A Study of His Personal Qualities

by Al Maxey

The Lord obviously expects all of His disciples to be evangelistic in the sense that they take advantage of the opportunities sent their way to "declare that which is good" to those about them with whom they have influence. Thus, in a general sense, all disciples of Christ Jesus are evangelists. In a more restricted sense, however, the NT writers speak of a group of men known as "Evangelists" who have a very specific place in the Church of Jesus Christ, who must possess certain qualities, who have specific responsibilities & functions, and who have been given authority by the Lord to perform their duties.

Acts 21:8 refers to "Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven" (see Acts 6:1-6). He was a man "of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom" (Acts 6:3). He had four daughters who were prophetesses (Acts 21:9). He was a resident of the city of Caesarea (Acts 21:8; 8:40), although he did do evangelistic work in other areas as well (see Acts 8).

In Ephesians 4:11 we find a list of God-given servants to the Church of Jesus Christ: Apostles --- Prophets --- Evangelists --- Pastors --- Teachers (most scholars today feel it is very likely that the final two speak of the same person: Teaching Pastors, thus making the list total four rather than five). Then, in II Timothy 4:5, Paul tells the young Timothy to "do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."

What is the work/ministry of an evangelist?! Is it strictly a ministry to the unsaved (those outside the church), or is it also a ministry to the saved (those within the church)? If both, which should be given the greater emphasis? What authority in the church, if any, does the evangelist have? What are their responsibilities? What qualities/qualifications must they possess in order to attain to this position of service in the church, and to be effective in the performance of their duties?

Unlike elders and deacons, there is no specific location in the NT writings to which one can turn to find a detailed list of qualifications for an evangelist. This is not to say, however, that such a list cannot be compiled from the Scriptures. The qualities of an effective evangelist are found scattered throughout the inspired writings of the NT, but especially in the Pastoral Epistles (I & II Timothy, and Titus), all of which were written by the apostle Paul to evangelists in active service. One must also not overlook the personal qualities possessed by Philip, who is the only man in the NT documents specifically called an "evangelist."

Before examining the work/ministry/responsibilities of the evangelist, notice the following personal qualities which these individuals should possess:

#1 --- A good reputation --- Acts 6:3

#2 --- An example to/of those who believe --- I Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:7. (Setting an example in sound speech, good deeds, purity of doctrine, dignity, conduct, love, and faith.....thus causing opponents to have nothing bad to say about them, and no reason to look down on them.)

#3 --- Full of the Spirit --- Acts 6:3

#4 --- Not neglecting, but rather developing, the spiritual gifts within them --- I Timothy 4:14; II Timothy 1:6

#5 --- Personal growth and progress --- I Timothy 4:15

#6 --- They must maintain personal purity (I Timothy 5:22b), striving to be without stain and free from reproach --- I Timothy 6:14

#7 --- They must flee from "youthful lusts," and pursue: Righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, gentleness, peace --- I Timothy 6:11; II Timothy 2:22 (also: I Timothy 4:7-8)

#8 --- Not materialistic --- I Timothy 6:7-11a

#9 --- Avoids and shuns controversies, disputes, and strife over speculations, opinions, and false knowledge --- I Timothy 4:7; 6:20; II Timothy 2:16, 23-24a; Titus 3:9

#10 --- Constantly being nourished by study of the Word and sound doctrine (I Timothy 4:6), thus gaining a deep understanding of what he teaches --- I Timothy 1:6-7; 4:16; II Timothy 2:15; 3:14-15

#11 --- Vigilant --- I Timothy 6:20; II Timothy 1:13-14

#12 --- Maintaining a sincere faith and good conscience --- I Timothy 1:19; II Timothy 1:5

#13 --- Not ashamed of the Gospel, nor put to shame by his inaccurate handling of it --- II Timothy 1:8; 2:15

#14 --- Sober or circumspect in all things. The NIV reads: "Keep your head in all situations" --- II Timothy 4:5 ("Steady and self-possessed" --- NAB)

#15 --- Does not possess a cowardly or timid spirit --- II Timothy 1:7

#16 --- Full of wisdom/knowledge/enlightenment --- Acts 6:3

#17 --- Self-disciplined --- I Timothy 4:7, 16

#18 --- Devoted to his work/ministry --- I Timothy 4:15-16; II Timothy 2:15

#19 --- A willingness to endure hardship, suffering, and persecution --- II Timothy 1:8; 2:3; 4:5

#20 --- Patient endurance under wrongs and injuries done to him by others --- II Timothy 2:24

#21 --- Kind to all --- II Timothy 2:24

#22 --- Unbiased and impartial --- I Timothy 5:21

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