Apostles and Evangelists
In the church today, there is great familiarity with what we call “Pastoral ministry.” Everyone who goes to worship is familiar with a Pastor’s ministry, and many know their Pastor personally. There is also extensive understanding of “Evangelistic ministry.” From time to time, an Evangelist comes in to “have a revival,” or to conduct special meetings, or promote specific crusades or outreaches.
These ministries, along with the teaching ministry, comprise our understanding of how the church functions and is formed– around the Pastor’s ministry, with occasional evangelistic surges, featuring regular teaching by those in leadership (& perhaps a few select others), given to ground us in Scriptural principles and practical service.
But how would we know an Apostle? (after all, they don’t glow in the dark or anything). Since we are generally not acquainted with Apostolic ministry, let’s ask the question again: what is Apostolic ministry? Rather than lay a systematic Biblical foundation on the subject, let’s first look at Apostolic ministry in comparison with and in contrast to ministry we are more familiar with, such as the Evangelist. These contrasts are not meant to downplay or undermine the legitimacy of Christ’s gift of the Evangelist, there are instead given to highlight the depth and extent of the Apostolic foundational ministry gift of Christ.
SOME DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN THE EVANGELIST AND THE APOSTLE
- Evangelists win souls, but Apostles make disciples.
- Evangelists preach salvation, but Apostles preach the Gospel of peace and demonstrate the Kingdom of God.
- Evangelists declare and display the grace of God to those who receive; Apostles demonstrate signs, wonders and miracles as a witness in order to reveal the hearts of those who do and don’t believe.
- Evangelists gather a crowd; Apostles empower and establish the church.
- Evangelists manifest power gifts as the Spirit empowers them; Apostles impart and set in motion multiplications of Jesus’ authority to demonstrate His Kingdom and establish His Truth as the need arises.
- Evangelists take the Gospel to people; Apostles take and establish the Kingdom Jesus preached and the principles He imparted to new “people groups” (ta ethnae- Mt.28:19-20).
- Evangelists see who needs to be reached and get the gospel to them, but Apostles are sent by the express desire of Jesus Christ to strategically make disciples of those who will release and reproduce those breakthroughs, with the Kingdom established as a witness (Mt.24:14).
- Evangelists are “on fire” for Jesus and are contagious; Apostles release the fire of God throughout the church, which precedes renewal, revival, restoration of the Acts church, and the maturity which will trademark the Church Jesus comes for (Acts 2:1f; 4:19-5:13/Eph.4:11-16; 5:25-33).