This post, however, is not meant to be a review.
I wanted to share a paragraph cited in the book from another book written by A.W. Pink. This is from Mark Dever's chapter entitled "Do the Work of an Evangelist" on page 163. Apparently, Pink was writing on a subject that is depressingly still relevant that was going on in Australia (his home?) in the 1920s. Allow me to share:
General religious conditions here are very similar to those which obtain in the USA. The vast majority of the churches are in a sorry state. Those that are out-and-out worldly are at their wits' end to invent new devices for drawing a crowd. Others which still preserve an outward form of godliness provide nothing substantial for the soul; there is little ministering of Christ to the heart and little preaching of "sound doctrine," without which souls cannot be built up and established in the faith. The great majority of the "pastors" summon to their aid some professional "evangelist," who, for two to four weeks, puts on a high-pressure campaign and secures sufficient new "converts" to take the place of those who have "lapsed" since he was last with them. What a farce it all is! What an acknowledgement of their own failure! Imagine C. H. Spurgeon needing some evangelist to preach the Gospel for him for a month each year! Why do not these well-paid "pastors" heed 2 Timothy 4:5 and themselves "do the work of an evangelist," and thus "make full proof of their ministry"?
That's quite a question. I thought nothing of the significance or the error behind the position of a full time evangelist who travels to many churches in order to preach revivals and what not until I was in Bible college. I noticed then that there really is no such office in the NT expressed in the way it is now, and I wondered about the validity of it.
Apparently, I'm not the only one who has pondered this, and I think that Pink may have been on to something.
I wonder what makes pastors think that they need to call on some professional "evangelist" when the pastor is to be the one doing the work of an evangelist and training his people to carry on that responsibility into their own lives (Eph 4:11-12). I know that the text in Ephesians names evangelists too, but not in the way that it is now expressed. Maybe it's due to the fact that it's been done for so long. Maybe it's because there are men training for this office and they need somebody to give em some work. I'm not really sure how it has come about, but I (and some godly men too) would like to know why.
I wonder if men leading churches today even care enough to start allowing God's Spirit to work through the faithful preaching of the word and attend to the responsibility of evangelizing people themselves. After all, it's not the visible results that your looking for--it's the faithful obedience that counts (or is it?).