Philip was willing to have other ministries build upon his efforts. In this way, the fruit of his labors would remain in the form of new and growing fellowships.
We see the following pattern in Acts: when a number of converts were made without the direct involvement of apostolic ministry, apostles were sent in to confirm and establish a local church. This is what happened in Samaria (Acts 8:4-25; see also this same pattern in Acts 11:19-26).
The ministry gift of evangelist has been called the “arm” of Christ, reaching out to gather in the unsaved of our world. The fruit of the evangelist’s ministry should then be gathered into existing local churches. Or a new church should be planted where the other ministry gifts can be made available to the Body.
If we ignore this pattern, we could possibly cause the stumbling of many new believers. New churches formed without a proper foundation may become unbalanced or unscriptural.
Philip’s ministry was a beautiful example for all of the evangelists who would follow in his footsteps in ages to come.
- The private ministry of the evangelist (Acts 8:26-40).
An evangelist should be able to preach to large crowds, or share with people one-on-one. An evangelist is a soul-winner at heart – wherever he is.
This was true of Philip, as the story of the eunuch on the road to Gaza reveals. Again, several important points should be noted:
a. He was sensitive and obedient to the voice of the Lord (Acts 8:26-30).
b. He had a good understanding of God’s Word (Acts 8:35).
c. He could clearly explain God’s way of salvation through Christ Acts 8:35).
d. He ministered to someone whose heart had been prepared by God (Acts 8:30).
e. He led him to confess Christ as his Savior – a place of personal decision (Acts 8:37}.
f. He sealed the new believer’s decision for Christ with water baptism (Acts 8:38).
Again we find in Philip a wonderful example for personal soul winning.
- The role of the evangelist in the Body of Christ (Eph 4:11-13).
The role of the evangelist in the Church is two-fold:
a. To travel and preach the gospel in places that have not heard of God’s salvation in Christ.
b. To teach and train others in his home church how to evangelize the lost. This relates to their own city or town, and then on out to the whole world (Acts 2:8).
Never in the New Testament do we find an evangelist preaching to the lost in a local church. Church meetings were for teaching from the Word, and the worship of God. Believers were built up in the church in order to:
a. Minister to God in praise and worship
b. Minister to one another in Christian love
c. Minister to a lost world in the power of the Spirit
If an unbeliever comes into such a meeting, God can speak to him by whatever he sees and hears (1Cor 14:24,25). This does not mean that an appeal should not be made for those who wish to make a decision for Christ.