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How to identify an evangelist in your ministry

December 28, 2015

If we are going to activate evangelistic people in our ministry, then we have to know what they look like! Sometimes this can be pretty easy if they are highly gifted and more developed. But if they are a young it may not be as clear from the surface. You need to know what to look for. Here are six indicators I use.

Evangelists have an uncanny ability to have one foot in the church and one foot in the world.

  1. They spend lots of time with people who don’t follow Jesus.

    • Evangelists in your church are people that naturally gravitate towards those not following Jesus. They may say things like, “I like spending time with non-Christians more than Christians.” or “I can’t spend so much time at church, I have other friends too!” Evangelistically gifted people naturally relate to and connect with people that don’t know or follow Jesus. They have an uncanny ability to have one foot in the church and one foot in the world. They are natural bridge builders between the two worlds.
  2. They love sharing the gospel and seem pretty natural doing so.

    • Evangelists are enthusiastic about sharing the gospel. Often others may feel like they should “slow down” a bit and let things develop. But they are just too excited! They tend to grasp and articulate the gospel message easier than others. Evangelists are the people asking you for books on sharing the gospel. They are eager to understand how to talk about Jesus and do so well. The most obvious way to tell someone is an evangelists is to see that they are leading others to Christ regularly.
  3. They regularly encourage other believers to witness.

    • Evangelistic people encourage others to be a little more bold and a little more confident in talking about Jesus. Look for the people in your ministry that seem to be encouraging others to take the risk to invite someone to church, an event, or talk to a friend about Jesus. Others are comfortable approaching evangelistic people with questions and prayer for friends outside the church.
  4. They aren’t very motivated to run programs inside the church.

    • You may have an evangelist on your hands if he or she is not very motivated to run programs inside your ministry. Being outside the walls connecting with people who don’t know Jesus energizes them. They aren’t very motivated to run small groups with mostly believers or to run groups that care for people already in the church. However, if you offer them the opportunity to run a group for seeking people, they start glowing! Be careful not to label someone as not teachable or available, if they are dragging their feet at running a small group. They may be an evangelist and need a different task.
  5. They are often critical about the group not being friendly to outsiders.

    • One of the best ways I find evangelists is by identifying the people that are the most critical about the programs we run in our ministry. It is often the person who feels our meetings are cheesy or the language is too “christianese” for them to bring a friend. It is easy to get defensive with critical people in our ministries, but pay attention. If you have a person that is regularly suggesting that the way you should run your group is more open, simpler content or with more engaging content for outsiders, then you may have an evangelist on your hands.
  6. They show up to evangelism training.

    • Another key way that I find evangelists in my ministry is by hosting trainings on sharing the gospel, connecting better with friends who don’t know Jesus, or how to be a powerful inviter. I then watch to see who shows up and who is excited about this training. Often evangelists are the people that are most eager and thankful for this input. They will want more and even be excited to bring others and promote it!

Reflection questions:

  1. Who are the people in your ministry that spend lots of time with people outside the ministry?
  2. Who in your ministry is naturally and frequently sharing the gospel?
  3. Who do others in the church go to for answers to tough questions regarding their non-Christian friends?
  4. Who seems unmotivated to lead programs inside your ministry that could be excited to lead something for non-believers?
  5. Who are the people that seem most critical about the way the group relates to outsiders?
  6. If I put on a training in evangelism, who would be the most excited for this training?
  7. What other ways have you found to be helpful in identifying evangelists in your ministry?