A unique biblical interpretation of Ephesians 4:11-16 that looks at evangelists’ role in the Christian church.
Kohler’s (Gate Crashers: The Offensive Church, 2015) idea is simple: “Every church should have a pastor/teacher and an evangelist.” Although he doesn’t state this clearly until the second-to-last chapter, the entirety of the book is spent heavily defending that premise against what he seems to expect will be tremendous theological opposition. Specifically, he uses Old Testament history to highlight what he sees as the corruption of church culture before referring to Paul’s work in the New Testament to outline Jesus Christ’s original design for the church. He challenges Christians to focus on God’s program instead of myriad programs that churches invent for themselves, and to boldly, lovingly share the Gospel with nonbelievers. After a lengthy discussion about why current views regarding evangelists are inadequate, he expounds on the benefits of having an outwardly focused evangelist as a church leader in addition to an inwardly focused pastor. As a whole, this book is intelligently written and theologically grounded. However, Kohler seems to marshal so much evidence that his defense of his claims sometimes drowns out his actual claims; his theory is clear, but readers often have to search for how to accomplish it. His most effective tools are testimonials from members of his own congregation who’ve been spiritually energized by the work of that church’s evangelist. These relatively few pages show the personal effectiveness of his proposed system, and the implementation of his ideas is much clearer here than in the rest of the book. Even if Christian readers don’t completely agree with all of Kohler’s claims, there’s a lot of wisdom to be found here, and some pastors will definitely want to have a look.
A long-winded work about a radical but well-supported idea that has the potential to reinvigorate Christian churches across the nation.