The Minister and Evangelism

PamBG and I seem to have taken a hit lately on our views about the role of the minister in evangelism. A couple of days ago she posted a response to the discussion started on the Locusts & Honey blog and on my posts here. Somehow, when we have have wanted to stress that evangelism is the task of the entire church, it has been interpreted that we believe ministers have no part to play in evangelism. That we never said that should be clear to anyone who has actually read the posts. Pam has written her clarification on her blog, where she lays out her point very succinctly.

I will add my own clarification here: I do believe my task as a minister is evangelism. It is my role to proclaim the good news in Christ Jesus, to those inside of the church and outside. Between my posts here and comments on John’s blog, I wanted to make three things clear: 1) Ministers’ training need not focus entirely, if at all, on some form of ‘technique’ in which a propositional evangelism is made. 2) Ministers’ evaluationĀ  based on how well that ‘technique’ brings results, either in ‘souls won to Christ’ or the number of people to whom propositions are made, are not really Christians categories. While wanting as many as possible to know the love of Christ, having quotas and tallying up a win column are foreign to the work God calls us to do. Then to focus training solely on ‘evangelism’ and evaluating how well she or he learned that training based on numbers seems to put the task of evangelism solely on the minister, which brings me to point 3) Evangelism is the task of the entire church. In this debate, there also came out a discussion of what exactly is evangelism. I will leave that for another night.

Special thanks to Richard Hall at Connexions and Dave Walker at 42 for your help.

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4 thoughts on “The Minister and Evangelism

  1. Thank you, Pam. I just realised I forgot to clarify that one of the points I was trying to make is that it is nonsense to evaluate the minister’s (or indeed the church’s) performance based on numbers. I think that came through, though.

  2. I could not find the original post, but I still wanted to throw in my two bits. In the US Air Force they talk about training and equiping. In my opinion this is the role of a pastor. A Christian is called to “make disciples” thus a pastor being a Christian is called to evangelism. This difference is subtle, but important (at least in my mind).

  3. Bart, I would agree with you. I mentioned on Pam’s blog (the first comment) that I see my part in evangelism as helping to deepen the commitment to Christ through teaching. That is, of course, if we understand ‘evangelism’ as more than conversion but as making disciples. Thanks for your comment.

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