As I think about my youth ministry and the awesome things that we are about to start doing I am really meditating on tonight message "Learning How to Fish". As I prepare for this I began thinking about how the ways that you fish for people and the way that you fish for..well..fish isn't all that much different. You may have read something like this before, I know it's not a necessarily new concept, but just keep reading and be refreshed by the Spirit.
"follow me and I will teach you to fish for people" Matthew 4:19
Thinking about fishing in a literal sense there are about 4 things to keep in mind. I will cover 2 in this post.
1. Make sure the environment is right to catch fish.
When heading out to the lake or the river you need to check all the aspects of the weather. What the temperature is going to be, how windy it is, will it be sunny or overcast, clear skies or rainy. Most fishermen will tell you that you want it to sunny around 65-70 degrees, with moderately sunny clear skies. It is good to fish right before a big rain but not during it, and fishing in the cold in the south is almost non-existent. Every fisherman wants to go out on the "perfect" day. However there aren't too many "perfect" days out there to fish. Maybe a week or two out of the year. Yet there are many people that go every weekend. I know some men that go as much at 3 to 5 times per week.
When thinking about "fishing for men." I often think about Acts 3:12 "Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd." You see Peter saw that the environment was right. That he and John had just performed a miracle and healed a man. If your like me, your ministry is short on miracles such as healing a lame beggar. However there are many miracle in our lives and others lives daily that go unnoticed by most people. You know, like simply waking up. We need to be like Peter and look for these moments when the environment is right, and everything is lining up so that we can really reach people for the Gospel of Christ. We need to be ever watchful for the "perfect" whether that we are looking for. There are many Christians that seize the moment, and I think there is a place for this and I try to do this very often, but they seem to turn people away from anything related to Christ and his sacrifice on the Cross. I believe that if we will pray for opportunities and divine appointments that God will show us our perfect times to cast our lines.
2. We MUST use proper equipment.
For the most part proper equipment for catching fish boils down to a few basic things. Rod, reel, sturdy fishing line, and hooks. There are some places in the world, where my more redneck friends like to shove their hands in dark holes hoping to pull our a fish or the ever trusty dynamite in the water and kill everything. I don't suggest either. One is hilarious to watch but hurts like crazy I hear, and the other you may die and is illegal. Point being, you don't ever go out and stand on the shoreline or sit in the boat and sing "Here fishy, fishy, fishy fishy." and actually expect something to happen. You're not Bugs Bunny, and everyone will point and laugh if you do this, so don't. It is essential to use the proper equipment when fishing.
This makes me think of Acts 19:13-16. When a team of Jews was traveling around trying to cast out demons like the apostles were doing. They used the terms "I command you by Jesus, whom Paul preaches to come out!" at that moment the demon possessed man told them "I know
Paul and I know Jesus but who are you?" Then he beat the junk out of them and they left that house bleeding and naked. CRAZY story I know, and your probably wondering how this ties into "fishing for men" and it does in a crazy way. The reason is these people were trying to do things that only the Holy Spirit can do. The reason they couldn't cast our the demon was because they didn't have the spirit of the Lord upon them like the apostles did, because they didn't know Christ as Lord.
It works the same way in evangelism. It is nothing that you and I do that can bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The reason is because it is not what you do that brings people to the Lord, it is what Christ did that brings people to that saving grace. Be sure that when we fish for people that we are using the proper equipment. That is Christ and guidance from the Holy Spirit. View Christ as the equipment that reels people in, and the Holy Spirit as the GPS that leads you to the best fishing holes.
That's it for now, I hope you enjoyed the read, and I will post the last 2 points very soon.