“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.” (Ephesians 4:11)
Some have more than opportunity when it comes to evangelism—they have special God-given ability. Ephesians 4:11 makes this clear. Whether it is a gift or a person, there are people who are given to the church as evangelists.
The word evangelist means “one who announces good news.” In the New Testament, of course, the good news the evangelist announces is the good news of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection (see 1 Cor. 15:1–5).
The word evangelist appears three times in the New Testament:
Acts 21:8—Philip is the only person called an “evangelist” in the New Testament. Acts 8 describes his preaching ministry to unbelievers.
2 Timothy 4:5—Timothy was a gifted pastor-teacher and a member of Paul’s missionary group. Paul exhorted him to do the work of an evangelist.
Ephesians 4:11—Paul listed the different gifted individuals God gives to the church so that the entire body might be equipped to do the work of ministry. One of these is “evangelist.”
While Acts makes it clear that the evangelist makes the gospel known to non-Christians, Ephesians explains that they also build up the faith of believers. Because the nature of the giftedness assumes a special capacity in the area of evangelism, this involves equipping believers to reach unbelievers. The responsibility of the evangelist is therefore to present the gospel to non-Christians and equip believers for evangelism.
More people are gifted in evangelism than they realize. Christians often think that if they experience fear, it means they are not gifted in evangelism. But even Paul dealt with fear and requested prayer for boldness (6:19). Gifted evangelists experience fear as well. It is also crucial to remember that all believers are responsible to evangelize, whether or not they think they are gifted in evangelism (see 2 Tim. 4:5).