Sunday, May 16, 2021

How to Fish for Men

While growing up in Minnesota, my family had property on Big Sugar Bush Lake just north of Detroit Lakes. During the summer months, we spent almost every weekend there. Dad often went fishing. That wasn’t something I particularly enjoyed except when I caught a lot of fish. Years later, the Lord called me to be a fisher of men.

As a young Christian, one of the most powerful sermons I heard compared evangelism to fishing. Pastor Mac Hammond mentioned five key points to successful soul-winning. I will list the points below along with my thoughts on each one…

  1. Go Where the Fish Are. Many Christians fish out of their bathtub. If you’re always surrounded by other believers and isolate yourself from the lost, you won’t have opportunities to lead sinners to salvation. Jesus said in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
  2. Go Where the Fish Are Hungry. Although everyone needs to hear the gospel, those who are well-off financially usually aren’t as receptive. That’s why when coming into a new city, I often seek out low-income neighborhoods to evangelize. As Jesus said in Luke 4:18, “…He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.”
  3. Use the Right Bait. The right kind of gospel tract can make a difference, especially when given to someone who doesn’t have time to converse with you. Normally I use Nick Kinn’s “Have You Heard the Good News?”, but sometimes hand out million-dollar bills. The latter are good conversation starters. Sometimes the Lord leads me to minister healing to people first before asking questions about their eternal destiny.
  4. Present the Bait Correctly. We must always show compassion by speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). It’s the goodness of God that leads one to repentance (Romans 2:4), not guilt or condemnation.
  5. Reel Them In. It’s frustrating when I work with believers who take too much time talking about the gospel when a sinner is ready to get saved. Jesus said in Luke 14:23, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

One Christian cliché I find annoying is “we are to make disciples, not converts.” Making disciples starts by being a fisher of men. When doing the work of the evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5), the focus is getting people saved. It’s often been said, “You catch them, He’ll clean them.”

“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” - Matthew 4:19

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