It’s trendy now to call preachers “pastors.” Not biblical. But trendy.
Once we regularly referred to them as “evangelists.”
I think there’s significance in the switch.
We want preachers who can help our church grow. In Abilene, that primarily means attracting Christians when they move to town, especially if they are young, well-trained, and/or have money. If a preacher can attract those people, he’s growing the church.
If you’ve been around any ministerial searches, how much discussion have you heard about:
- The minister’s personal evangelism philosophy?
- The history of conversion of outsiders at places they’ve been in the past?
- The minister’s plan for engaging and reaching non-Christians while motivating the congregation to do the same?
Probably not much. Because we’re in the business of hiring pastors.
I’m not advocating the model where the preacher (or other staff) is the sole evangelist in the congregation. That’s not healthy. But I do want a church staff that:
- Is determined to see non-Christians come to know Jesus.
- Is focused on equipping the rest of the congregation for outreach.
- Isn’t merely seeking to fill the pews with young lifelong Christian professionals.
And if they can preach a decent sermon as well, that’s a plus.