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Ordinary-Andrew Evangelism

Barbara Hughes

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 it along.


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!