ch17     Pilgrim's Progress Chapter 17               
Updated: March 2, 2015

Chapter 17

First Read p 221-223
audio 02 Track 4 fastforward to 4:40 then 02 Track 5 listen up to 2:40.  for combined audio click here

Types of Christian Leaders
Ephesians 4:11 names the following four types of Christian leaders.
Apostles Prophets, pastors/teachers, evangelists
The word apostle means “sent one” and is the same word that is used for “missionary.” Missionary is from a Latin word meaning “sent one.” The apostles of the twenty–first century are missionaries. The apostles are mentioned first in Ephesians 4:11, thereby indicating that the work of missions is a church’s greatest endeavor.


Watch Pilgrim's Progress Scene 13 Evangelists 3min video

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TVA 17aaa

What is a prophet? (Discuss student responses before offering the following information.)
A prophet is not one who predicts the future, but one who reveals the future.

True prophets don’t have to predict (a term that implies guesswork, much like a weatherman offers a guess—albeit an educated guess—as to what the weather will be). They just reveal God’s plan as He reveals it to them.
How can you tell a true prophet from a false prophet? (Discuss.)
A true prophet is never wrong!
Can a false prophet ever be right? Yes, but only by accident.
There are self–proclaimed prophets and prophetesses today who claim to be psychic. Are they ever wrong? (Far more often than they are right!) Then they are not true prophets?

A modern prophet is one who has the gift of seeing trends and issues and revealing their ultimate consequences. Some preachers can recognize evil trends before they become widely known and can foresee where particular methods, styles, or movements are leading and warn us of the consequences so that we know to stay away from them.

The pastor/teacher is one and the same office. The pastor is one who has the gift of teaching, caring for, and protecting Christians.

The word evangelist means “to announce good news.” The evangelist is a person who is gifted at presenting the gospel.

Although these are four separate and distinct offices, in a sense every Christian is responsible for performing all four functions. We see that this point is true when we note the following facts.
1. We are all to take the gospel wherever we go (as the original apostles did). All Christians are to be missionaries.
2. We are all to discern dangerous trends and warn others of their dangers.
3. We are all to exhort and encourage each other (as a pastor does).
4. We are all to witness and thus be evangelists.

The command in
Matthew 28:19–20 calls for at least three of these four functions. (Let the students read the verses and find the three functions that are named, and then discuss them: “Go ye” [apostle], “baptizing” [evangelist], “teaching them to observe all things” [pastor/teacher].

(TCA 17) 1  2 

The Methods of the Evangelist in The Pilgrim’s Progress

The best example of what a Christian is to be is Evangelist in The Pilgrim’s Progress. Evangelist appears three times in this allegory.

Q: When have we seen him to this point in our study of The Pilgrim’s Progress? (Discuss student responses before offering the following information.)
In the City of Destruction
Evangelist came to Graceless when he was in the city of Destruction and pointed him to Christ. There we learned several lessons, including the following.
1. He was looking for burdened souls.
The man who catches the most fish is the one who is always fishing. You never find hungry souls if you don’t look for them.
2. He pointed Graceless to the Word, especially to the book of John.
3. He used the question–answer technique to arouse the curiosity of Graceless.

Outside the City of Morality
Evangelist appeared outside the city of Morality. Mr. Worldly Wiseman had sidetracked the pilgrim, but Evangelist was on hand to help him.

Q: What lesson did we learn there? (Discuss)
Evangelist kept after the lost soul. He didn’t just preach to him once and then forget him. He followed up. Good soulwinners are tenacious.
Outside Vanity Fair
He appears the third time just outside Vanity Fair. For some time, Christian and Faithful had had a fairly peaceful time in the wilderness. They probably had dropped their guard. Satan was defeated, and the Valley of the Shadow of Death is behind them. Evangelist knew that they were about to face their most difficult time.
After he greeted them, Evangelist prepared them for the trial ahead with a five–point message. He not only acted as an evangelist but also as both pastor and prophet.
Q: How do we see him as pastor? As prophet? (Discuss)
He never ceases to be concerned about their welfare and as a prophet warns them of coming dangers.

The Concern of the Evangelist   
(4 concerns people, souls, spiritual growth, physical welfare)

Q: What is Evangelist’s most basic concern? (Discuss student responses before offering the following answer.)
1.  People
Evangelist is interested in people, not programs or his reputation.
Not Programs
Sadly, many churches are more interested in building programs than they are in building spiritual people. They are trying to build a great school, a great radio network, or a great youth program. Although their original motive might have been right (i.e., to reach more people for Christ), they soon get so caught up in the development of the organization that they lose sight of that original goal and the people suffer. They end up using people to build their program rather than using their program to build their people. They sacrifice everything for the sake of the program. The leaders get too busy with the program to counsel with people.
Not Reputation
Another temptation is to build one’s reputation rather than building people. Many Christian leaders are more interested in making a name for themselves, of getting listed in the “top ten” or the “top one hundred,” than in reaching individuals. They are not aware of their weakness or misplaced priorities, and they would emphatically deny it if anyone dared accuse them. But their actions reveal this to be true. They excuse their actions by saying that they can reach more people, but they often are really only after the prestige and glory of being known, accepted, and approved by the elite and the “movers and shakers” of Christianity.

A former youth pastor of a large church related the following confession. His goal was to have the largest youth group in the world. His first Sunday at the church, only seventy–five teens attended. He was humiliated. He didn’t get near the telephone all Sunday afternoon because he was afraid that his friends in the ministry would call to tell how many teens they had had in attendance in their services. Determined not to be outdone, he worked every scheme imaginable to increase his attendance. “I was out to make myself successful in the eyes of man, and I didn’t listen to advice [to build strong youth].”
He tailored a program to entice teens to Sunday school. He used fast–paced contemporary “Christian” music and so many promotions that he later described it as being “like ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ in Sunday school . . . . By hook and crook, dog–eat–dog, manipulation, and stepping on other people, I got what I wanted.”
Today, he says, “Maybe some of you are caught up in an ‘excitement’ philosophy.’ I want to tell you, it’s a dead–end road. I’ve been there. . . . I was attracting them to the program, to a personality, instead of to the person of Jesus Christ and the principles of God’s Word.”
As a result, he developed a number of problems, including “wrong motives, pride, priorities—I never prayed, I never read my Bible. I was in debt at home.” Finally, just when the youth pastor was on the brink of losing his home and his family, God shook him to his senses and broke his will and pride.
Years later, he returned to that church to confess his misdeeds. After the service, a young lady revealed what his youth program had done to her. Her first Sunday in church was that young man’s first Sunday as youth pastor there. Her father had just died, and she was lonely, hurt, depressed, and in need of encouragement. She came to church looking for help, but no one spoke to her or shook her hand. When she returned home, she told her mother that she would never go back again, but her mother convinced her to return one more time. Again, no one spoke to her. They youth pastor walked right past her, shook hands with the cheerleaders and athletes, and hobnobbed with the guest singers—but he never spoke a word to the hurting girl. She left bitter and never returned. Fortunately, however, someone else cared more for people than for programs and reputations and was able to lead her to Christ.
Q: How many young people in this class are like this young lady? Are the rest of us concerned for such people? Is our primary concern for fun times, our sports programs, our musical groups, our record–breaking crowds? Or are we concerned about people?
Christ was concerned about reaching people. He promised His disciples in Matthew 4:19, “I will make you fishers of men.” He didn’t come to earth to build great programs; He came to get men to reach men.
2.  Souls
Evangelist was not interested in programs; he was interested in pilgrims. His concern, however, went deeper than just people. His real concern was the souls of those people.
Christ’s greatest concern was man’s soul.
In Mark 2, He faced the man who was sick of the palsy.
Q: What did Christ do first, heal him? A: No. He said, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” Only then did he heal the man, and that only to prove that He had the authority to forgive his sin. His real concern was the man’s soul.

Q: How concerned are we for men’s souls?
3.  Spiritual Growth
Evangelist followed up on his converts. He was just as interested in them after their salvation as he had been before. This is the essence of what is called discipling.
Q: How often do you disciple another Christian?
Discipling is an exciting ministry in which a person works one–on–one with someone who is younger in the Lord, teaching them principles of God’s Word and helping them establish standards that will guide them safely through the Vanity Fairs of this life.

Q: Are you discipling someone else? With whom are you working now? Or are you interested only in your own little clique?
4.  Physical Welfare
Evangelist was certainly interested in the pilgrims’ souls, but that didn’t mean that he wasn’t also interested in their physical welfare.
Third John 2 shows us that John’s main concern was for Gaius’s spiritual growth, but it also shows his compassion for Gaius’s health.

Q: Are you sincerely interested in the welfare of others around you? Do you care about their problems? Do you listen to people when they talk about their problems so that you can then direct them to godly solutions?
Q: How interested are you in people?

student work

In this unit, the pilgrims enter a new stage of their journey. They leave the privacy of the wilderness and enter a more public scene in the town of Vanity Fair. Perhaps this shift of setting is an allusion to Bunyan’s being publicly set apart for the ministry. While he was fulfilling his duties as a minister, he was arrested, tried, and persecuted.The speech that Evangelist gave to the pilgrims in the reading for this lesson would make a good ordination sermon. Bunyan narrates the account of his own ordination in 1656 in Grace Abounding. Perhaps this scene in The Pilgrim’s Progress is his “ordination” of Faithful and Christian.  Although you’ve seen Evangelist in this story before, he has never been the main subject of our story. Yet, were it not for him, Christian and Faithful would not be on the path to the Celestial City. This instance is the third time that Evangelist has appeared in the story, and with each appearance we gain a clearer picture of the true soul winner.  Evangelist represents the biblical soul winner. From him we learn many lessons, several of which we’ll examine in this lesson.

Lessons from Evangelist

• List the three occasions when Evangelist has appeared in our allegory.

1. _to Graceless outside the city of Destruction

2. _at the hill outside the city of Destruction_

3. _here, just before the pilgrims enter Vanity Fair_

Note the following lessons that we’ve learned at each of his appearances in the story.

In his first appearance, we saw the following soul winner’s methods.

• Look for burdened hearts.

• Arouse interest by asking piercing questions.

• Use the Scripture to point the soul to Christ.

In his second appearance, we saw the soul winner’s follow–up program.

• Keep in touch with the sinner.

• Point him back to Christ.

Now, in his third appearance, we see his concern for his convert.

• He is just as interested in Christian now that he’s saved as he was when Christian was lost and called Graceless.

• He warns him of danger to come.

• He is loved by the convert.

• His joy is in seeing the growth of his converts.

The Admiration of the Evangelist

A soul winner’s converts never forget him! One of our earthly rewards is the continued love and friendship bestowed upon us by those whom we lead to the Lord.

• How do Christian and Faithful illustrate this truth? _They were happy to see Evangelist, welcomed him joyfully, called him “friend,” etc_

A soul winner is always admired. Who admires you for your soul–winning efforts?

The Heart of the Evangelist

The heart of the true soul winner is seen by the following two characteristics.

1. His Concern

Evangelist’s first two statements reveal much about his heart. Record these statements and what you learn about his heart in each case.

• First statement: _Peace be with you, dearly beloved, and peace be to your helpers._

Lesson learned: _He loves them and is concerned about them._

• Second statement: _How have you been doing, friends, since the time I saw you last? What has happened to you along the way, and how have you behaved yourselves?_

Lesson learned: _He’s concerned about how they’ve fared along the way since he last saw them. He wants to know what’s happened to them and how they’ve reacted to things._

• Read his first statement again. Then read

1 Chronicles 12:18. Who are the “helpers” whom he mentions? _God_

From this we learn that a true soul winner is as concerned for his converts after they are saved as he is before they were saved. He follows up and helps them grow and avoid dangers.

2. His Joy

The soul winner’s joy is by far the greatest joy that a man can have on this earth. Evangelist is glad for the following three reasons:

1. _that they have been victorious through all of the trials and tribulations they’ve encountered

2. _that they have continued in the right way

3._for both of their sakes


Have you ever experienced the joy of seeing someone whom you led to the Lord grow into a strong Christian? No sports accomplishment, achievement in life, or amount of money or gain can rival the joy of the soul winner!

The Messages of the Evangelist

Evangelist brings two exhortations to Christian and Faithful. Both messages are meant to prepare them for their approaching experiences and trials in Vanity Fair.

The First Message

The first message has the following five points.

1. Keep Your Crown

• A Christian can win a number of crowns. Read the following references and write in the space the types of crowns mentioned.

1 Corinthians 9:25 — _incorruptible_

1 Thessalonians 2:19— _crown of rejoicing_

(This crown, the soul winner’s crown, is not an actual crown but the souls won to Christ.)

2 Timothy 4:8— _crown of righteousness_

(Who wins this crown? _those who love Christ’s appearing_)

James 1:12— _crown of life

(Who wins this crown? _those who love Christ and endure temptation_)

1 Peter 5:4— _crown of glory_ (This crown is reserved for faithful pastors.)

• Which of these crowns do Faithful and Christian stand to gain? _incorruptible

• Can a crown be lost? _yes__

• What does Revelation 3:11 ask us to do that Evangelist asked Faithful and Christian to do? _hold fast what we have and not let any man take away our crown_

2. Remember Satan

• The valleys of Humiliation and the Shadow of Death are now behind the pilgrims. If they are not careful, however, they will assume that they have finally won out over Satan. What does Evangelist say concerning this?_You’re not yet out of the gunshot of the devil. You’ve not yet “resisted unto blood striving against sin.”_

A Christian does not defeat Satan until the believer reaches heaven!

3. Live With Eternity in View

• Which saying of Evangelist teaches the pilgrims to keep their minds on the future? _Keep the kingdom always uppermost in your mind and believe steadfastly the things that are invisible.

4. Avoid Being Entangled by the World

• What words of Evangelist express this lesson? _Don’t let anything on this side of the other world get inside you.

• This warning can apply to cars, boats, sports, houses, popularity, riches, clothing, friends, etc.
Read Matthew 13:4-8,
. Which type of ground (heart) never bears fruit because of its worldly entanglements? _the thorny soil

• What two things keep such a person from bearing fruit?__the cares of the age and the deceitfulness of riches

5. Don’t Trust the Flesh

• Which of Evangelist’s statements warns of this danger? _Above all, guard carefully your own hearts, and beware its lust because they are “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.”

The Second Message

• Christian now thanks Evangelist for his message and then asks that he do what? _tell them about some of the things that they can expect to happen to them along the rest of their way

• Thus, Evangelist begins a final short exhortation. His text is Acts 14:21–22, which warns us that _we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

• He then describes their coming tribulation. They will soon come to a town, where they will be hard pressed by enemies. These men will strain hard to kill them. One of them “must seal _with blood the testimony that you hold_.” But, he tells them, “be faithful unto death, _and the King will give you a crown of life__.”

(Here is the mention of a second crown that we will receive.)

• Which pilgrim will get the best of his brother? _the one who dies_

• Why?_because he arrives at the Celestial City first and because he will thereby escape many miseries that the other will encounter during the rest of the journey

Something is touching, thrilling, and melancholy in this conversation. It reads much like a parting address in which the faithful minister commits his children to the care of the faithful Creator. With sadness, Evangelist sees them leave as they head for their fate.

notes from the teacher’s lesson

Four Types of Leaders

1. ______________________________________________ (“Sent one”)

2. ________________________________________ (Reveals the future)

3. _______________________________________________ (Shepherd)

4. ___________________________________ (To announce good news)

The Methods of the Evangelist

In The City of Destruction

• He Was Looking for ____________________

• He Pointed Graceless ______________________________________

• He Used ________________________________________________

Outside the City of Morality

He ________________________________________________ the Lost Soul

Outside Vanity Fair

He Acts As


Quiz—Lesson 17
Name____________________________________________ Date ______________ Score_________

Short Answer

1–4. List the four types of leaders in the Christian church as discussed in this lesson.
5–6. In what two things should the evangelist not be interested or concerned?
7. What word means following up on a convert to encourage him and to ensure that he continues to grow in the Lord?
8–9. What were two of the five points in Evangelist’s message to Christian and Faithful?

10–12. What was Evangelist’s reason for meeting Christian and Faithful before they entered Vanity Fair?

Lesson Objectives:
1. To define and describe the four types of Christian leaders and their roles
2. To explain and demonstrate the sense in which every Christian is responsible for performing all four functions of those types of leaders
3. To explain in detail the methods of the evangelist and his concern for people, souls, and their spiritual growth and physical welfare



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