The Preacher and Evangelism
1 Timothy 2:1-7; 2 Timothy 2:2; 4:5
Every church is a reflection somewhat of its pastor. Instructing the young preacher Timothy to pray for all men, Paul wrote, "This is
good in the sight of God our Savior who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4). If this is God's desire then every preacher
should do all he can to see that "all men" come to this knowledge. The "all" certainly means those in the community of each church. Dean Fetterhoff wrote, "If the
fires and passion of evangelism die in the preacher they will very likely burn out in the church."
Speaking of Christ Jesus, "who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (1
Timothy 2:6), Paul sets the pace for all preachers. He not only testified publicly but "from house to house" (Acts 20:20). This is a good twenty-twenty vision to help each preacher clearly to see his task. Each preacher must be able to say, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1
Corinthians 11:1) in God's great program of witnessing.
One of the great challenges to a preacher is to commit knowledge and instruction to "faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2
Timothy 2:2). Men need to be instructed in the art of soul-winning and especially through example. A passion for souls is caught, not taught. How deadening to hear someone telling others to witness with the hollow sound of one not doing it himself.
Now and then a preacher says God called him to be a teacher and that he does not have the gift of evangelism. The Word of God admonishes the preacher to "do the work of an evangelist" (2
Timothy 4:5). Soul-winning is not a gift but a command. "Whatever else Christ calls his preachers to do, He does not call them away from the high duty of
soul winning" (Scarborough.)
John Knox, that great Scottish preacher, was found in the garden one evening while a party was taking place in the house. All became hushed as they heard him crying aloud to God upon his knees, "Oh, God, give me Scotland or I die." No church will die when its pastor has this kind of passion. Preachers will not be looking for greener pastures with their hearts burdened like this for souls.