Christians should be careful not to worship evangelists

Evangelism is important to Christians. We believe strongly that we need to tell others about Christ, so that they can know what it means to be forgiven of our sins. That is why many of us desire to be evangelists.

Unfortunately, though, sometimes this emphasis on evangelism leads to an unhealthy worship, idolizing, and even jealousy of successful evangelists. But those who are successful evangelists ought not to be worshipped as if they were any better than the rest of us, nor should someone who is not an evangelist be despised. We all have different gifts, and we all need each other. Listen to what the Apostle Paul said:

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. (I Corinthians 3:5-6 NIV)

Apollos and the Apostle Paul were two early missionaries who spread the gospel among the pagans in Corinth. Apparently Paul got to Corinth first, and “planted the seed,” with some success. After he left Apollos came behind him “watered it” by evangelizing to even more people and presumably discipling many of those who were already saved. The believers at Corinth admired these two men–which was good–but they went too far and started forming themselves into factions: some of them claimed to be followers of Paul, others claimed to be followers of Apollos. Yet Paul and Apollos were not enemies: they were brothers in Christ, servants of the one true God, each doing the job that God had given them. Neither of them wanted to be leaders of a faction: they both saw themselves only as servants of Jesus. Christians should not start factions. We are all followers of Christ, not of any man.

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