Do the work of an evangelist
But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5
In 2 Timothy 4:5, Paul exhorted Timothy to "do the work of an evangelist." This command was given in the context of ministering in the "last days" (3:1). The last days would be characterized by mounting opposition and deception from false teachers, and people who would turn away from God's word and desire to have their ears "tickled." Therefore, Timothy's duty before God and the Lord Jesus Christ was to preach the word (4:2), which entailed doing "the work of an evangelist." Since the work of an evangelist is both congregational (Ephesians 4:11-16) and missional (e.g., Acts 8:5-40; 21:8; 3 John 7), consider the following ways that pastors can do the work of an evangelist:
Because the work of an evangelist is congregational:
1. Pastors can do the work of an evangelist by teaching the church to evangelize. Pastors may devote Bible studies, Sunday School lessons, Lord's Day messages, or other occasions to train believers to evangelize, which might include teaching how Christ, John the Baptist, and the apostles preached the gospel.
2. Pastors can do the work of an evangelist by exhorting the church to evangelize. Pastors must champion the effort by urging the congregation to fulfill its missional responsibility both individually and corporately.
3. Pastors can do the work of an evangelist by modeling how to evangelize. Pastors must model how to boldly, clearly, and compassionately proclaim the gospel to unbelievers by the power of the Holy Spirit. This follows the example of our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who modeled how to evangelize before His disciples.
4. Pastors can do the work of an evangelist by encouraging the church's ministries to incorporate evangelism in its activities. Pastors can help their corporate ministries consider how to pursue the salvation of unbelievers and the spiritual edification of the believers.
Because the work of an evangelist is missional:
1. Pastors can do the work of an evangelist by preaching the gospel to the congregation. Pastors must assume that one or more unbelievers are present in the congregation or again, that believers need to be taught and exhorted to preach the gospel to unbelievers they know and encounter.
2. Pastors can do the work of an evangelist by doing what they are exhorting and teaching the church to do. As with the congregation, pastors too must evangelize their unbelieving children, family, friends, and others as a lifestyle.
3. Pastors can do the work of an evangelist by participating in the church's evangelistic efforts. While pastors must not neglect prayer and the ministry of the word they can also participate in churchwide opportunities to reach unbelievers (e.g., community, convalescent/hospital, college, or juvenile center evangelism, etc.).
Pastors must champion, motivate, model, and lead the efforts to integrate evangelism in the life of the church. Although pastors must not shoulder the responsibility alone, they must be among the leading spokespersons, models, and persons to equip the saints.