Posted on Fri, Feb 5, 2016
Andrew is my favorite disciple. Why? Because he faithfully, unpretentiously brought people to Jesus. Andrew’s brother Simon Peter was more in the limelight. Andrew didn’t seek attention. He didn’t clamor to be the “star”. He simply introduced people to Jesus. He’s my hero. His lifestyle has become the model for the growing of the Church of Jesus Christ. So simple, so profound, so proven for the ages.
How does the Church of Jesus Christ grow and make new disciples? Person by person. One by one. Andrew discovered Jesus of Nazareth and immediately began introducing him to others. John 1:40-42 tells the story:
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John the Baptist had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.
This is how Church of the Resurrection will grow today. We call our biblical method for evangelism Operation Andrew. It is a ministry for all Christians. It is based on the teaching of Scripture and it has been proven by the test of time. Down through the centuries, the Church grows as disciples reach out in love to their families and friends. Studies indicate that 80% of the first-time guests who attend a worship service come because a family member or friend invited them. It is so simple, and yet, so powerful.
What are the steps to implementing
First, we identify the people in our sphere of influence. Our family, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and those who share an interest (skiing, model railroading, etc.) become the focus of our prayers. And we invite others to pray with us for our Operation Andrew friends. In February, the people of COR will be invited to make their OA lists.
Second, we begin praying for these individuals that they will come to Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit regenerating their lives and revealing their need for Christ. We pray that they will be receptive to our invitation to come to worship and consider Christ. We draw close to them and pray for their real-life needs, like healing, reconciliation of broken or strained relationships, a job, financial strain, etc. We care for them as a person and ask if we can pray for them. Most people will not turn you down.
Third, we invite them to a worship service or a special event at the church. They may initially say “no”, but don’t give up on them. Be lovingly, gently persistent. God won’t give up on them, so why should we. Reaching a person for Christ may take years. Continue to pray for them. And celebrate when the prayers are answered.
Fourth, remember that God is the Evangelist and we are sharing in a special calling of being God’s coworkers (2 Corinthians 6:1). Let your love be genuine (Romans 12:9). Pray faithfully (Romans 12:12c). “God is not slow in keeping his promise…not wanting anyone to perish, but every-one to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Fifth, be ready for divine appointments! When Jesus fed the 5,000 he began by saying, “Let’s feed them!” The disciples said, “But how?” Andrew said, “Here’s a little boy with some loaves and fishes”…and he brought him to Jesus. Let’s be Andrews…bringing people to Jesus!
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