I called and talked to Jeff regarding the biblical authority for having a local evangelist or preacher. I appreciate the time he took to talk to me and help me. I do have a few follow-up questions. Also, I really appreciate your website as it is easy to navigate, is full of good information, and is probably the best church website that I am aware of, so thank you for the time that has been put into maintaining and creating the website. I know it has been a good resource to me over the years! Thanks!
There seem to be several examples in the New Testament of churches sending people out to evangelize or preach. There are also several references to Paul sending Timothy to churches to preach or evangelize. Are there any scripture references of a church bringing someone in to assist them? Or are there any examples of a congregation asking someone to come in and help the local church? Could someone kindly argue that the scripture pattern regarding preachers or evangelists is for a church to send them out, not for them to invite them in?
I'm sure you can find someone willing to argue almost any point.
During the early persecution of the church by the Jews, brethren came to Antioch in Syria and found a receptive audience. "But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord" (Acts 11:20-21). The church in Jerusalem heard about them and sent Barnabas there to give the new congregation a hand (Acts 11:22). Due to his encouragement and hard work, the church grew rapidly (Acts 11:23-24).
I suspect that Barnabas was feeling overwhelmed because the next thing we are told is that Barnabas heads off to Tarsus to locate Saul, whom he personally knew (Acts 11:25; 9:26-27). The impression is that Barnabas was in Damascus when Saul was converted. When Barnabas had last seen Saul, he was sailing for Tarsus (Acts 9:30). Saul came to Antioch and the two of them worked together for a year in Antioch (Acts 11:26).
Thus, we have at least one instance recorded for us where a preacher was invited to come work with a congregation.