The Power of an Invitation

A former missions director, she embraced her new mission field. She entered last, rolling her walker behind the two residents she gathered along the journey from her apartment to the chapel where our class met. I welcomed my Andrew.

Her real name is Jean, but I call her Andrew, after the disciple who brought others to Christ.

Remember Andrew? The disciple who ran to find his brother, Simon, and said, “Come, I found the Messiah.” (John 1:40-41) The one who later brought the boy with five barley loaves and two fish to Jesus to feed the 5,000 (John 6:5-9).  And the same disciple who helped a group of inquiring Greeks meet Jesus at their request (John 12:20-22).

Well, that’s Jean. The one who, since I started teaching Bible study at the retirement community, invited people to hear the Word. Jean and six other residents greeted me that first Wednesday.

“This is everyone today, but others need to be here.” Jean said in her soft-spoken voice. Thus began her mission to gather people for Bible study the first and third Wednesday of each month.

Jean created and distributed flyers about class time and location. She table-hopped during lunch to remind the seniors when the day arrived. Jean knocked on doors of napping residents as Bible study time approached and asked office help to announce class over the loud speaker at the stroke of 4:30PM. If someone who should have been in class walked by after the lesson began, Jean called out to them. If they didn’t hear her, she walked after them to pull them from the hallway into our meeting.

Class attendance grew. Yet, there was one last hurdle … BINGO. It conflicted with Bible study. And when you’re just an “N39” away from a winning card, who looks at the clock?

“People need to be here. There’s no reason we can’t do both,” Jean declared. Like the persistent friend who knocked on his neighbor’s door at midnight (Luke 11:5-8), Jean lobbied residents and office staff to re-schedule BINGO. Three months later, 12-15 residents showed up for each class.

So, I smile and give thanks for Jean and all my Andrews. Those who invited me and others, “Come, we have found the Messiah.”

Perhaps we can take a lesson from Jean. We’re all missionaries. We just serve in different mission fields. Where can we be Andrew?

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” … And he brought him to Jesus.” (John 1:40-41, NIV)

©2012 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.

About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
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