Evangelists are men who proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. Specifically, they explain the way of salvation to those who do not yet believe. Philip, for instance, was an evangelist. He went where Christ was unknown and led people to faith in the Savior. New Testament evangelists teach the gospel to new believers, build them up, and move to the next area.
If you feel as though the role of evangelists is almost altogether ignored in the church today, it’s because we live in a part of the world where local churches abound. Most of the population is already familiar with Christianity. I’m not suggesting there isn’t a need for evangelists in the United States, but we typically find the need less pressing.
Keep in mind that even pastors are to do the work of an evangelist (2Ti 4:5). That’s what Paul told Timothy. Of course, Timothy wasn’t your traditional pastor. He traveled wherever Paul sent him. Regardless, pastors do have an obligation to evangelize. Technically, we all must evangelize.
Evangelists, though, are explicitly called to evangelize. Ideally, the local church will have both pastors and evangelists. They’ll have men to focus on the needs of the church and men to focus on the surrounding community’s needs.