My husband is a pastor, but we’ve discovered over the years that the greatest
joys in ministry haven’t come in extraordinary church events, but in the normal
avenues of everyday person-to-person witness—the things any Christian can do
regardless of gifts or calling.
When Christians look to Scripture for an example of a strong witness, they often
think of Andrew—an average man who shared Christ in patently ordinary ways.
Andrew never achieved prominence among the disciples. He missed out on the
great experiences shared by the inner circle of Peter, James, and John—the
Transfiguration, the healing of Jairus’s daughter, Jesus’ sorrow in Gethsemane. He
preached no sermons deemed worth recording. He wrote no epistles and
performed no recorded miracles. A background figure, he appears to have had
none of the bold audacity of his brother Peter. His one grand distinction? He
excelled in bringing others to Christ.
A Knowledgeable Heart
Andrew may have been average so far as abilities are concerned, but he possessed
an extraordinary knowledge of Christ. Andrew met Christ personally. It happened
as Andrew and another disciple were standing beside John the Baptist when Jesus
passed by. The Baptist cried out, “Look, the Lamb of God!” (John 1:35). Andrew
and the other disciple followed Jesus and spent the rest of that day in conversation
with Him (vv. 39-40). Though unrecorded, that conversation was a spiritual
watershed for Andrew. Andrew heard Jesus speak words that were the truest he
had ever heard, and his heart was set on fire.
Andrew’s extraordinary heart was magnetized by Christ. He was so drawn to the
Savior that he was sure that if others could just once meet Jesus, that would be
enough. “The first thing Andrew did,” the Scriptures tell us, “was to find his brother
Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’” (John 1:41).
Andrew had the right idea! The Christ of Scripture is so winsome, so radically
different, so utterly unlike other religious stereotypes, that when He is truly seen,
He draws even the most resistant people to Himself.
The immediate response of Andrew’s heart to Jesus was, “Everybody needs to
know this Christ!” Do you want a heart like Andrew’s? If you know Christ, you
have the essential heart qualification to share Him—even if you don’t have all the
answers. The key to ongoing effectiveness is a perpetual freshness in your growing
knowledge of Christ through God’s Word. Learn about Christ!
A Selfless Heart
Andrew had a remarkably unselfish heart, as the Gospel of John shows: “Andrew,
Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John 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. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You will be called
Cephas’ (which, when translated, is Peter)” (John 1:40-42).
From this point on, Andrew was commonly identified as “Simon Peter’s brother”
and not the other way around (see Matthew 10:2-4; Luke 6:14-16; John 6:8).
Everyone knew the big, gregarious fisherman Peter. He naturally drew people to
himself, but Andrew faded into the wallpaper—especially when big brother was
around. Don’t you think Andrew could see this coming? After all, he’d spent his
whole life with his brother. But Andrew didn’t stumble here. He was unencumbered
by self and introduced Peter to Christ anyway.
The true evangelist’s heart is a selfless heart. Who cares who gets the credit?
Andrew’s heart was ordinary perhaps, but it was extraordinary in its selflessness.
An Optimistic Heart
Andrew was optimistic about what would happen when problems were brought to
Christ. While Philip expressed dismay at the possibility of feeding the 5,000, it was
Andrew who suggested to Jesus using the lad’s five loaves and two fishes (John
6:5-9). Andrew may have appeared foolish, but he knew Christ can mightily use all
that is given to Him. The result was stupendous—the all-time picnic of the ages!
Our attitude makes a big difference in bringing people to Christ.
A Big Heart
John 12:20-22 showcases just how big Andrew’s heart was: “Now there were
some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. They came to
Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we would
like to see Jesus.’ Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.”
These Greeks were, of course, Gentiles and therefore accursed in traditional Jewish
thought. Philip was unsure what to do with their request, so he approached
Andrew. Andrew, without hesitation, went straight to Jesus. Andrew understood
the universality of Jesus’ ministry—that Jesus is the answer for everyone.
Is there anyone you think is beyond the Gospel’s power to save? The cultural gap
is so wide or the rebellion so deep that you feel certain they are hopeless? Don’t
you believe it! Andrew was right—the Gospel is for everyone, and anyone can pass
Turning the Gospel into a verb is exactly what evangelism is all about. Evangelism is
about telling people the Gospel. Those who study different forms of evangelism
have discovered that statistically Andrew’s relational evangelism is the most
effective way to go. When church growth is surveyed, the pollsters indicate that 75
to 90 percent—that’s a whopping number—come to church through the influence
of friends or relatives!