An open letter to Contemporary American Evangelists- (myself included)
By Scott Hinkle
The office of evangelist is an equally important part of the Ephesians 4:11 & 12 listing of 5-fold ministry gifts. There most certainly is a legitimate role of an evangelist to the church in stirring, equipping for evangelism, etc.
Yet it must be clearly understood, the great distinctive to the gift /office of evangelist is that they are called to be the voice to the lost declaring the gospel & calling them to Christ.
The other Ep.4:11 offices are church oriented being both inward and infrastructure focused.
The evangelist should be focused upon the outside world at large where the unsaved and unchurched live.
If that be true, why then is there amongst some evangelists a seemingly inordinate amount of energy spent in complaining about a perceived lack of recognition by other church leaders? As if other church leaders determine the call of God.
Would the effort and energy be better invested prayerfully and even creatively looking for ways to invade the darkness outside the four walls of church buildings instead of concentrating and at times whining about what is perceived as a lack of acknowledgement from peers? Or does the contemporary version of American evangelist seek validation by being invited to preach primarily in Christian gatherings or to be put another way— fish in bathtubs?
The great evangelists of history – both old and new- risked venturing into deep waters and at times unsafe stormy seas to be fishers of men.
Would not those be great models to follow after if our hearts truly were consumed with a passion to make Christ known to the least and fully lost men, women and children of our times? This necessitates leaving the safe harbor of “church-dom” and to quote the great missionary evangelist T.L. Osborn going “out where the sinners are.”
This letter does not come from a critical spirit but from a soul crying out on behalf of a broken culture and dying world. The darkness of our era is desperate for the light of Christ.
Now, more than ever, there must be another great awakening.
This is a call to not only raise the bar higher for evangelists but to extend a challenge to drastically expand the horizons of our perspective, vision and practice.
Grace to all sharing Good News.
A co-laborer and fellow servant,
P.S From Mario Murillo: I have known Scott and Nancy Hinkle for over 40 years. They have not asked me to do this and they had no idea I would…but, this is excellent ground for your seed. To give to this worthy ministry click on the link below. God Bless you!