Andrew was so often the means by which other people were personally introduced to the Master.
Andrew was the first of all the disciples to be called. He was responsible for introducing his more dominant brother, Peter, to Christ (John 1: 41-42). He did this immediately and without hesitation. The news was too good to keep to himself.
Almost everything Scripture tells us about Andrew shows that he had the right heart for effective ministry in the background. He did not seek to be the center of attention. He did not seem to resent those who laboured in the limelight. He was evidently pleased to do what he could with the gifts and calling God had bestowed on him, and he allowed the others to do likewise.
Whenever Andrew speaks — which is rare in Scripture — he always says the right thing, not the wrong thing. Whenever he acts apart from the other disciples, he does what is right. He was an effective leader even though he never took the spotlight.
Andrew lived his life in the shadows of his better-known brother. This was the very thing that made him so useful. His willingness to be a supporting actor often gave him insights into things the other disciples had trouble grasping. Thus, whenever he does come to the forefront, the thing that shines is his uncanny ability to see immense value in small and modest things.
When it came to dealing with people, Andrew fully appreciated the value of a single soul. He was known for bringing individuals, not crowds, to Jesus. Almost every time we see him in the Gospel accounts, he is bringing someone to Jesus. At the feeding of the five thousand, it was Andrew who brought the boy with the loaves and fishes to Christ. All the other disciples were at a loss to know how to obtain food for the multitudes. It was Andrew who took the young boy to Jesus and said, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish” (John 6:9).
Of course, even Andrew knew that five barley loaves and two small fish would not be enough to feed five thousand people, but he brought the boy to Jesus anyway. Jesus had commanded the disciples to feed the people, and Andrew knew He would not issue such a command without making it possible for them to obey. So Andrew did the best he could. He identified the one food source available, and he made sure Jesus knew about it. Something in him seemed to understand that no gift is insignificant in the hands of Jesus. It is not the greatness of the gift that counts, but rather the greatness of the God to whom it is given. Andrew set the stage for the miracle.
Andrew was one of those rare people who is willing to take second place and to be in the place of support. He did not mind being hidden as long as the work was being done. In effective ministry, it is often the little things that count — the individual people and the insignificant gifts. This is a lesson many Christians today would do well to learn.
The most effective and important aspects of evangelism usually take place on an individual, personal level. Most people do not come to Christ as an immediate response to a sermon they hear in a crowded setting. They come to Christ because of the influence of an individual.