Inviting Others

Bible Book: John  1 : 40-42
Subject: Witnessing; Andrew; Church Growth
Introduction

Read where 20% of believers will invite another believer to church.

Only 2% of believers will invite an unbeliever to church.

1. Invite

2. Invest

3. Introduce

“Give me your life and I will make you what you have it in you to be.”  William Barclay

Once someone came upon Michelangelo chipping away with his chisel at a huge, shapeless piece of rock. He asked the sculptor what he was doing. “I’m releasing the angel imprisoned in this marble.” Jesus knows and sees actualities and possibilities

Peter’s brother, Andrew, is the least known of the four disciples in the inner circle. Andrew ordinarily is left very much in the background. We will learn too he was used by our Lord to touch “one” that touched 1,000’s. Homer Lindsey referred to Andrew as the inviter, or I see him as the bringer or introducer.

Had Andrew never been born, the New Testament could have changed significantly. Peter may have never been saved. Someone else would have preached the famous Pentecost sermon. So much for 3,000 being saved in one day. We would have to eliminate two books of the New Testament, I & II Peter. Who would have brought the little boy with two fish and five loaves to Christ? Would there have been the miracle and great biblical lesson we learn from the story of feeding 5,000 men, plus women and children. Only Heaven knows what else would have been left out of the Bible and church history.

Andrew was the first of all the disciples to be called (John 1:35-40). His eagerness to follow Christ, combined with his zeal for introducing others to Christ, fairly typifies Andrews’ character.

Think: Peter, James, John, and Andrew. Certainly Andrew was the least conspicuous. Scripture doesn’t tell us a lot about him. He appears in the New Testament only nine times and most references simply mention him in passing. Andrew lived his life in the shadows of his better-known brother, Peter. He is even mentioned in text as Simon Peter’s brother.

However, lest we forget, Andrew introduced Peter to Jesus. Andrew shows that he had the right heart for effective ministry in the background.

Andrew, of the four, appears the least contentious and the most thoughtful. Peter was impetuous and often said the wrong thing at the wrong time. He was brash, hasty, and impulsive. John and James were nicknamed, “Sons of Thunder” because of their reckless tendencies.

Andrew would be a great model for church ministry because most will labor in relative obscurity. He was, indeed, the opposite of renowned and prominent.

Andrew’s name means “manly.” He was a strong fisherman, which his life proved him to be bold, decisive, and deliberate. He was driven by a hearty passion for the truth, and he was willing to subject himself to most extreme kinds of hardship.

Andrew’s personal encounter with Jesus took place a few months after Jesus’ baptism (John 1:29-34).Andrew and John were standing next to John the Baptist when Jesus walked by and John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”

Andrew and John became Jesus’ first disciples. The news Andrew heard was too good to keep to himself, so he went and found the one person in the world he most loved, whom he most wanted to know Jesus, and led him to Christ.

Andrew played an unsung role in obscurity, however, whenever he does come to the forefront, the thing that shines is his uncanny ability to see immense value in small and modest things.

It’s a wonderful life when:

I. HE SAW THE VALUE OF INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE.

Andrew appreciates the value of a single soul. He was known for bringing individuals, not crowds, to Jesus. Almost every time we see him in the Gospel accounts, he is bringing someone to Jesus.

He brought Peter to Jesus: Just One

He brought the boy with his lunch to Jesus: Just One

Andrew has been referred to as the first Home Missionary

Andrew has been referred to as the first Foreign Missionary because of the Greeks he brought to Jesus in John 12:20-22.

Most people do not come to Christ as an immediate response to a sermon they hear in a crowded setting. The come to Christ because of the influence of an individual, FRAN.

Andrew brought One, Peter. Peter then brought thousands. All the fruit of Peter’s ministry is ultimately also the fruit of Andrew’s faithful individual witness.

“Few have ever heard of Edward Kimball. He was a Sunday School teacher who led D.L. Moody to Christ. Edward went to a Boston shoe store where the 18 year old Moody was working, cornered him in the stockroom, and introduced him to Christ.

Kimball was anything but bold. He was a timid, soft-spoken man. He went to that shoe store frightened, trembling, and unaware of whether he had the courage to confront this young man with the gospel. Moody, on the other hand, was crude and obviously illiterate, and Kimball trembled in his boots as he recalled the incident. Moody had begun to attend his Sunday School class. Moody was totally untaught and ignorant about the Bible. Kimball said, ‘I decided to speak to Moody about Christ and about his soul. I started downtown to Holton’s shoe store. When I was nearly there, I began to wonder whether I ought to go just then during business hours. And I thought maybe my mission might embarrass the boy, that when I went away the other clerks might ask who I was, and when they learned might taunt Moody and ask if I was trying to make a good boy out of him. While I was pondering over it all, I passed the store without noticing it. Then, when I found I had gone by the door I determined to make a dash for it and have it over at once.’

Kimball found Moody in the stockroom and spoke to him with ‘limping words.’ Later, he said, ‘I never could remember what I said, ‘something about Christ and His love, that was all.’ He admitted it was a ‘weak appeal.’ But Moody, then and there, gave his heart to Christ.”

Tens of thousands testified that they came to Christ under Moody’s ministry. Moody led C.T. Studd, the great pioneer missionary and William Chapman, who himself became a well-known evangelist, to Christ. Moody founded the Moody Bible Institute that has trained thousands for ministry. It all began when One was faithful to introduce another to Christ.

Andrew understood the value of befriending just One.

II. HE SAW THE VALUE OF INSIGNIFICANT GIFTS.

Some people see the big picture more clearly just because they appreciate the value of small things. In the feeding of the 5,000 story, Philip’s vision was overwhelmed by the size of the need. Andrew, “there is a lad here who has five loaves and two small fish.” (John 6:9) Andrew knew Jesus would not issue such a command without making it possible for them to obey. Something in him seemed to understand that no gift is insignificant in the hands of Jesus.

Amazing Lesson: So little could be used to accomplish so much was a testimony to the power of Christ. No gift is really insignificant in His hands.

Luke 21:1-4: “And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, ‘Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.’" 

God’s ability to use a gift is in no way hindered or enhanced by the size of that gift. It is the sacrificial faithfulness of the giver, not the size of the gift, that is the true measure of the gift’s significance.

REMEMBER: It’s not the greatness of the gift that counts, but rather the greatness of the God to Whom it is given. Andrew set the stage for the miracle.

The miracle of feeding 5,000 illustrates the way God works. He takes the sacrificial and often insignificant gifts of people who give faithfully and He multiplies them to accomplish monumental things.

III. HE SAW THE VALUE OF INCONSPICUOUS SERVICE.

Andrew is the picture of all those who labor quietly in humble places.

Ephesians 6:6: “not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart”

His ministry was in a place of support. He did not mind being hidden as long as the work was being done. He was a leader with a servant’s heart. Andrew never preached to multitudes or founded any churches.

Tradition has it that Andrew took the Gospel north into Russia, possibly Scotland. He was ultimately crucified in Achaia, which is in southern Greece, near Athens. One account says he led a wife of a provincial Roman governor to Christ, and that it infuriated her husband. He demanded that his wife recant her devotion to Jesus Christ and she refused. So the governor had Andrew crucified. He was lashed to the cross instead of nailed, in order to prolong his suffering. Tradition says it was an X-shaped cross. Most accounts say he hung on the cross for two days, exhorting passers-by to turn to Christ for salvation.

Thank God for people like Andrew; great individuals, but inconspicuous, giving insignificant, sacrificial gifts, who accomplish the most for the Lord.

In effective ministry, it’s often the little things that count.

1 Corinthians 1:27-29: “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.”