There’s more than one way to plant a church, and a lot of that is determined by the giftedness and calling of the leader. This week we’ll be looking at the five different types of church leaders—Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd, Teacher—and what each of them means for church planting.

“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11)   

An Evangelist is one who is called to passionately seek out opportunities to share the gospel with others and lead them toward acceptance of Christ. Evangelists recruit. These infectious communicators of the gospel message recruit others to the cause. They call for a personal response to God’s redemption in Christ, and also draw believers to engage the wider mission, growing the church. Evangelists can be so focused on reaching those outside the church that maturing and strengthening those inside is neglected. (Note: This definition is a composite drawn from Beyond Church Planting by Robert E. Logan and Neil Cole and from The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch.)

Evangelists are versatile. They can do well with either a “start and go” approach or a “stay and grow” approach. Their emphasis on growth by conversion can lend itself well to a new church plant or an existing church. However, they will need someone to support and lead those who are already believers or they will see constant turnover in their churches.

If you want to find your own leanings and where you fall on this continuum, take the APEST online self-assessment inventory.