Reach Out

John 1:40-42; 4:25-30; 39-42

For many people, it was not a sudden desire to go to church that brought them to church but, rather, a personal invitation by a friend, co-worker, classmate or even a total stranger.

The greatest rewards in ministry do not come from extraordinary church events but from everyday person-to-person witness, something all Christians can do, regardless of our gifts or position.

Jesus expects all His followers to reach out. In Matthew 28:18-20, we read: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'”

Statistics show that Andrew’s kind of outreach-evangelism is the most effective. Pollsters indicate that 75 to 90 per cent come to church because someone invited them.

Not everyone will have the gift of evangelism. But Jesus’ command is that all the believers must be His witnesses.

Acts 1:8 says: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you: and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Even though evangelism, in general, is essential to the church, personal evangelism is of vital importance; every believer telling another person about Christ and inviting them to meet Him.

Let’s look at three examples.

1. Andrew reaching his brother (John 1:40)

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus.

Not only did Andrew meet Jesus, but he also followed Him.

Not only did Andrew follow Jesus, but he was also eager to share the good news with his brother. “The first thing Andrew did, was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ) and brought him to Jesus.” (John 1:41-42) Andrew understood the urgency and importance of this good news.

Not only did Andrew find his brother and share the good news with him, but he also brought him to Jesus.

2. The Samaritan woman reaching many (John 4:1-42)

In verse 7 we read: “When a Samaritan woman came to draw water…” She met Jesus and Jesus met her spiritual need. She was so blessed and excited about the good news that Jesus was the Messiah that she forgot why she had come to the well. She ran back to town and told everyone: “Come, and see” and “they came out of the town and made their way toward Him.” (verses 29-30)

Not only did these people come and see, but they also believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony.

The third example is one that Jesus Himself set for us…

3. Jesus reaching the helpless (John 5:1-8)

In Jerusalem, at the pool of Bethesda, Jesus met a very sick man. “Here a great number of disabled people used to lie, the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’ ‘Sir,’ the sick man replied, ‘I have no one to help me.'” (John 5:3-7)

Many today are spiritually confused or troubled and need someone to help them. But there is no one to help them! It seems that Christians are too busy. They need someone to lead them to Jesus, who can meet their needs.

Bring someone to Jesus

People today have friends, acquaintances at work, at school, at play, but no one who cares about their spiritual condition and their future in eternity. They need a friend, someone who will care. Will you be that friend?

Andrew does not seem to have become a prominent disciple. He was not one of those in the inner circle of Peter, James and John. He was not at the transfiguration site, nor in Gethsemane. He did not lead a group, nor did he write any recorded epistles. He was not an evangelist or teacher. But Andrew is well known and remembered as one who brought others to Jesus.

Do not underestimate the impact of your efforts to bring someone to Jesus. You may be the one God will use to touch someone’s life. You may be the spark that lights up the soul of someone in spiritual darkness.

Pastor Joseph Hovsepian