The Pastor as Evangelist

As an evangelist to the church and community, the pastor needs to have a genuine desire to see the lost saved. This love of people should be so great, and the burden of their needs so heavy, that the clergy maintains a constant state of prayer, interceding for them before the throne of God.

Intercessory prayer is offered to God concerning the needs that are acceptable to His will. In the name of Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the pastor presents the needs of a lost brother or sister.

The minister who intercedes for the lost in the church and community must realize that salvation is of the Lord, not of man. Like Moses with the children of Israel, the pastor offers that which God can use to bring about the miracle, speaking, giving witness, and testifying of God’s love and mercy in all acts of daily living. A minister will also go out and seek the lost sheep, that they may be brought into the Master’s fold.

Being open and friendly with all people sets an example of love and evangelistic zeal before the church and community. Yet, the clergy should not participate with candidates for conversion in practices or circumstances that may compromise Christian witness or discourage others who seek a higher or better way. When approached by people beset with personal problems, the pastor needs to be a good listener who is genuinely concerned and identifies with each person’s needs. As a clergy gains experience in a ministry of evangelism, an increasing awareness of God’s transforming grace and power will equip for more effective witnessing.

The evangelistic ministry of a pastor begins with bold and forceful preaching of the plan of salvation from the pulpit. Since a clergy is also the administrator of the spiritual life of the church, the planting of seed from the pulpit will be followed by organization of the ministry-minded into prayer groups and visitation teams. Using these methods, the whole church is alerted to the opportunities the Lord provides for outreach and in-gathering.

The evangelistic role of the pastor and church does not stop when a lost person is saved. The clergy must provide follow-up with the new “babe in Christ” as a church ministry. The additional contact often provides the greatest opportunity of all to present Christ to the new convert’s close friends and acquaintances. They may be affected more by what has happened to their friend than by anything a minister or visitation team may ever say or do. Channeling the Gospel story of salvation in Christ through the new convert to a wider circle of potential converts becomes a very effective way of reaching others who are lost.

The pastor may be a good evangelist to the church and community in many other specific ways. The foundation of all such efforts must rest upon prevailing, intercessory prayer by the ministry of the pastor and concerned church members.