Purpose of this Session
After the ascension of Christ, and the giving of the fivefold gifts to the Body, the only specific example we have of someone referred to as an Evangelist is Philip. We will take Philip then as our blueprint for evangelistic ministry and glean some key characteristics we can expect to see in the life and ministry of the Evangelist.
The preparations and Character of Philip (Acts 6:1-6)
i. Philip served in the local church as a ‘deacon’ (a servant) before being anointed as a five fold ministry gift. He had a servant’s heart and attitude.
ii. Philip was a man full of the Holy Spirit
iii. Philip was a man full of wisdom
iv. Philip was a man of good character and good report among the brethren.
v. Philip’s house was in order and his daughters were being brought up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord (Acts 21:9)
vi. Philip was hospitable to the brethren (Acts 21:8)
In this amazing chapter of Acts we are given insight to the life and ministry of this evangelist. Not only do we witness the evangelistic ministry to the crowds of Samaria, also Philip’s burning heart for individual souls.
The Evangelist’s message
· Philip preached Christ. Whether to crowds or to individuals, the evangelist’s preaching centres on the Person and name of Jesus Christ (Acts 8:5,12)
· Philip preached the Kingdom and rule of God (8:12)
· Philip’s preaching was followed by signs and wonders (Acts 8:7,13)
· Demons are cast out
· Sick and diseased people are healed
The Evangelist ensured that definite steps were taken by his converts to confirm their faith through baptism (Acts 8:12,13,16)
· Baptism was an integral part of Philip’s message and ministry
The Evangelist brought great joy to the city (Acts 8:9)
· The gospel message brings joy and liberty to those who were bound in sin and sickness.
The Evangelist works with other ministries to further establish and disciple the new believers (Acts 8:14)
· Philip recognised the limitations of His ministry and therefore worked with others to fulfil the Lord’s will in their life.
· Evidently a church was planted as a result of Philip’s evangelistic work here in Samaria (Acts 9:31).
The Personal Evangelism of Philip (Acts 8:26-40)
· Philip was not only an able preacher; he was a skilled winner of souls on an individual level. His heart for the lost and passion for the gospel were evident in public and private encounters.
· Philip was open to the leading of the Holy Spirit regarding where he should go, and to whom he should minister (8:26,29)
· Philip was not influenced or intimidated by the stature or position of those the Lord led him to minister to (8:27)
· Philip had a strong grasp of the Scriptures and was able to preach Christ from them (8:30-34)
· Philip shared Christ with those he spoke to, not just a religion or a church doctrine (8:35)
· Philip brought those he ministered to a place of personal decision (8:37)
· Philip baptised the new believer as soon as possible (8:38-39)
The Evangelist’s ministry to the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Although the evangelist’s ministry is primarily to the lost, the five fold ascension gift anointing on them is also present to train and equip other believers in evangelism, fitting and equipping them for effective evangelistic ministry in their areas of influence.
As with all the ascension gifts the evangelistic calling and anointing is not exclusive to men. God’s spirit is poured out upon his servants and handmaidens, on His sons and His daughters. In the same Psalm that speaks of the ascension gifts (Psalm 68:18) a powerful company of women is also prophesied, who will carry and publish the Good News:
“The Lord gives the word [of power]; the women who bear and publish [the news] are a great host.” (Psalms 68:11 AMP)