What is an Evangelist or prophet????? Do we have it all wrong?

An evangelist in the church is know as one who goes to big meetings and preaches the gospel so that people are saved. This is his main function – and he is called an evangelist because he is successful. Maybe he goes around many churches doing this.

BUT all Eph 4 ministries are for equipping the saints for works of ministry. So an Eph 4 Evangelist will be one who teaches the saints to evangelise and to preach gospel messages. The one doing the preaching as his primary gift, by definition, cannot be an Eph 4 evangelist. Naturally the evangelist will do some evanbgelism work and even preaching. They need to do it well in order to realease others to do it. But they are defined by how they release others to do evangelism, not by the evangelism they do.

Now, the prophet. I believe the same principles apply. We call prophets those whose prophesying has matured in character and dimension. Maybe to prophesy over the broader issues of the church or nations. However, this is just a modified job description for an Old Covenant prophet. The church has remained stuck in an Old Covenant model.

A New Testament Eph 4 prophet is defined as one who equips the saint to prophesy. Clearly he will prophesy too. he may even prophesy to saints about their individual giftings, to release them into it. But they are not prophets because they make big ‘words’ about global events.

An apostle is sent to break ground and oversee churches, ensuring that all the saints firstly become saints, then that they are served well by the other ministries to be doing works of service.

Then the old chestnut of teachers and ‘pastors’. First, the Greek word mistranslated pastor is shepherd. It means……yes……..shepherd. And the text is clear that teacher and shepherd is a single combined role. So there is no place, at least based on Ephesians 4, to serarate shepherding from teaching.

So, as long as your idea of what a ‘pastor’ does is fully compatible with First Century Palestinian / Hebrew shepherding, that is fine by me. But you must remember that shepherds are teachers and there are not teachers who aren’t shepherds. Not in Ephesians 4.

What does a shepherd do? He [or she] leads the flock to places of safe and good pasture. He keeps wolves out. He looks for wolves in sheeps clothing and treats them as wolves, not as misguided sheep. He goes in search of any sheep that stray and brings them back.

So I see this role as doing what is says, in order to release the saints for all their works of service. And then equipping some saints to become shepherd/teachers too.

In summary, we have our definitions and therefore expectations of these ministries all wrong!!!!!


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