As a Pastor, people in the church who want to serve the ministry often ask me if they should become a pastor or an evangelist. The questions have become so frequent that I regularly hold bible sessions to provide insight to those interested in serving God but unsure which line to pursue. I title the sessions as Evangelist Vs. Pastor: How are they different?
Their primary roles are what is different within the Christian community. An evangelist travels from place to place within communities, holding crusades and outreaches to preach and spread the gospel. The purpose is to convert non-believers to believers of Christ. On the other hand, a pastor is responsible for a congregation in a specific church, leading and guiding them spiritually through preaching the gospel.
In this article, join me as we explore the topic of Evangelist versus Pastor and respond to questions about their differences, similarities, roles, and job descriptions. I will provide insight into this subject.
Evangelist vs. Pastor: Difference in the definition
An evangelist is an individual who preaches the good news of Christ by traveling from one place to another, spreading the word of Christ. An evangelist will hold crusades, outreach events, and door-to-door ministries to spread the gospel of Christ.
A pastor, on the other hand, is responsible for the congregants in a specific church. The Pastor’s primary role is to care for, spiritually guide and lead a congregation in the right direction to nurture their faith.
Evangelist Vs. Pastor: how are their roles different?
The role of an evangelist is to spread the gospel outside a church vicinity to people who do not believe in Christ. An evangelist would move to different places by spreading the word of God through public speaking, door-to-door ministry, and crusades to preach the word of God. An evangelist’s other role is to help those in need, like orphans, homeless people, single mothers, and widows, to name a few, by conducting outreach programs. Most of an evangelist’s work is centered outside a church.
The role of a pastor is to nurture, lead, spiritually guide and care for the congregants. A pastor is stationed in a specific church or Christian community. The Pastor’s role involves nurturing and guiding the faith of the existing believers. The Pastor does this through leading worship services and conducting teachings for a believer’s spiritual growth and development. Most of a pastor’s work is centered within a church precinct.
Are there any similarities between Evangelists and Pastors?
Yes, there are several similarities. Ephesians 4:11-12 mentions the critical similarities between an evangelist and a pastor. They both seek to equip individuals or a church community with the knowledge of God. Additionally, they both have a strong Christian calling, serve God and seek to spread God’s message. Further, an evangelist and a pastor have a deep understanding of the bible as they use it as a basis for their teachings.
Both are skilled in public speaking to deliver biblical messages and sermons. They are also faithful servants, committed to serving God and people. Lastly, both create relationships with the congregants, church community, and individuals seeking to become spiritual.
Comparison summary between Evangelist and Pastor
Parameter of comparison
Origin of the title
Originated from the Greek word “euaggelistori.”
Derived from the Latin word “Pastor.”
Meaning of the title
“euaggelistori” means “one who proclaims the glad tidings.” It refers to an individual who spreads the good news, the gospel, to the non-believers.
“Pastor” means “shepherd.” It refers to an individual who spiritually guides a congregation and cares for it.
Spreading the good news through door-door ministries, outreach programs, crusades, and bible studies.
Ministering to the congregation, leading worship services, leading the congregation, nurturing the faith of the church community, and undertaking pastoral counseling.
Character requirement (according to the bible and theological studies)
Compassion, wisdom, service, selflessness, holiness.
Integrity, wisdom, humility, gentleness, uprightness, holiness.
Where did the names pastor and Evangelist come from?
The name Pastor originates from the Latin word “pastor,” which means “shepherd.” The literal meaning of a shepherd is someone who cares for a herd or flock; however, figuratively, a shepherd means someone who provides spiritual guidance, a shepherd of souls, and a Christian minister. Evangelist originates from the Greek word “euaggelistori,” meaning “the one who proclaims the glad tidings.” It, therefore, means that one who brings good news to another is an evangelist.
What do pastors and evangelists do today?
Pastors’ Job Descriptions
A Pastor’s job description is to be a spiritual guide to the congregation, which is done through feeding the people the word of God by proclaiming or preaching it to them. A pastor guards the people in the church against false beliefs and teachings or those who may lead them astray.
Additionally, a pastor should care for the congregation by giving them advice, encouragement, and help. The caring goes deeper by understanding what their souls require for nourishment, even when the congregation is unaware. Lastly, pastors should lead by providing a good example. They should be humble and integral and only desire to serve others genuinely rather than for personal gain.
The bible verse in 1 Peter 5:1–3 outlines a pastor’s job description. It labels congregants as the “flock of God,” and apostle Paul urged the elders to shepherd the flock of God. Pastors, therefore, are to treat their congregants with care and love and feed them with the gospel of God just like a shepherd does their flock. It also urges them to care for the congregants wholeheartedly, out of their own free will, not because they are being forced or for selfish gain.
Evangelist’s Job Descriptions
An evangelist’s job description is to preach and spread the good news to the non-believers or the lost, as stated in Mathew 28:19. An evangelist does it through conducting crusades where they speak publicly to a multitude of people about the gospel, leading door to door ministries and going out into the community to spread the word.
An evangelist can also teach or pass knowledge to other believers on how to evangelize to others. An evangelist can conduct outreach programs. Such programs involve meeting people with special needs, such as single mothers needing help with their children, widows, street children, and homeless and unemployed people, and providing them with necessary support while spreading the gospel.
An evangelist should have the desire to evangelize, understand the word, explain the gospel clearly to non-believers, and have genuine compassion for those who are lost.
Can a pastor be called an Evangelist?
Yes, you can call a pastor an evangelist. It is, however, essential to note that the primary roles of a pastor and an Evangelist differ entirely. However, if a pastor engages in any evangelical roles alongside their pastoral activities, they may be referred to as an evangelical pastor.
Is a pastor higher than an Evangelist?
There is no universal answer on whether a pastor is higher than an evangelist. According to Ephesians 4, one cannot outrank the other as each has been given different roles within the community. A pastor leads their congregation, giving them pastoral care and spiritual guidance. On the other hand, an evangelist solely focuses on spreading the gospel outside the church to a bigger audience, mainly non-believers. Despite the differences, they both serve to spread Christianity but in their way.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.