The Community of Evangelists
We know that although all Christians are called to share the Good News, some are gifted in particular ways and called to a ministry as Evangelists.
What is an Evangelist?
All disciples of Jesus are called to listen for, speak of, and live out the good news from their own experience, perspective and relationship with God. While all are called to evangelism, some people have particular spiritual giftings as Evangelists – as we are told in Ephesians 4, verses 11-12: “the gifts [Christ] gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…” (NRSV)
John Wesley used the phrases “ordinary call” and “extraordinary call” to make this distinction. While we all have ordinary callings that we share with others, we will each also have an extraordinary calling for which we are gifted – be it to teaching, pastoring, evangelism, or something else. Wesley saw his own ministry as an Evangelist as the fulfilling of his “extraordinary” calling. While we may all be called to evangelism through our words, lives and prayers, some have this “extraordinary” calling to a ministry as an Evangelist.
Another way to make the distinction is by saying we are all called to evangelism, but some are called into ministry as an Evangelist; the capital ‘E’ helping us to see that this is something specific about our gifting and vocation.
The Methodist Church recognises the Evangelist’s role as both an informal ministry as well as a formal one in which an individual is appointed with differing responsibilities in a variety of situations by local churches, circuits, districts, and ecumenical bodies. In other words, the ministry of an Evangelist will happen differently in different contexts.
You might be an Evangelist in your community, at work, as a chaplain – and more! It might be something you do with a team, or individually. Evangelists work in partnership with Christian communities, both new expressions of church and inherited. Evangelists might be lay or ordained, they might be a church leader or they might work in the local pub. You don't need to have the word 'Evangelist' in your job title!
Join the Community of Evangelists
The Methodist Church in Britain is launching a Community of Evangelists in September 2021 - a small group of Methodists called and spiritually gifted as Evangelists. This community aims to raise up, challenge, and support theologically diverse Evangelists for our world today.
- If you're an Evangelist interested in finding out more about the Community, please download this Guidance Pack for Individuals.
- If you're a church leader who is supporting an Evangelist who may wish to join the Community, please download this Guidance Pack for Churches.
- To apply to join the Community, you can use this Discernment Workbook if it's helpful, and you can access the Application Form here.
If you would like to ask a question about the Community, please contact Holly Adams (Evangelism and Contemporary Culture Officer).
Within the Evangelist Community is a specific community for Young Evangelists – click the link below to find out more about this.