I imagine that if someone were to make a list of the most influential leaders in the New Testament church, Peter would probably be near the top of the list. He would probably be second, with only Paul, who wrote at least thirteen of the twenty-seven books in the New testament and whose story makes up about half of the book of Acts, ahead of him.
Peter himself was an influential figure in the early church. He was one of Jesus’ “inner circle” along with James and John. He was the one who spoke up above the rest on Pentecost, preaching that sermon in Acts 2 that moved 3000 souls to respond to the gospel in obedient faith. He first preached the gospel to Gentiles in Acts 10. Two New Testament letters bear his name, and it is generally accepted that he played a major role in the composition of Mark’s account of the gospel. There is no doubt that Peter leaves a towering example for Christians to follow.
There are many great Christians in the Lord’s body who can preach and teach and write, and who are influential in the modern day. Perhaps we could say they are the “Peters” of our day. But let’s face it, not everyone can be a Peter. Not everyone will be able to preach and teach the gospel publicly as he did. Not everyone is going to have the success he did in reaching souls. Not everyone is going to be able to write books and articles that will have an impact on the brotherhood.
If you can’t be a Peter, then why not try your hand at being an Andrew. Andrew doesn’t get a lot of the recognition he deserves for his work in the kingdom. After all, who was it that first introduced Peter to Jesus? In John 1:40-42, we find that it was Andrew who followed Jesus first, then went and found his brother and told him, “We have found the Messiah.” In John 6:8-9, it was Andrew who introduced a boy with five barley loaves and two fish to Jesus.
I know that we need people in the church who can preach and teach the gospel like Peter did. But who are we going to preach to if no one is brought in to hear it? Every mature Christian must be a teacher to some degree (Heb. 5:12), but not everyone can be a Peter. So why not be an Andrew? Let’s all ask ourselves, when was the last time I introduced someone to Jesus?
And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17)