Should Christians always evangelise in pairs?

In Mark 6:7-13 we see Jesus send out his disciples in pairs to preach until people repent:

He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs and gave them authority over unclean spirits…So they went out and preached that people should repent.

What is interesting about this mission trip is that spiritual warfare is a focus. Even in this introductory verse to this section of Mark’s gospel, the authority over unclean spirits is emphasised.

The reason I’m thinking about this is that I often meet with people who are involved in spiritual practices such as divination, contact with spirits, astrology etc. These practices are all condemned in Deuteronomy 18:9-12 as ‘detestable’ because these practices connect humans with the spirits who are in rebellion to Jesus. I usually have the opportunity to share my faith and the gospel in part or whole and I’m always alone when I do this. I never go in with the intention of overt spiritual warfare such as battling demons, but my husband reminded me that even sharing the gospel is a form of spiritual warfare. I’m now weighing up the wisdom of one-to-one meetings. The thing is, these are friendships that I’ve formed through being in the same neighbourhood, or shared kids’ activities. These meetings happen over coffee either in a home or out and about.

When Jesus sent his disciples out, spiritual warfare was expected. I don’t think that people in the Western church typically expect spiritual warfare (which would be a curious discussion in itself). Are we so influenced by the secular culture around us that we’ve numbed ourselves to this reality? Anyway, these things have challenged me recently and am curious as to what others might see in scripture regarding this?


Hi @alison,

This is an interesting question. I have never really considered if spiritual warfare was the reason why Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs for evangelism. There is nothing explicitly stated in biblical texts that record this event of such reasoning, but it is certainly possible as Jesus sends the disciples on their mission soon after giving them authority over the unclean spirits. Pairing disciples could serve to provide mutual encouragement, protection, and prayer support during the evangelistic mission. I once had an experience several years ago as a student where a dear friend and I, under the direction of a campus minister, went out as a pair to share the gospel on campus. Though we both prayed separately, we felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to approach the same lady with the gospel. As we approached the lady to talk about salvation through Jesus, we were pleasantly surprised to learn from the lady that another person shared the same message with her the previous day on the airplane as she flew into the city to visit our campus, using the same tract we had but in another language! She was convinced it was the Holy Spirit leading her to repent of her sins and she gave her life to Jesus that day. It was such a miracle! The Lord had already prepared her heart. We merely read the tract to her prayerfully ( and also while trembling in fear), but the Spirit did the work. By going as a pair, we sensed confirmation about the Holy Spirit’s leading in prayer. I just share this experience as an example of unexpected ways the Holy Spirit may work through believers united in prayer.

Another reason some resources cite for evangelizing in pairs is for increased accountability, based on Deut 19:15. Every charge had to be established by two or three witnesses. When Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs, it was not to evangelize the Gentiles or Samaritans, but to evangelize the Israelites (Matt 10:5), who had the Mosaic law and were familiar with Deuteronomy.

Additionally, considering Jesus thought it necessary to give power over unclean spirits to evangelize the Israelites who had the law, I would agree with your husband that all evangelism is a form of spiritual warfare. I am reminded of Paul’s words in Eph 6:10-20, where Paul concludes the instructions of putting on the armor of God with instructions on praying for his evangelistic efforts in Eph 6:19-20.

However, whether Christians evangelize in pairs or individually may come down to personal preference, context and the specific situation. Its important that no one feels outnumbered or cornered but loved and respected as we share the gospel. Whether in pairs or as individuals, we need to be in prayer for God’s guidance.

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Hi @lakshmi ,

Thank for your reply!

Thank you, this made me see I had perhaps jumped ahead with an idea without scrutinising the text properly first. I don’t think it’s necessarily a wrong assumption that I made, but as you say, maybe not the primary issue being conveyed in the text. Accountability and support seem like high priorities in Jesus pairing them up.

What an incredible story, praise God! So encouraging for others wanting to reach the lost. This is also a strong encouragement to be continually prayerful.

I love this point, thank you!

This is certainly my thoughts, and it is good to see you come to the same idea. I think it’s a pragmatic challenge to always be in a pair but there is wisdom in doubling up at times.

I also wonder in today’s context with modern communication methods whether the ‘pair’ has to be in the same location. For example, one could be evangelising, and the other at home praying for the situation and being updated regularly on how things are going.

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