I was extremely encouraged this morning as Evangelist Jerry Sivnksty preached the Word. There have been many opinions that have come and gone about bringing in an Evangelist.
I cannot express to you enough the ministry benefits of evangelists in my personal life. These men were not in any wise perfect, but they were my heroes. As a boy in West Virginia, my pastor would bring in these Evangelists and they would light up the pulpit with the authoritative preaching of God's Word. To me they were like prophets of old walking straight from the desert sticking their bony fingers in our faces and saying "Thou art the man!"
The shepherding, consistent in-depth teaching of a pastor is irreplaceable, but it is so refreshing to hear a gifted man of integrity bellowing out the pointed Word. I was overwhelmed to see people under the influence of the Spirit coming to deal with God at the altar. One older woman passed by me and I could hear her sobs as God softened her heart to pliable clay.
You may wonder if I get jealous at such willing response when I tend the folds week in and week out and sometimes see little visible response: well, yes - I do wish to see people walk the aisle under God's influence in response to my preaching. But, I believe I have matured and learned after 20 years of preaching that the pastor's work is often the sanctification that works gently over time to transform the sheep into the image of Christ. It is not always pointed and powerful on the spot decisions. One thing I can truly say - my heart was thrilled this morning at the work of God in the people. May the Lord continue to work this week and may His power fall to His own glory alone and not to the glory of any pastor or evangelist.
Love to God and to you.
p.s. If you don't understand the title of this post, I will tell you it is a saying among pastors about the work of an evangelist coming into your church. Sometimes, it greatly helps the spirit of the church when a fresh preacher's voice is heard (a new broom). :)