are leaving. Is there something concrete and workable that you could institute and leave behind?
Give them tools. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish (for men) and you feed him for a lifetime.” We’ve all heard this saying and it has always made sense. You have the ability to teach that church to fish in some area: general evangelism, youth evangelism, bus ministry, outreach and follow up, or special ministry
By setting up something that needs after you are gone, the work of the revival will continue. Those hostesses and altar workers are encouraged to carry on their needed work. If the youth department had a “Youth Quake’ after you leave, that is a monument to your ministry. So are the regular street services you put into operation. A presentation complete with handouts or a survey saints could use in canvassing are tools you leave behind. How about resource magazines and books for the pastor or youth leader?
You could be the evangelist who gets home Bible studies started. A friend of mine approached a pastor about home Bible studies and received a reluctant consent. That night in service when the evangelist asked for volunteers to teach home Bible studies, twelve people volunteered immediately!
What if it was your idea to get an evangelism council or a youth council started on the local level. During the revival, they would be a big help to you. After the revival, they would be a big help to the pastor.
THE SKY IS THE LIMIT
Evangelist, you are the revivalist who has been asked to come to hold a revival campaign. Your fresh ideas and new voice carries a lot of influence. Use your talents to profit the kingdom and you will profit by it too! Because every thing you do extra is not just adding to the church, but it is building you. The goals that are set are low or high depending on you. Remember, “If it is bound to be it is up to me.” You will have to initiate and lead the way. It is the pastor’s flock and we work through him, but we are laborers together. Together we work side by side in revival effort. Help him out and build the work you do on his ministry. And remember, the sky is the limit.