Saturday, July 17, 2010


"Come, follow Me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." -Mark 1:17

I once had the privilege of attending a guided fishing trip. We were fishing for striped bass. This was the first and only time I have used a guide.

Jesus called Simon and Andrew to follow him. He told these two professional fishermen that He would teach them how to catch men. While on the lake, I thought of several lessons.


You might catch some fish by dropping your line in an arbitrary location, but you likely could catch many more by going where they are. Our guide knew where the fish were. Before we arrived, he was listening to other fishermen speak on the CB. He already had an idea of where the fish were. He also used a sonar device to spot the fish. When you find the fish and they don’t bite, then just move on to a new location. That’s what Jesus instructed us to do. If your message isn’t received, just shake the dust off and move on. That’s what our guide did when the fish ignored our bait.


Striped bass feed in schools. When the school swam away, our guide took an old fishing rod and thrashed it in the water for a minute. This technique mimicked the sound of a school of shad (a favorite food of striped bass) feeding on the surface of the lake. Nearly every time our guide beat the water, you could see schools of striped bass come into view on our fish finder. Churches need to “beat the water” occasionally to attract prospects. Church meals, revivals, fall festivals, block parties, and musicals are great ways to attract people.


When the fish stopped hitting on the live bait, our guide didn’t just give up on fishing altogether. No, he started using a technique called “slabbing”. Slabbing involves a lure called a slab. You let the slab drop to the lake bottom and then reel the line as fast as possible. We never change the gospel when sharing with the lost. However, when we are not successful, we need to change techniques to improve the results.


If you are new to a certain type of fishing, it is smart to hire a fishing guide. A guide knows where the fish are and how to catch them. Likewise, you should partner with an experienced evangelist before you go out. She knows where the fish are and knows how to catch them!

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