The Door-Step Evangel

The Offices of Evangelist and Missionary
Dr. Ronald L. Tottingham

I have a question...it concerns the titles of Missionary and Evangelist and their "job" descriptions.

In my study of the Bible, the old reliable AV 1611, I've found only two offices which were designated of the "Shepherding" roles. The rest are internal church offices (or functions), as well as carried by the shepherds or pastors.

In Ephesians 4:11 we see the "converters" (if I might say it this way) and the trainers. Again, in II Timothy 4:5 we hear a pastor being told to do the work of the Evangelist. This work was to be one of carrying the Good News of the Gospel, or of being a "converter" of souls. (Soulwinner seems so "official" in our context here that some might not see the duty as to all the New Testament Church membership if we don't use a different term in this article). Look then in Matthew 28:19 where we are told to "teach all nations...teaching them..." Again we see converting (or winning) and training.

Now here is my point, the Scriptures give only these two shepherding, overseeing, or Bishop offices - that of Evangelist and Pastor. No Missionary is listed. Some have said that since the Evangelist is listed first, he is above the pastor. I guess I'd differ with that conclusion and add an opinion of my own. I'm of the opinion that the Evangelist is first because without the "converter" first, there's no pastoral need. That would also cause us to conclude that the Evangelist's true and Biblical duty would be the "modern" missionary's present duty.

Now, I ask, if we were to believe that, where would that leave the "modern" Evangelist who does not plant churches from their evangelized folks but goes from church to church holding meetings? My question is this: Could it be that the "modern" Missionary is the Biblical Evangelist? And that the function of the Evangelist was given an extra-Biblical title, that of Missionary. Then the Biblical title of "Evangelist" was given to an extra-Biblical function not Biblically described...well, at least not too clearly - at least I'm having difficulty. Surely it exists in the Scriptures though??! You don't think all these years...no, surely not. Surely some good man has the verses to show this office. Well I just though I'd ask.

Another question while we're on the subject. Shouldn't the local church be as important to them as it is to a Missionary? I mean, in being pastored like all church members are to be. And why should Missionaries report their finances and activities to pastors and others, beyond their own, when "modern day" Evangelists don't? Is there a double standard here seen from those who hold this "bishoprick"? I just though I'd ask.

Perhaps our Missionaries should be titled "Foreign (or national) Evangelists"?

I thought it was a good consideration. But I'm wondering where that would leave our "modern day" Evangelists? Do I think there is no office for the "modern day" Evangelists? I do accept the work of some of them. I know some evangelists who do plant churches. That is their calling. And there are others who help build solid churches, but I also know others who do not follow thus as a pattern for the Evangelist. But I guess I'd like clearer doctrine on the "position" than just the logic and reasoning that I've heard and read. Some have written articles recently condemning pastors for using other pastors to have meetings in their churches rather than the "Evangelists". A condemnation is not nearly as convincing or convicting as a good Scripture based argument for such. I guess I'm saying that all our positions should be in the AV 1611 somewhere and I'd like to hear it from Evangelists. So I thought I'd just ask.

The Door-Step Evangel is published in the interests of Evangelism and information as a Church paper, sincerely devoted to the cause of Jesus Christ. We are in favor of everything that is right and opposed to everything that is wrong.

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