Pastor vs Evangelist: What’s the Difference?


Pastor vs Evangelist_ What's the Difference_
  • Pastor vs Evangelist
  • Evangelist – His Spiritual Gift is in His Passion to Lead People to Christ
  • Evangelist – Tends to Travel – Go where the Spirit Leads
  • Evangelist – Parallel a heart of Missionary
  • Evangelist – take the Gospel to those who do not have it
  • Pastor – Shepherds a Local Congregation
  • Pastor – Remains in one location
  • Pastor – Feeds God’s Flock
  • Pastor – Protects the local Flock
  • Pastor – Helps take Young Christians, newborns until they mature to spiritual adults. – He is responsible for His Flocks Spiritual Growth

Pastor vs. Evangelist: What’s the Difference

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors, and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.

Ephesians 4:11-12 (NIV)

What is the difference between a pastor and an evangelist? To understand this better, we need to know that evangelists and pastors are people with spiritual gifts of evangelism and pastor/shepherd, respectively. These two gifts belong to the five-fold ministry found in Ephesians 4:11. Like other spiritual gifts, people with these gifts use them to edify the body of Christ.

When a believer gives their life to Christ, they are given spiritual gifts by God through his Holy Spirit.  These gifts are given to us according to the will of the Holy Spirit, so we cannot choose which gift we want in our lives. But we can pray and ask God to impart them to us through his spirit. 

Understand that although the gifts of pastor and evangelism are under ministration gifts, they are not the same. Here is why:

Evangelists bring souls to the Church / Pastor vs Evangelist

The Gifts of Evangelism – takes the Evangelist wherever the Lord Leads him. Whether it is a chariot on its way to Ethiopia or the suburb of Chicago. Their Hearts and Gifts are in Harvesting souls for Christ’s Kingdom

All Christians are called to evangelize, but all of us do not have the spiritual gift of evangelism. Evangelists have been given an extra measure of faith and grace to preach the gospel to the lost souls and lead them to Christ. They also have the special grace of preaching the word of God clearly and effectively to unbelievers

Gift of Evangelism

Evangelists are open to communicating with different kinds of people to lead them to salvation with the help of the Holy Spirit. They continually seek out relationships with people who do not know Christ so that they can preach the gospel to them.

On the other hand, evangelists are called to go into the world. They have to go to different parts of the world as per the leading of the Holy Spirit to preach the word of God.

Sharing Your Faith

Since an evangelist is always on the move, it is hard for them to lead a local church like a pastor.  The main role of evangelists in the body of Christ is to preach the gospel and bring people to the church. That is to say, while evangelists plant the seed that is the word of God in the hearts of unbelievers and lead them into salvation, it is the pastors that water and cultivate that word by ensuring that the people who have surrendered their lives to Christ continue to grow spiritually.

It is worth noting that evangelists can work in different cities, but a pastor is called to lead a local church within the community.

Pastors are responsible for the Spiritual Growth of the Church

Pastors are called by God to take care of the spiritual growth of the body of Christ.  They use their gift to build up the body of Christ by preaching and teaching people about God and helping them to continue growing in their faith. They are also known as shepherds because God has given them the mandate to take care of his children, just like the shepherd takes care of his sheep.

Don’t Water Weeds

Leaders Greatest Burden / Don’t water Weeds

These Servants have the Heart and caring for God’s Children in a specific location, to an individual flock of Sheep

Leading the Church

God has granted pastors special abilities of leadership so that they can be able to lead the body of Christ in communities where they live. So, a pastor’s job is not limited to preaching the word of God. They need to be leaders in their church

(Acts 20:28).  “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”

Pastors can evangelize, but not all evangelists should be pastors

As we have already seen, every believer has been given the mandate to go into the world and preach the gospel

(Mark 16:15 – 18). He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name, they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

It means that all pastors can and should evangelize. They need to preach the message of the cross to people who do not know Jesus in their communities. And those who come to church but have not given their lives to Christ to the point of salvation. But at the same time, guide and direct their congregation on spiritual and life matters.

Highly Effective Pastors

It is a big challenge for an evangelist to take up both the roles of evangelism and being a pastor. They are supposed to focus on planting seeds (spreading the gospel), so not all evangelists can be pastors. 

Traveling

We have different kinds of pastors today. So to be clear, we are talking about the main pastor of the church in this article. The one that is in charge of a particular church according to scripture. 

A pastor needs to take care of the issues that come up in the church.  They need to be there for their congregants. So they are limited to how far they can travel, that is to say, a pastor cannot leave his church for five years to travel to different parts of the world to spread the gospel.

An evangelist, on the other hand, can travel to different parts of the world because they are required to spread the gospel to the world. In business terms, an evangelist can be equated to a sales manager. They need to take the gospel to people that are outside the body of Christ. While a pastor is an operational manager, they need to ensure that the people coming to church are growing spiritually.

Missionary

To sum it up

Pastors and evangelists are gifted differently. While they can both evangelize,  evangelists have been given a special grace by God to go into the world and preach the good news of the kingdom of God.  Pastors, on the other hand, have a special calling to take care of God’s flock that is the body of Christ. They are responsible for the spiritual growth of members of their local church.

Leading in Discipleship

Evangelists go to different parts of the world mostly as missionaries to spread the gospel of Christ and to bring lost souls to the church.  Evangelists plant seeds (the word of God) in the hearts of those that are lost and lead them to Christ through the leading of the Holy Spirit. Pastors, on the other hand, are mainly responsible for ensuring that the people who give their lives to Jesus continue growing spiritually.  They are responsible for preaching and teaching people in the body of Christ the word of God so that they can continue walking in the purposes of God.

Pastor vs Evangelist

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