One of my passions is a love to fish. As a child ever summer we would spend weeks at our cottage on Lake Alma in the northwood’s of Wisconsin [as you can see in my Speedo-lishous picture above]. My dad taught me how to fish for bass, bluegills crappies and anything that swims. Any chance I get I go out fishing. You know, fishing is a biblical sport? Fishing should be your passion too!
Thousands of years ago Jesus set forth a strategy for His followers and it looks something like this. In Matthew 4:18-20, Jesus makes a very bold invitation [like asking a girl on a date], “Let’s go fishing.” Jesus was just walking around the Sea of Galilee. There were about 30 little villages that surrounded this lake, which made their living off the lake. It was the center of thousands of people’s lives. And Jesus approaches two stinky fishermen and says, “Follow Me, and I will make you into something you are not [Fishers of Men].” And the amazing thing is they left their nets and followed Him.
The Fishing Manual for Followers of Christ:
Followers Fish. It is as simple as that. A follower of Christ fishes for other people. If you are not fishing you are not following. Jesus was fired up about fishing. From the first to the last words to His followers he lived, breath, ate and expected His followers to fish [cf. Mt. 4 & 28]. It is interesting He had fishermen as some of His followers.
Fishermen are interesting people. They are passionate, focus, patient, they always tell stories, and they love taking newbie’s fishing.
I am thankful for Mike who fished for me as a young man. Without someone fishing for me I would not know Christ. Who fished for you. Mike was an average Joe. He wasn’t a pastor. He wasn’t super spiritual. Pastors or super spiritual are not the only ones who fish, but also everyone is a fisherman for men.
It is easy to get so wrapped up in the here-and-now that we forget to fish and impact those around us with the story of the Good News. Stop thinking about the now and think eternal. The only things you can take to heaven are followers; people you fish.
Followers Fish Where the Fish are. You got to get out of the Lazy-boy to catch fish. Don’t wait until people come to you. Go out to meet unbelievers where they are. I find the best time to fish right before the weather gets bad or when it is raining cats and dogs outside. Followers fish in all kinds of elements. Sometimes fishing is dirty, stinky, slimy and uncomfortable [where’s the Purel?]. Followers don’t care because Christ is worth the cost.
Followers Fish with Fervency. Sometimes when fishing you do not get hits; the line breaks or the big one gets away. Followers keep on fishing no matter the results. It is not about patience, but persistence [not pushy]. People think fishing is boring or lame because it is a lot of sitting and waiting. Let me tell you: that’s not fishing, that’s laziness. Fishermen go after the fish with fervency.
Followers have Fish Stories to Tell. I have a dozen or more fish stories to tell. Like the time I caught a 20-inch bass without looking, or the time my Gramps caught an 18-pound Musky on 4-pound test-line while fishing for bluegills, or the time I saw a Musky bigger than my canoe oar. Believers have fish stories too. If not, you have been around the Marina too much.
Followers Fish with a Guide. I know all the hotspots on Lake Alma because my dad taught me where they are. My father was my guide. Good fishermen follow a guide. As believers our guide is God. He directs us where to fish. He equips us [John 16:13]. The Holy Spirit works within you to fish.
Followers Fish, Not Catch. Jesus did not say we are to be catchers of men. That job is up to God. We fish, He catches. The Guide does the catching we follow the Guides instructions. Fishing is hard work. It is uncomfortable at times. But the benefits and rewards are out of this world. Literally. Are you fishing for men?
How do you fish? There is no one-way to fish. Some fish with nets, others fly fish, some us real bait and others use plastic worms. This is the same with being a fisher of men. Principles for Fishing: It starts with prayer, then going to unbelieving friends/family, and it ends with relying on your Guide. Share your story of coming to Christ and how He has changed you [BC & AD]. I find that to be the most impactful.