W. Tom Hall is the Evangelist for the Mt. Pleasant Church of Christ of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Prior to coming to Mt. Pleasant, he was the pulpit preacher for Holly Hill Church of Christ in Frankfort, Ky. for sixteen years.
Tom has spoken for chapel programs, revivals, banquets, youth events, retreats, lectureships, gospel meetings, and various civic groups and functions. He is certified to teach Active Parenting classes. He annually makes a trip to the Eastern Caribbean to teach and preach. He has experience as a play-by-play radio broadcaster for high school football and basketball.
He is married to Tina and they have two daughters, Summer and Jenilyn and, a grandson Kaden.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF AN EVANGELIST (PREACHER) IN THE LOCAL BODY?
The role of the evangelist is explained by the title. "Evangelist," meaning literally "proclaimer of Good News." The preacher proclaims the good news of the Gospel of Christ. It is significant, I think, that when the first century church needed some benevolent work attended to in Acts chapter six that the apostles (who were the evangelists and preachers of the day) said - "It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables." (Acts 6:2, NASB)
So, rather than being drawn into a multitude of activities, the apostles had the congregation appoint men who would be able to handle the task, because their work and responsibility of preaching the Word could not be neglected. There are several passages which give us a very clear picture as to the role of the evangelist: Ephesians 4:11,12 (NASB)
- "And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as postors and teachers,
- for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;" who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
This passage tells us that the work of the evangelist is to "equip the saints," (verse 12). This means to "prepare" the congregation by the preaching of the Word. The "work of service" is identified in verses 12-16. This means that the preacher must devote himself to the teaching and preaching of the Word in order to give God's instructions to the congregation where he labors. This requires much time. Most preacher's will spent one hour (or more) of preparation for every minute of instruction.
Paul's instructions to a young preacher are found in 2 Tim. 4:1-5:
- "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
- preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
- For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires;
- and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.
- But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." To preach the Word "in season and out of season," means to preach the Word when the congregation wants to hear it, and when they do not want to hear it. The preacher's primary responsibility is to please God. If his preaching also pleases the congregation, so much the better.
An illustration of the work of the preacher is found in 1st Corinthians: 1 Cor. 3:1 - 15 (NASB)
- "And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ.
- I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,
- for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
- For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not mere men?
- What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.
- I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
- So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.
- Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
- For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
- According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it.
- For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
- Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
- each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.
- If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward.
- If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.
All these passages indicate that the primary responsibility of the evangelist is to preach the Word. Encouragement should be given to the preacher to use his time in this way. Anything else he can accomplish is an added blessing, but his primary duty to God is to preach the word.
By Mike Scott