Evangelism by Proxy?

     How much do you like hard work?  Some do and some do not, like anything else.  How many would go into medical school or law school and assume to do little and still get by, still get their degree and practice.  How many would go into these works and assume that the professor or the smartest student in the class would do the work for these, but they would still draw a paycheck?  Andy, you are not thinking correctly.  When you go into one of these areas you must do the work in order to reap the rewards, both financially and otherwise.

However, when we speak of our lives in God’s church, we have a program called “Evangelism by Proxy.”  What exactly is this program?  Well, evangelism means to proclaim a great message, which is what God’s people are called to do (Matthew 28:19-20).  The word proxy means a substitute or an alternate.  So, evangelism by proxy means proclaiming a great message by a substitute or an alternate.  When a person becomes a Christian, it is understood that they simply need to live a life that is up to par with the Bible, but that is all.  We have a “Minister” here who does the work of evangelism.  I am not trained, nor schooled, nor talented enough to preach and teach and minister.

So, while we downplay and preach against denominational “Pastors” because it is clearly not scriptural (Acts 20:17,28).  We, in the Lord’s church, have the same mindset we just call him a “Minister.”  Now, you say this is not true.  We would never do anything that is not scriptural and by the book.  But when you talk with many of our older members, 60 years and older, they clearly speak of “The Minister” like he is the “Pastor.”  I suggest to conservative members of the church sitting in your homes and reading this that the “Pastor” system is alive and well in the Lord’s church today.  We simply call him “The Minister.”  Now, if you do not agree, what is the difference, with the exception of doctrine?  We have created, over the past 6 or 7 decades, “Evangelism by Proxy.”

What then will help us to get out of this situation of giving the work, the responsibility, the calling and the higher place to “the minister?”  First, we must change our language. There is no “The” “Minister” in the Lord’s church.  Are not all Christians ministers in the Lord’s church?  The term minister, deaconos, simply means servant. Are not all Christians ministers and therefore servants?  There is not such place as the Head Servant, or Senior Servant, or any such office.  Sometimes I wish we would call the preaching position, The Servant. It is not quite as elevated and distinguished in sound.  Second, we must understand what the word means.  It has no special or lofty hidden meaning that men get to enjoy this name individually.  A minister, all ministers, are servants, slaves and people in service.  Once we understand the word and humble ourselves before God, we will then all be ministers – and look to see no “Ministers” because they do not exist.  By Andy Burns


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