I’m sure in your lifetime you have heard God speak to you. You may or may not have known
who it was speaking, but I feel pretty certain most would know.
I heard God speak to me around age twelve or thirteen. Being from a Free Will Baptist family I don’t know if they would have totally understood that for one that age, but I was certain of it.
He told me then I would be an Evangelist. From Eph. 4:11 states the forms of ministry callings of which this is one.
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
At that age all I’d ever heard from an evangelist was hell fire and damnation and that if you did not get saved that service you could die and go to hell and burn forever. And to throw in one more fearful thought, the Rapture could happen any minute so it behooved us to make a decision right then and there for sure.
At my age now I have found this to be about the same tactic as a car salesman. I’m sorry if that might offend someone, but I have to say it like I see it. Over the years my view of the salvation message from the evangelist has completely changed.
The old style of evangelism was to scare people into heaven, which means if you scare them into it you might just have to keep them scared to keep them on the straight and narrow by telling them how bad their sins are.
How about another approach. How about simply telling people God has provided a way to avoid their past sins and indiscretions by allowing His Son to die on the Roman cross at the hands of his own people. We can blame a lot of people of the time, but in reality it was God’s plan that Jesus die for our sins so that God could do a wonderful work of saving our souls and reestablishing fellowship with his creation. . . us. He simply saved us from our past, but He also saved us unto a much brighter future. That future isn’t without it’s issues, but it does give us Him by way of the Holy Spirit to look to in times of trouble for comfort and peace.
So how does the lost get this knowledge. By presenting them this Gospel by way of the evangelist. It doesn’t have to be in words only, but also by deeds or fruit of their work in the midst of the lost. But an evangelist job is more than presenting the Gospel. It’s also to teach the saved to do the work of evangelism as well.
My view of an evangelist was changed several times during my life. Until I was ordained I had no idea how to approach this calling. But God did. All during my fresh and new commitment to God I found myself visiting the sick in hospitals. I visited people that could not get out of their homes due to illness. I didn’t call it anything other than visiting the sick. I’ve come to learn the term “Chaplain”. Then came the Patriot Guard Riders. It’s an organization that performs ceremony for deceased veterans everywhere we are requested. By this time I had adopted the title of Chaplain. Its primary usage was in the military setting so far as I knew and I was called upon to pray for our endeavors at the time of service by the Ride Captain. I became their unofficial Chaplain.
Then along came the American Chaplain’s Association. They have a course of study to become nationally recognized as a Chaplain and God directed me to take the course. I’m now in the final two modules of training and every module has solidified my knowledge that I am where I am supposed to be. The course is through Aidan University in Jacksonville, FL. The course has been very helpful and has given me further vision.
Then a fresh new look at Emerge Ministries like I’d not seen before. It’s headed by Terry Norris. He has been a friend for a few years and still I had not known the full extent of that ministry. God gave me further instruction to seek out Terry and talk at length about what goes on there. I spent four hours talking with him and that talk has me convinced this is where my next step is to be. God is good.
God has guided me all my life. That is even with my shortcomings as well as successes. I promised God when I was in my twenties I would follow Him. Even in my darkest days in my mid to late fifties He did not fail me. He carried me through and now here I am. God’s guidance is always sure and direct. He will not steer you wrong and He will get you where you belong.
Never give up on what you feel God has directed you into. Have faith in Him and you will see the fruit of the labors you endeavor to work in.