Last night I ate delicious, juicy, deep friend catfish for supper. Not just any catfish; Michelle and I caught these only this week. Okay, she caught most of them. But I cleaned all of them! We love fishing. Well, Michelle loves fishing. I love catching.

Michelle can sit on our boat dock for five plus hours to fish. I can do that on rare occasions, but I’m good with a couple hours or so. You see, I love to catch fish, but Michelle just loves to fish.

Jesus called his disciples to become fishers of men. It’s no surprise: the men he called were professional fishermen. He took men who loved to fish for fish and guess what? They soon loved to fish for men. When it comes to sharing Jesus, we should love fishing as much as catching. What do I mean?

  1. We love being with people. Fishermen love being on the water, being in the place where the fish are. If you don’t love people, being a witness is not your problem! Too many believers act toward the lost the way people do toward smelly, fresh fish: curl their nose, sneer, and get as far as away as fast as possible. But Jesus calls us to love fishing, i.e. to love being among people who need him.
  2. We don’t mind the stuff that comes with fishing. Tangled lines, spilled tackle boxes, getting caught with a hook, and sunburn (I know, I got baked this week), all these come with the territory. To enjoy the fish we just ate, we had to invest in fishing gear, create time on the calendar, and get our hands dirty. Those catfish are slimy, and if you aren’t careful they will stab you with their fins. Evangelism is messy, because people are messy. If you want a tidy little Christianity, you won’t have much to do with sharing Jesus. Or with Jesus, for that matter.
  3. We enjoy the work that comes with the catch. Cleaning catfish is work. Skinning them takes some strength, and its really messy. But my it’s worth it! Helping new believers grow is equally messy. It’s easier to get a group of believers who look alike, talk alike, and like the same things to get together and do some spiritual navel-gazing. But there’s not a lot of growth there. I’m learning new things all the time about fishing. And, the more I fish with Michelle, the more I like fishing, not just catching.
  4. We enjoy the benefits that come with fishing. This week we watched a gorgeous bald eagle fly around while we fished. We’ve seen otters, a beaver, turkeys, deer, a great blue heron, an osprey, snakes and turtles, and this week, a fox. In a much greater way, when we share Jesus regularly we get the benefits of growing spiritually, watching our faith stretched, and experiencing God at work in our daily lives.

You don’t have to like fishing for fish, or even catching fish. But become a fisher of men, and see God at work in you.

 

Want to learn more? Check out Sharing Jesus {without freaking out}

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