I never ceased to be amazed at the the lengths some people will go to in order to do what they love. Take fishing, for example. When I was a kid, fishing consisted of a bucket of worms or a box of live crickets, a cane pole, and a bucket in which to store the catch. And to be quite honest, as a child, I caught more trees, turtles, and river debris than anything else!
Some of my friends are avid fishermen. They can spend seemingly endless hours drooling over the vast array of choices at the Bass Pro Shop. And I must say, even if you don’t care a thing about hunting or fishing, that place is worth a visit, just to get a good look at their amazing assortment of products.
These fisherman friends will spend tons of money on the best nets, the latest lures, and top-of-the-line equipment — all in an effort to catch the fish they so desperately seek.
I think we as Christians can learn a thing or two from these folks. In my experience, most people in the church have a different mindset. Think with me for a minute.
If the average church member were honest, he’d have to admit that rather than staying current and trying new ways to catch ‘fish’, the usual response would be more like this:
“Well, we built us a good building in 1970. They know we’re here if they’re interested in being fed.”
Or maybe this:
“I know that there are many kinds of fish out there, but I kinda like the ones in our pond already. They’re gettin’ older, but we wouldn’t want to get over-crowded. Plus, new fish come with their own opinions about how to do things, and that makes me kinda nervous. Plus, some of ’em bite!”
Or sadly, maybe even this:
“What fish? I don’t see any fish.”
Jesus described his disciples as ‘fishers of men.’ As such we have a responsibility to do everything we can to reach people, sharing the truth of the Gospel and showing His love and grace.
I’ll offer just a few insights that may strike a nerve, but bear with me, if you will:
- As the Church, we must realize that God cares more about the eternal destiny of the people who don’t know Him than He does about the psychological comfort level of the people who do.
- As the Church, we must embrace change with the same enthusiasm that we embrace new technology. After all, how much resistance was there to the transition to electric car windows or remote-control TVs or self-propelled lawn mowers?
- As the Church, we must realize that just because we may have good buildings doesn’t make us relevant to those around us. People will come to see our new buildings once — maybe; but they’ll get involved with us on a regular basis, if they are fortunate enough to find relationships with people who genuinely care about them.
It’s time. No, it’s WAY past time, in many cases, for the Church to become as eager to reach people as avid fishermen are to catch fish. There’s a whole world out there full of people who need to know the Truth.
How will they know unless someone tells them. . .shows them. . .takes an interest in them?
Let’s get out of our comfort zone and do whatever it takes to share His love today. But be prepared: it probably won’t feel natural. . .or come easy. . .or be without some cost.
After all, it’s not about us. . .it’s all about Him. Oh, how quickly we forget what it was like to be one of those hungry wayward fish!