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Evangelists and the Neccessary Migration to an Apostolic Paradigm
by Territorial Envoy Craig Stephens

Growing up in the Salvation Army local church expression (Corps) as a son of Salvation Army Officers (ministers), I was at the church at least five or six time a week. Quite frankly I would rather have been anywhere else. We were immersed in a conservative pastoral/evangelical (familiar) paradigm, and I was a 12 year old boy and I was bored. I saw precious few people ever get saved. No one got healed. Probably the only miracle I witnessed was that no one fell out of the proverbial second story window and died of boredom. Sister Joyce’s Organ recital (played during the collection) bore no resemblance to the PETRA (1980s Christian rock band) or Michael W. Smith recorded (yes I’m that old) that I played my tennis racquet lead-guitar breaks to. Then one day everything changed.

The First Paradigm Shift

I remember it as if it was yesterday, the day I was filled with the Holy Spirit. It, or more accurately He, happened to me whilst attending the Salvation Army 20 years ago. Our Corps Officer (minister) laid hands on me and prayed that I would be filled with Holy Spirit, it was that simple. In that moment I enjoyed a supernatural encounter with the living God. This encounter transformed, and continues to transform my life. In one moment I had received a new (Pentecostal) paradigm from which I began walking out my Christian Faith. As a result of this encounter I was released into a phenomenal grace for evangelism.

This work of grace must have appeared obvious to others who put an “evangelist” tag on me. I just thought I was being a Christian. It seemed that many people thought only evangelists introduce pre-Christians to Jesus – what a tremendous error. Not long after the initial encounter with Holy Spirit, I was asked to teach evangelism courses – Not because I could teach, but because I had been introducing pre-Christians to Jesus. This is where I began to understand the function of an evangelist to prepare the saints for the ministry of evangelism (Ephesians 4:11-12), to release a grace upon believers to boldly proclaim Jesus to a broken and dying world.

A couple of years later The Salvation Army gave me an appointment as Territorial Evangelist, which I suspect was mostly because I continued to introduce pre-Christians to Jesus – a privilege which is afforded to every Christian.

A Better Gospel

Having journeyed in the grace of evangelism for a couple of decades now I have learnt many things. Most notably, the gospel of the Kingdom (Mark 1:15), and how easy it is to share with pre-Christians. It amazes me how readily pre-Christians respond to genuine (Kingdom) good news.

A New Reformation is upon us

Perhaps the most significant learning has been how to function in the emerging paradigm of Apostolic reformation. There is a reformation upon us. The Lord, in His grace, has restored pastors and teachers to the church – this has been the predominant paradigm of leadership of His church for hundreds of years. He has also restored evangelists to the church – again evangelists have been present in broader Church leadership for many years.

More recently the function of Prophet has been restored to the broader body of Christ. In fact even amongst the incredible diversity of the Christian church it’s much more common to hear prophetic language in prayer and preaching in most streams of gathered worshipping communities. Now, finally the Apostle is being properly restored to the body of Christ.

The Apostle William Booth

Granted, this language is a paradigm hurdle for some in the body of Christ. As Salvationists though, we ought not have a problem with the paradigm as our founder General William Booth demonstrated this Apostolic grace in his leadership of the movement.

The Old Model

So here’s the relevance to the evangelist. Once upon a time, as an evangelist I would hear from God. Hearing from God is a grace afforded every Christian. Often this would result in vision for a campaign, witnessing or outreach. Then I would rally the troops, and people would get on board with my vision (or not) and we would have a campaign… wohoo!

And people would get saved. BUT the City/Region/Nation would not be transformed.

The New Model

Hearing from God is as easy as drinking a glass of water; anyone can do it. What’s more complex as an evangelist is to hear from God and then submit your vision/campaign/idea to a group of ascension gift leaders to weigh and discern together (1 Corinthians 12:28).


This can be difficult for several reasons. Finding a mature expressed of 5-fold ministers in a region is neither common nor easy. If you can find them, the next hurdle is whether they’re functionally postured in mutual submission to one another out of reverence for Christ. Preferring to honour one another is a crucial observation necessary for any mature ascension gift leadership groups. Apostles are crucial to any idea offered for regional transformation. They’re given the blue prints of heaven for a region. They’re fathers and they’re gentle. Their assignment is given to them very personally and directly from Jesus. Prophets are critical to mature level discernment as they bring the dimension of timing to what’s being weighed. Right idea, wrong time means no substantial regional transformation. The Biblical model for city wide leadership (as outlined in Ephesians) and subsequent city transformation must include: first Apostles then Prophets (Ephesians 2:20), as well as evangelists, pastors and teachers.

Apostolic (Ascension gift) leadership is the Biblically mandated model for city wide leadership and transformation. This paradigm is highly relational and requires (fivefold ministry gifted leaders) who will discern the will of God together, and who abound in all love and grace towards one another. This is brilliantly outlined in John Kingsley Alley’s book The City Gate. Evangelists must courageously seek our Apostles, Prophets and Pastors and Teachers to walk with. We must migrate to this new paradigm if we are to see cities, regions and nations transformed and led under the governance of Christ.

Further Reading:

The City Gate by John Kingsley Alley
Peace Apostolic Ministries: peace.org.au
Dr Don Lynch: drdonlynch.com 










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