By Kayla Rinker
OZARK – Whether he’s called a magician or a Gospel illusionist, John Hill is first and foremost an evangelist.
“It is such a privilege and a great honor to tell other people about Jesus,” said Hill, who serves as president of the Fellowship of Missouri Baptist Evangelists (FMBE). “It’s also an incredible responsibility.”
Hill has been an evangelist for 11 years. He has served churches as a preaching evangelist, and entertained for special events like Vacation Bible School, Upward Basketball and other outreach events.
He said that magic has proven to be an effective tool in sharing the message of salvation. On his blog, www.outofmyhat.blogspot.com, Hill describes magic as a great means for capturing the attention of an audience, demonstrating basic principles of a message and reinforcing the message in a memorable way.
“Whether in a church setting or at a camp with kids, it’s a thrill to be able to share with people and be there when people make life decisions,” Hill said. “And when I stand before a congregation or a group of kids I always want to be very faithful in presenting the Gospel as simply as Jesus gave it to us.”
Sadly, Hill said the number of young evangelists in Missouri and throughout the country is diminishing. He said it’s a trend he finds “disturbing.”
“I think the reason is that there are a lot of Southern Baptist churches who don’t use evangelists anymore, even though there is definitely still a place for them,” he said. “If pastors will not use evangelists, then young people won’t see acclimation or confirmation of evangelists from their New Testament churches.”
Hill also said that no church is too small to use a vocational evangelist. He believes that there is a misconception that evangelists only come to large events and churches.
“I don’t know of any evangelist who would base their booking on size,” he said. “For them, it’s first called, first served. These guys love Jesus and they want people to know Him and grow in their relationship with Him. Anyway, a love offering at a larger church would more than offset any smaller love offering that was given somewhere else.”
Hill also offered advice to men and women who are being called into the ministry of evangelism. He said talking to and getting to know other evangelists is very beneficial, and joining the Fellowship of Missouri Baptist Evangelists is a great way to do that.
FMBE was created to provide a network of support, encouragement, and accountability to those who have surrendered to the call of vocational evangelism. It is also a useful tool to introduce evangelists to the churches and pastors of Missouri.
“We have to understand that there is a process of preparing and making important connections with pastors and local associations,” Hill said.
For more information about Fellowship of Missouri Baptist Evangelists or to contact Hill for a church service or outreach event call (417) 496-8891 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hill took over as president for Jim McNiel, a St. Louis evangelist out of Tower Grove Baptist Church.