I find it hard – and sort of unexciting – having to attend church service without taking a break to go fishing. Attending church services has never been big on my immediate-things-to-do list. At least that is what used to happen before I fully committed to fishing where no fish bites. I am at a point where I keep finding myself wanting to follow where the finger of Jesus points, far away from continuous church service attendance.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
– Matthew 4:19
Fishing where no fish bites
Having become a regular church service attender, I have quickly discovered how comfortable it is to keep fishing where no fish bites. I have also become adept at not to encroach on imaginary boundaries that regular church goers have set on their territories – for their seating, parking and calligraphy on ‘special offerings’ envelopes.
Interestingly, when I was a small boy I used to fish a lot. I learned that a successful fisherman knows where to fish, the equipment and bait to use. Getting bait involved searching for snails through knee-deep mud. We also used crickets and white ants as bait. While looking for bait and fishing, we were always on the lookout for danger.
We were careful to avoid pond owners, snakes and, crocodiles when we fished in the lake. Fishing entailed getting our hands dirty and putting our shoulders to the wheel. This is a complete contrast of coming to church wearing suit and tie and looking forward to a nice time under the whirring sound of air coolers and overhead fans.
“Successful fishing calls for knowing the kind of fish we are fishing, the conditions they are in and which bait to use. Our bait is the gospel of Jesus Christ which transforms and brings meaning to lives. Spreading the gospel is our mission as Christians”
What does it mean to be a ‘fisher of men’?
When Jesus told Peter and Andrew they were going to become ‘fishers of men’ they abandoned their fishing boat and nets and followed Jesus. It is only when we read Matthew 28:18-20 and Ephesians 6:10-20 that we understand what becoming fishers of men entail. Fishing for men is all accomplishing the great commission.
And just as we need the right equipment, knowledge of the dangers to avoid as a fisherman, we need to know what it takes to be ‘fishers of men.’ We must know what kind of fish we are fishing, the conditions they are in and which bait to use. As fishers of men, the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes our bait. When we fully understand the message and know its importance in accomplishing Jesus’ mission for us, we are able to be fishers of men.
A church service should therefore be the means through which ‘fishers of men’ are constantly equipped for fishing. Once they are equipped they MUST go out and engage in winning souls for Christ. Otherwise, attending church service – with the same people, every Sunday – becomes fishing where no fish bites.
But if we are the Body, why aren’t His arms reaching?
Why aren’t His hands healing? Why aren’t His words teaching?
And if we are the Body, why aren’t His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
There is a way
– If We Are The Body, Casting Crowns