For some, the word evangelist brings to mind a man standing on a busy street corner, yelling into a megaphone to repent because the end is near. But evangelist, which comes from the Greek, simply means “a messenger of good news.” Historically, the authors of the four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—are referred to as the Four Evangelists. Angels are called evangelists, for they proclaimed, “I bring you good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10).
Are evangelists an exclusive group of those who address large crowds in football stadiums, such as Billy Graham, Luis Palau, or D. L. Moody? It’s true that the faithful efforts of those well-known evangelists have led millions to faith in Christ through their tireless efforts to share the good news of salvation.
Billy Graham preached the gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history—an estimated 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories. He himself was a product of the efforts of another evangelist, Mordecai Ham. Graham made a commitment to Christ as a teenager after hearing Ham speak at a revival meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. That message changed the direction of his life: “My one purpose in life is to help people find a personal relationship with God, which I believe, comes through knowing Christ.”
While we are thankful for the spiritual fruit from the evangelistic efforts of Graham, Palau, Moody, and others, the truth is that each of us is called to evangelize, to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. We may never be asked to preach in a stadium, but Jesus Himself has commanded us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15).
We are called to faithfully deliver the message. We are to “go” and to “preach.” D. L. Moody once said: “I do not know anything that would wake up Chicago better than for every man and woman here who loves Him to begin to talk about Him to their friends and just to tell them what He has done for you. You have got a circle of friends. Go and tell them of Him.”
Let’s talk about what God has done! It shouldn’t be that hard. We are bearers of wonderful, life-changing news that is meant to be shared with our children, our friends, our workmates, and our neighbors. We are all evangelists!