The lay evangelist dates to the time when Jesus sent out the seventy to minister in areas that He and the disciples would be unable to reach during His brief ministry (Luke 10:1-17). Just as these lay evangelists went out preaching the gospel of Jesus at His first coming, you are called to go and preach the gospel of His second coming. In the modern setting the lay evangelist reaches areas where the pastor or conference evangelist may never have the opportunity or budget to set foot. As a volunteer you can establish a work there.
The church serves the Lord in praise, serves one another in love, and serves the world in humility. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).
Jesus, in His last words before ascending to Heaven, gave the commission to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations...” (Matt. 28:19): For the lay evangelist the target audience is the world, beginning at the doorstep of his or her home.
Duties of the Lay Evangelist
The work of the lay evangelist is varied, but some of the specific functions include the following:
- Hold public evangelistic meetings. Meetings could be in your town or in a nearby town where no formal Seventh-day Adventist work has been start- ed. You could do all the preaching yourself, or organize a team to share the preaching duties. Don’t overlook the possibilities of holding meetings for individuals in retirement centers, or for structuring your outreach to a specific ethnic group in your community. A series of meetings for the hearing impaired or other handicapped individuals who have special needs (that are often overlooked by regular outreach events) could be very rewarding.
- Conduct Revelation seminars. This form of public evangelism has been particularly effective in recent years with church members leading out. There is also material available to hold Daniel seminars which open up even more Bible prophecy to your hearers.
- Assist the pastor. The lay evangelist can assist the pastor in evangelistic meetings or by preaching. Especially in a district with more than one church, the pastor needs the help of a lay minister to fill speaking appointments for Sabbath worship services and mid-week meetings from time to time. The pastor may also seek your assistance for visiting individuals who have shown an interest in learning more about Adventists.
- Organize neighborhood outreach. In cooperation with your church ministries leader, help plan outreach activities for your community, especially when laying the groundwork for evangelistic meetings with entry events, such as stop-smoking seminars, cooking and nutrition classes, etc.
- Recruit volunteers. You will have the opportunity in your projects to minister to others in your church family by giving them the opportunity to become involved in active witnessing. Build a network of persons around you who also have a burden for soul-winning. Help train them for outreach ministry and encourage them to stay actively involved in witnessing.
- Small group evangelism. Once called “cottage meetings,” this form of outreach provides opportunities to teach the gospel to two, three or a dozen individuals in a less formal situation. You may find this a good way to begin.
Responsibilities in the Local Church. North American Division Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists. Copyright © 1997, Revised 2017. Permission to copy for local church use.