One thing about growing up down near the Florida Keys was our life revolved around the water. We went to the beach almost weekly, we fished, swam, snorkeled, boated, and spent the night out on the barrier islands. My dad and mom were great fishermen. My older brother is a commercial fisherman. When people say that their fish is fresh, I always think to myself, “I bet it wasn’t caught today.”
I guess my favorite fish to catch is Mahi Mahi. Usually, you look for a large patch of seaweed. They feed on all the little shrimp and crabs seeking refuge in these floating deep-water nurseries. When you get into a school of Mahi Mahi, you leave one of them in the on the line, in the water. The others will continue to follow it. This way you can usually catch a boatload. That is if your captain knows what they are doing. My brother is one such captain. He has the knowledge, patience, and experience to go where the fish are. We have been fishing when the fish get so excited and in such a frenzy that they have leaped from the water into the boat. Now that is a great catch. It’s a fun and profitable day.
I was reminded of this at the Wild Game Dinner. God has called us to be fishers of men. Like fishing in the ocean, God has given us the knowledge of how to “catch” people for Him. Those of us who are followers of Christ know how we were saved. We know about our Savior and the sacrifice He made for our sins. So how to fish for them is not the issue.
As a fisherman, we know where to go to catch people for His kingdom. We all have neighbors, we all eat out and have servers with whom we can share the Gospel or at least invite to our church. We go to the gym, we play sports with our kids, we are involved in our schools and we are involved in civic and community projects. So, we know where we should be fishing.
Truthfully, we even know what to use as bait. Our bait is a lifestyle that shows that we are different and that Christ has made a difference in our lives. We have something that they do not have. We have a relationship with the Creator of the Universe!
But our problem, even though we have the tools, knowledge, and bait, is that we don’t have the desire to really reach people. The people are there. They may not know that they need a Savior. They may not know that the answer to their problems can be found in a growing relationship with Jesus.
With everything we need, why aren’t we winning people for Christ? Why don’t we have a burden or desire to reach lost people? It would be like my brother, with all his knowledge and expertise and tackle and bait to just go out in his boat and float around in a school of Mahi Mahi while laying up on deck getting a suntan.
We need to stop floating around and start fishing. Jesus said that the fields are ripe unto harvest, but the laborers are few. Do we want to see our church grow? Then we need to start fishing. Do we want to feel great at the end of the day, then we need to start fishing.
Bringing our lost friends is the only way we are going to grow Eastern Hills Baptist Church. I am grateful to Tom Boggess for reminding us of this truth during the Wild Game Dinner.
A great big thanks to Larry Kennedy and his team of cooks and helpers for another fantastic Wild Game Dinner. It is always a great time of fellowship. Also, a big shout out to Chad Royal for his dedication and hard work setting up, serving, and cleaning up after.