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Hi I use to know it but I have forgotten it could you give me the word the Bible uses for people that go from church to church thank you - Samuel

There are examples of people that went from church to church such as Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Apollos, and others. We often call them either missionaries, or evangelists, I know of no offical "title" for these folks. The New Testament is not big on official "titles" for those who serve in an official capacity in the church. Elders are called elders, bishops, and pastors. You see, the "titles" for those who serve are more of a description than a title.

Keeping that in mind, let's look at some of the words that "describe" those who go from church to church.

Acts 14:14 refers to Paul and Barnabas as "Apostles." This word means something like "one set out" or "one commissioned." They had both been commissioned by the Church to do mission work (Acts 13:1-3). The following chapters in Acts give an account of their travel from place to place to preach the Gospel. They planted churches where there were no churches. They also traveled from church to church to strengthen them (Acts 14:22) and collecting releif for the brethren in Jerusalem (Acts 11:30; 2 Cor 8-9).

Paul refers to himself as a "preacher" in 1 Tim 2:7. In 2 Tim 1:11 he adds the word, "teacher." Once again, this is more of a description than a title.

Acts 21:8 refers to Phillip as an "evangelist." The word simply means "Gospel Preacher" or "Good news preacher." Philip didn't travel from church to church as Paul did, but he did go from place to place as we can see in Acts 8. However, the extent of his travels was nowhere near what Paul was.

None of these necessitate traveling from church to church. The "Apostle" might be the exception. However, the example in the first few verses of Acts 8 show that the Apostles stayed in Jerusalem after having preached for several chapters before that in Jerusalem. Everyone else was scattered and "went about preaching the word (Acts 8:4). So one could have been an apostle without traveling from church to church.

I'm not sure if that is what you were asking for. It is possible as I look at your question that you are talking about those who travel from church to church not to minister to them, but for some other reason which is not good. I can think of two related passages.

"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us. ... For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies ... take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother (2 Thess 3:6-15)."

"At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies ... (1 Tim 5:13)."

The term I was thinking of was "busybody." The word itself implies someone who is active, but only in tearing down, not building up. There were those who traveled from place to place, or house to house, as busybodies, stiring up trouble wherever they went. Paul's exhortation is that they should stay busy doing things that build up. If they do not, then the church is instructed to not associate with that person as a warning for them to change.

Others that traveled around from place to place were teaching a wrong doctrine of Christ. John uses strong words for them. He calls them "deceiver" and "anti-Christ (2 John 1:7). When faithful Christians see them coming, John instructs them not to give those false teachers a greeting and show them hospitality. Only faithful teachers who came to town were to receive hospitality. That is how many traveling preachers received sustinence. To show hospitality to false teachers would be supporting and furthering their false teaching.

John Telgren
P.O. Box 452
Leavenworth, KS 66048
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