This weekend I was challenged to think about gifts-based service and servants in the Bible, besides Jesus. As I reflected on various individuals, I was considering the various gifts of each person. One gift that I focused on was the gift of helping.
Many people with this gift are very quiet and low key types of people. At any kind of church gathering we generally hear the high profile people- those on the stage or those who serve in leadership roles- being acknowledged. But what about those who made sure the tissue boxes in the rest room were full …and that the fruit on the food trays was washed and trimmed….and that diapers were changed in the nursery? Those are the people who usually have the gift of helps.
John 1:41 and John 6:5-9 offer some interesting points about this gift. (I love the book of John for the details it gives….like the names of apostles in key roles in these accounts…..that are missing from others!)
In these two passages we get a look at the servant hearted character of Andrew.
1.) In the first one, Andrew hears about Jesus and he goes to recruit his brother Simon, who would later become the much flashier, brasher, leader- to- be brother renamed Peter. And when he goes to get Simon he uses the modest phrase “we have found the messiah”, not “I have found the Messiah”.
2.) In the second one, Andrew is the one who, after Jesus tells the disciples to feed the 5000 people, finds the boy with the loaves and fishes and even though it is a small start, hardly adequate for the number of people, he is expressing hopefulness and faith in putting it before Jesus.
Andrew shows himself , among the disciples Jesus has called, to be the consummate resource development person, a networker, a connection person.
1. He recognizes a need or an opportunity. He’s observant, aware of things around him.
2. He responds to the need/opportunity. He takes the initiative in doing something that he seesneeds to be done.
3. He relinquishes the need to hold center stage, having apparently little need for personal credit. He is humble and content in the satisfaction of service with the gift he has.
I just love Andrew! And I love John for giving us this insight into the heart of a servant hero of the faith….
I hope that we value the Andrews in our midst….the quiet armies of helpers who are able to recognize and respond to a need or opportunity in quiet and humble ways, who don’t pout because their names get left off the program credits . They enable the tasks that the rest of us do, the gifts that we exercise, to be so much more effective!
What are you doing to be more like Andrew?