“. . .do the work of an evangelist. . .” 2 Timothy 4:5
As if preaching and teaching, rebuking and exhorting, aren’t enough, Paul tells Timothy to do the work of an evangelist. Paul has already explained why Timothy needs to be diligent in his duties toward the church. It is in the form of a conclusion to his charge to Timothy to preach and teach: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” v. 3,4. Paul wants to make sure Timothy understands that he needs to give sound words within the church now, for later. . .
Well, later there will be discord and division, and the Earthly church won’t resemble what it once was, during the time of the Apostles. Certainly, there were problems then, but Paul says they’ll get worse. And Timothy must be diligent in his profession of the faith, both within and without the church. For if there is a time when, within the church, people will close their ears to the truth, what will it be like outside the church.
Timothy is exhorted by Paul to evangelize now, while there is still time, while the truth may still be received. Paul writes: “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” v. 5. Matthew Henry commented: “He must watch in all things. “Seek an opportunity of doing them a kindness; let no fair occasion slip through negligence. Watch against the temptations of satan, by which you may be diverted from it; watch over the souls of those who are committed to your charge.” He must count upon afflictions and endure them, make the best of them. “Be not discouraged by the difficulties you meet with, but bear them with an evenness of spirit.” It was a great trust that was reposed in him, and therefore he must answer it and perform all the parts of his office with diligence and care.”
The full ministry that Paul has called upon Timothy to proof, reminds me of the The Apostolic Church. It was founded in Pen-y-groes, Carmarthenshire, South Wales, during the Welsh revival at turn of the twentieth Century. It supports the Early Church governance of the ministries of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. I greatly respect this church, and have spent time with an evangelist in Sri Lanka’s first homegrown church, the Apostolic Church of Sri Lanka. This five-fold ministry is what Paul has told Timothy he needs to fulfill.
I have to wonder if Paul intended for Timothy to always work as all five parts of this ministry. Did Paul foresee a time when Timothy’s leadership role might require devotion to one aspect of this ministry to which he’d been charged? I don’t know. But in a small church, it certainly makes sense for the pastor to be all things to his congregation, not leaving out essential parts.
My thoughts on these functions are this: the Apostle reaches out as an overseer to several congregations, perhaps located in different communities; the Prophet is the rebuker that opens the eyes of the sinner; the Evangelist seeks to bring the Gospel to those outside the Church; the Pastor cares for the congregation, as a shepherd cares for a flock; the Teacher expounds upon the Word of G-d in Scriptures, helping the congregation understand the Way of the Gospel, the Way of the Cross. It was a lot for Timothy to do; it is a lot for pastors today to do. May G-d grant pastors abilities to fulfill their roles.
Lord continue to grant us the strength to fight the good fight, always knowing that one day we will feast with our Lord Y’shuaJesus. Let us gaze intently for the Lord to return.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine.