Some may argue that the office of the evangelist is not biblically mandated and therefore is not valid. It seems to me that just because the office is not biblically mandated that does not invalidate the role of the evangelist. If that were the case then we would need to give all of our Sunday school teachers a pink slip next Sunday. The only offices that I am clearly convinced are biblically mandated are the offices of pastor/elder and deacon. Each of these two offices are given titles that also function as descriptors. The office of pastor is referred to as overseer, elder, and shepherd. The office of deacon is referred to as servant. In a similar way the role of the evangelist is referred to as one of proclaiming the gospel or a good news message. While the office may not enjoy the same level of prominence in the NT, I cannot help but believe that God has ordained men with a special role that we have come to understand as an evangelist. Who here would deny that Billy Graham is ordained of God? Granted many of the evangelists of more recent years are of a more Arminian or Wesleyan type of theological leaning, which you may suggest is an importation of another hot bed into this discussion but I do not think that to be the case. In the First Great Awakening the primary impetus came from a Reformed perspective. The Second Great Awakening merged the efforts of both Wesleyan and Reformed theological perspectives. Today, most itinerant evangelists are influenced by an Arminian theological perspective. Why am I bringing the C word into this discussion? Because I think that there is a great disparity in what true revival constitutes from each camp, for one. Secondly, the matter of bringing in an outside preacher who comes in and preaches theology from a perspective other than our own is concerning for each side. Imagine a mostly Arminian church hearing about the divine decree in election and the predestination of some to salvation and others to perdition. Or the reverse, imagine a church from a Reformed perspective hearing an evangelist preach that millions of people are going to die and go to hell if you do not do something about it or all you need to do is decide for yourself about Jesus, and that it is entirely up to you. In the truest since there is one gospel, but there are diversities within the church in terms of how that gospel is to impact our church. The evangelist is not so much about Christ and Culture as it is about Church Culture. The second thing, as if that were not enough, is that the role of the evangelist is like the role of the pastor in many ways. I once interviewed with a church that had it stated plainly in the job description that it was the pastor sole duty to win the lost to Christ. I took the opportunity to educate the search committee that in fact it was every Christians responsible and charge to win the lost to Christ. I believe that the problem with the role of the evangelist is that it gives the church the idea that we bring in someone to do our evangelism. Let's say that we do it twice a year, well then we are really doing a good job then. How about four times a year? Why not? If twice a year is good, why is four not better? If our role as a church is to win the lost and if we have people get saved at these meetings, then why would we not have at least a minimum of four a year? My concern about the role of the evangelist is that his role is not longer pressing. We live in an age where the traditional mode of the SBC, according to my pastoral experience, has been geared toward harvesting. As SBC members we are by nature harvesters. However, I fear we are attempting to reap where we have not sown. The most pressing need for today is not harvesters but sowers. Therefore if someone where to come to my church, I would not be interested in bringing in a crackerjack preacher who has the ability to invoke emotion. I think we need to be exposed to substantive biblical theology. I would say the church is need of repentance, but I fear it is the leadership of the SBC and the majority of pastors out there that are in need of being preached to. If our leadership took seriously their mandate from Scripture I believe that the church would naturally assume a missional posture. If we all did our part and functioned biblically we may only need to bring in someone twice a year to get our batteries recharged. As it is I am afraid that we are missing the great need, which is a missional transformation of our own church culture.