Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”). Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. (John 1:40-42)
Read: Job 30:1 – 31:40
Relate: When Billy Graham is going to be in town for services, there is a huge preparatory process that begins more than a year in advance. They intentionally do this because Billy Graham isn’t interested in just showing up, preaching a few sermons, making an emotional appeal, and then going on his way. He, and the team around him, want to be a benefit to the church community and enable them to make a lasting impact that will continue on long after he has gone. One of the ways the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association attempts to mobilize the churches is for a program called Operation Andrew. If you have ever had Billy Graham come to your town, it is very likely many local churches were giving out cards that looked something like this:
The concept was very simple. About a year before the crusade, every person in every church is to make a list of friends. I’ve seen that list be 5,7,or 10 long. (I guess it depends on how ambitious the church is) The person making this list is then to commit to praying for the people on it, every day. As the Crusade draws near they are then supposed to invite the people on that list, individually, to join them in going to the crusade. Through this the BGEA hopes that as many people as possible will make it a habit of inviting their friends and family with them in following Jesus. It has been proven time and again that a personal one on one invitation is the most effective means of evangelism.
React: The reason this campaign is called operation Andrew is because of what Andrew is doing every time he shows up in the gospels. Every single time one of two things are happening: either he is going with someone or bringing someone to Jesus or else he is making it on to a list of disciples. That’s it. Every time. So what better name for the concept of making a list of people you would like to bring to Jesus than Operation Andrew? A better question would be, why do we need to wait for a big name evangelist to come to town to start planning our list? If someone were to ask us right now, “Who is on your list of people you would like to bring to Jesus this year?” How would I answer? Would I have names ready at an instant? Am I truly regularly praying for them? When was the last time I have asked any of them to join me for church? When was the last time I intentionally steered a conversation with them toward things of eternity? Am I like Andrew?
God, You know the names on my list. You know the ones I have been praying, and praying, and praying, and praying for. You know the names I have added recently. Sometimes I feel like giving up it has been so long. Other times I feel that it is ME that has to do something. Don’t let that pride creep in. It is You. Help me to continue to carry them to You in prayer. Help me also to continue to carry You to them through my words and lifestyle. Let me not rest in either endeavor until that day You say to them, “Come, follow me” and they do.