I spend a lot of time, all the time, thinking about evangelism. I read books about it. I attend seminars on church growth. I listen to sermons on soul winning. I am what you might think of as an evangelism guy. I think that the Great Commission (Mark 16.16; Matthew 28. 19; Acts 1.8), the directive that disciples of Jesus would make other disciples, is pretty important for us to do. After all, this is the last thing that Jesus talked about before he returned to his Father in heaven.
There is one character in the Bible who exemplifies the fulfillment- or at leas an effort- of the Great Commission. Andrew was one of the Lord's disciples.
- The first thing that we notice about Andrew was that he was the first to follow Jesus (John 1. 40). He did not need someone else to lead the way. He was not influenced by others. He was moved by Jesus' and followed immediately.
- Andrew right away was recruiting other to follow Jesus. In fact, he is the one who brought his brother, Simon and Peter, to the Lord (John 1 .41). Even before Jesus encouraged evangelism Andrew was bringing people to faith. And how significant that his first convert was Peter himself, the eventual leader of the whole church.
- But not only that, Andrew never stopped finding those who would be influenced by Jesus and his message. It was Andrew who brought the boy to Jesus who had brought a lunch when he came to hear Jesus preach. Because that boy was faithful, and because Andrew was always evangelizing, Jesus was able to take his five loaves and two fish and feed a large crowd. (John 6. 7-9).
There is a challenge in this if we are willing to hear it. Andrew did not believe that his relationship with Jesus was something that he should protect. No, almost as soon as he was a follower of Jesus, he was looking for ways to include more people. That's why I think that we should all become "Andrew Brothers (and Sisters)". Those who follow Christ are charged with encouraging others to follow him as well. But the sad truth is that most of us don't.
So for the next month, let me challenge you.
- Every day in July pray that God will lead people to know him. Pray specifically for people that you know and love to be open to the work of Jesus. And pray that you will be given the courage and wisdom to be and Andrew Brother
- Every week invite at least one person to come to church with you. That means that you also need to come to church, but that won't hurt you either. Conventional wisdom tells us that if we invite 10 people to church, one will come. We ma see a great increase in attendance if everyone were to become and Andrew Sister
- Once this month share you story of why you are a follower of Jesus with someone who is not a Christian. It will be scary and awkward, but this is just the kind of thing that Andrew Brothers do.
Pastor Dewey Miller