The Andon Cord

by Joanna Pierce on October 30, 2019

Not long ago, I started working in a different division within my company. To become more familiar with the work, I began reading a book called The DevOps Handbook. To my surprise, the book was captivating and I had a hard time putting it down.

In what can only be described as binge reading, I soon came across a concept in this book Toyota had implemented called an “Andon cord.” I learned, how on the manufacturing line, workers pull a cord when a problem is detected. Then, a team leader immediately comes to help resolve the issue. But, if the problem can’t be fixed, something amazing happens. The entire production line stops, everyone drops what they’re doing, and they join together and work until the problem is fixed.

While this problem-resolution methodology is ingenious, it won’t do any good unless workers actually pull the Andon cord. If they don’t pull the cord when issues are spotted, the result could be poor production quality or future manufacturing mishaps.

After reading about the Andon cord, the wheels in my head started to turn. While this is an every-day concept, I began to see the Scriptural principle at work:

Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2, KJV).

When we look at people in the world, we do so with our natural eyes. We see the image individuals project; the visage they want everyone else to see. Sometimes God helps us view a person not with a physical lens, but a spiritual one. He gives us a Word of knowledge about a soul and insight that penetrates deep into core of their current circumstance.

Many people in this world are lost and hurting. They keep this sad truth hidden and all to themselves. They struggle day after day, drowning in a sea of sorrow and lies by which the enemy binds them. And, when God reveals to us the heavy weight of their burden—the element in their lives restricting positive spiritual growth—we need to have the guts to pull the Andon cord.

This sounds easy. There’s a problem, someone needs help. Why wouldn’t we pull the cord and sound the alarm? We don’t because we’re scared. We don’t because we think we’ll cause a larger issue. We don’t because we might call unwanted attention to ourselves.

We get short sighted and can’t see the bigger picture. We don’t see the spiritual benefit of the cord. In reality, within the Andon cord model, pulling the cord initiates an alert and calls attention to the lost soul (not the individual pulling the cord). The alarm sounds a cry that someone needs Jesus! A loved one, spiritual elder, etc. arrives to help the lost and dying.

But, if they are unable to reach the person alone, an amazing thing happens: spiritual swarming. The Body of Christ stops what they’re doing. They come together in a unified effort in intercessory prayer and fasting for the soul. God hears the cry of His Church and this activates His healing and saving power. The Church doesn’t stop praying and fasting until the problem is resolved—until the burden lifts, the healing comes, and the Holy Ghost is poured out.

If we don’t pull the spiritual Andon cord, souls won’t be delivered, healed, or saved. God will work—He can do all things, but it’s according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20). Don’t hesitate and don’t hold back. We need to step out and step up to pull the cord. There’s something important at stake: a soul.