Does the Bible say anything about the role of evangelism/outreach pastor?
Many larger churches have a specific pastor for evangelism or outreach. What does the Bible say about this role? Ephesians 4:11-12 offers an important foundation for those who serve in this way: "And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ." The goal of a person who leads in evangelism is not only to evangelize, but also to equip other believers for serving Christ.
Seen this way, the outreach pastor will focus much time on training church members to share their faith with unbelievers. This can include evangelism education, church events, local outreach opportunities, and mission trips. Through example, education, and experience, church members can grow in their ability and confidence to share the gospel with others in a variety of contexts.
Another consideration for the outreach pastor also involves the biblical qualifications to serve as a pastor or elder. If a local church's outreach leader is a pastoral role, it is important to consider the elder qualifications presented in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, and 1 Peter 5:1-4.
These qualifications include many aspects, yet focus on certain areas of character and service. The first main area is character. The elder is to be "above reproach" (1 Timothy 3:2), an overall character trait that encompasses many of the others listed by Paul. A second area includes family relationships. If married, the pastor is to be known literally as a "one woman man" and must be known for leading his family well.
The third area is the ability to teach and defend against false teaching. Though an outreach pastor may not preach weekly sermons, he must be able to teach to some degree and defend against inaccurate teachings (1 Timothy 3:2). As Titus 1:9 states, "He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it."
Two other areas can be observed in 1 Peter 5:1-4. These include "shepherd the flock of God that is among you" (v. 2) and "being examples to the flock" (v. 3). All pastors must serve as a shepherd to the people they lead and are expected to live as examples of Christ-like living.
The goals of the outreach pastor are also noted in Scripture. Ephesians 4:13 shares, "Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." These include unity, growth in knowledge, and maturity. These attributes culminate in a church that works together to reach its community and beyond; "we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love" (Ephesians 4:16).
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