We are not all called as evangelists

We are all called to make disciples. But we are not all called as evangelists. There is a distinction.

The Great Commission states:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen (Matthew 28:19-20, NKJV).

Note two things. First, it says “make disciples,” not “make converts.” Second, Jesus was speaking to people who had been discipled. (He wasn’t telling someone who had just started following Him to start discipling others.)

Ephesians 4:11-12 states:

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (KJV).

I Corinthians 12:28 offers a similar list, enumerating several other gifts:

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues (KJV).

Let’s set aside the debate over whether the gifts of miracles, healings, tongues, and apostleship are still active in the church today. That’s a discussion for another day (or an open thread!) Let’s focus on the point of these passages: God calls different members of the body of Christ to different roles. Some of us are called to be evangelists. Others are called to be teachers. Others are called to helps and governments, helping the administrative aspects of the church’s mission run smoothly.

We’re not all called to helps and governments. Some of us couldn’t coordinate an NQC evening program to save our life, let alone a children’s Christmas play. We’re not all called to be teachers; some of us thrive under the opportunity to preach the Gospel, while others are petrified to be standing in front of an audience.

And we’re not all called to be evangelists. Yes, God calls some of us to be the next street preacher or the next Luis Palau. (And yes, some who have that calling are hesitant to exercise it.)

We are all, however, called to take new Christians under our wings, walk alongside them, and disciple them.

God has a place for those unforgettable souls who never knew a stranger and can strike up a conversation with drying paint. But there is also room and a role for the shy and the introverts in the Kingdom of God.