I am thankful for godly evangelists who labor for souls and for revival.
The Bible mentions evangelism three different times:
And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.—Acts 21:8
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;—Ephesians 4:11
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.—2 Timothy 4:5
A man with the calling of evangelist whom I highly respect is Dr. John Goetsch. In my first year as a pastor, the Lord led me to call Dr. Goetsch to preach for our winter revival. That was one of the best decisions I ever made. The Lord has blessed our friendship over the years, and when we started West Coast Baptist College, Dr. Goetsch came to help in the work.
Dr. Goetsch has the calling of evangelist, and he also serves as the executive vice president of West Coast Baptist College. I have the calling of pastor, and I also serve as the president of WCBC. We enjoy working together in the ministry.
The following reasons have compelled me to ask Dr. Goetsch to preach for our winter revival at Lancaster Baptist Church for twenty-eight consecutive years:
1. His walk—Dr. Goetsch is a man of godly integrity. Like the Apostle Paul, his doctrine and his manner of life match.
But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,—2 Timothy 3:10
2. His biblical preaching—Dr. Goetsch’s expository messages are the definition of “precept upon precept; line upon line” preaching. He rightly divides the Word, using thorough Bible study and honest handling of the text.
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.— 2 Timothy 4:2
3. His godly spirit—I have never heard Dr. Goertsch criticize another man of God or ministry. After decades in the ministry, he still maintains a respectful spirit toward others—even those younger than him.
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.—1 Timothy 4:16
4. His fresh sermons—For twenty-eight consecutive years Dr. Goetsch has preached our revival messages, but each year is fresh. Each year he studies and prays. Each year, weeks before the services, he shares with me the text God has placed on his heart and the messages he is preparing from it.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.—2 Timothy 2:15
5. His Passion—You can’t be around Dr. Goestch very long without knowing that his passion is for revival. He is not an issue-orientated preacher. He doesn’t have a personal axe to grind. He prays and preaches for a revival of God’s people. And he still believes revival can happen today. His passionate faith is encouraging and motivating.
Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?—Psalms 85:6
6. His Pursuit of God—Many times during our winter revival, he has fasted the entire week. He pursues God personally and fervently.
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;—Psalms 63:1
7. His Spirit to Help—Dr. Goetsch’s messages are convicting and corrective, but when he is preaching, you don’t sense that he is trying to do the correcting. He encourages the pastor and the people, and he allows the Holy Spirit to work.
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.—1 Thessalonians 4:1
8. His Emphasis on the Gospel—In our church, we have much fruit that remains from the annual revival services. There are families in our church today that were saved during the week of revival and are continuing to grow in the Lord.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.—Romans 1:16
9. His Gratitude to Be Used—You will not meet a man with a more grateful spirit. Without expectation or agenda, Dr. Goetsch simply delights to be used of God.
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;—1 Timothy 1:12
10. His Humility—Dr. Goetsch does not tweet about his meetings. He doesn’t posture himself for praise or brag about his connections. He doesn’t try to manipulate opportunities for himself. For him, the anointing of God is enough.
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.—James 4:6
Dr. Goesch probably won’t like this post, and he would be the first to tell you he is far from perfect. I write these comments, however, as a grateful pastor. I also want to encourage young preachers and evangelists to follow these biblical principles.
We live in a self-promoting, self-serving, selfish society. And we easily let self creep into the ministry.
May we instead live to exalt the Lord and preach the gospel. And may we pray for revival.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.—2 Chronicles 7:14
(The 2014 winter revival with Dr. Goetsch at Lancaster Baptist Church will be January 26–29. Please pray that the Lord will use these services to convict and stir our hearts, to draw us closer to Him—to bring revival.)