The word evangelist(s) as far as I know is only used three times in the New Testament: Acts 21:8, 2 Timothy 4:5, and Ephesians 4:11. According to Strong’s, the word evangelist means “A bringer of good tidings.” The idea is that an evangelist is someone who shares the gospel message.
In 2 Timothy 4:5, Paul tells Timothy, the pastor of the church in Ephesus, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” An evangelist is not just an itinerate preacher, though it is true that many evangelists are itinerate preachers, the fact that you travel from place to place and speak in various churches and different civic settings does not necessarily make you an evangelist. Paul told a pastor that he should do the work of an evangelist.
I believe with my whole heart that the work of an evangelist is to spread the gospel. The sad thing is, as I said in my last article, many people do not even know what the gospel is. The gospel is that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures and was seen by hundreds. It amazes me that people call themselves evangelists and yet they do not share the gospel.
I believe the heart of an evangelist should be to get out the gospel message and to challenge other people to get out the gospel message. If you are an evangelist, you should never be without a gospel tract. By the way, a gospel tract is a tract that has the gospel in it. Let me encourage you to read the gospel tracts that you give out. Do your gospel tracts explain to people that Jesus Christ died for their sins, was buried and rose from the dead having paid for their sin and was seen by hundreds of people. If it does not include these things, it is not a gospel tract.
Do not assume that people understand that Jesus rose from the dead when you tell them that He died. Our culture is gospel illiterate. Make sure if you hand someone the gospel that it is the gospel. When you leave a piece of literature in someone’s hand it should tell them how they can know they are going to Heaven.
The evangelist is one who is concerned and continually promoting the gospel. I have been out to eat with many men who are evangelists by name. I can always tell if they are really an evangelist by whether they have a zeal to witness to everyone they come in contact with. That does not mean that their approach has to be the same approach that I have, but there should be a zeal to share the gospel.
If you are an evangelist, and that is God’s calling on your life, then share the gospel. No matter what you are preaching on, share the gospel. No matter where you go, share the gospel. You have a great calling on your life. It is the primary calling. Without the evangelist, there is no need for the pastor. We must win them to Christ before we can train them to serve Jesus. Perhaps that is why Paul told Timothy to do the work of the evangelist. I think it is perfectly appropriate for an evangelist to preach on any topic in the Word of God. But, if you are an evangelist, evangelize. Draw the net, bring people to the point where they must decide to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and not their own good works.
Share the gospel so that people have an opportunity to be saved. If you are an evangelist, evangelize!