The “Fishers Of Men” Principle

“And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.'” (Mark 1:17)

Did Jesus tell Simon and Andrew: “Follow me, and I will teach you 50 ways to catch fish”? No, he didn’t say that. Jesus did say, “I will make you become fishers of men.”

But why do we forget? Why is it that when we think about “outreach,” we tend to spend our energy drawing up church outreach programs and events, instead of asking God to help us become ambassadors of His kingdom? When we think about helping the church pray more, we tend to think of gimmicks to get people to come to prayer meetings and practice different “prayer positions,” instead of focusing on changing our character and infusing our daily lives with the spiritual habits of someone who prays?

Many a times I heard brothers and sisters wanting to become either a cell group leader or a sunday school teacher. However, the first question they were asked was: “What material will you be using?” Another person wants to join the worship team or be a worship leader. The question that follows is “Can you come to rehearsals? What instrument do you play? What style of music do you play?”

Why do pragmatism and utilitarianism reign in churches today? A book I was reading used the word “technique” to characterize the tendencies of ministries in Western churches, because we’re so overly concerned about running a tight ship, fine tuning methods and programs, using technology, etc.

But Jesus called us to become. Who we are is first and foremost, and afterwards, what you do and how you do it should flow from that. Do you want to outreach nonbelievers? Be a fisher of men and someone whose heart yearns for souls to be saved. Do you want to pray? Be someone who is relentlessly drawing near to God. Do you want to lead or teach? Be someone who sees the lostness of people without leaders, and who loves God’s Word and desires fellow brothers and sisters to continue to breakthrough in their understanding of God. And trust the transforming power of God to help you become who He wants to shape you to be.

2 thoughts on “The “Fishers Of Men” Principle

  1. I keep coming back to read this entry you have. I am still thinking about what you have written. I think we need to focus more than just our own being or our own becoming in order to get away from those two issues you have mentioned.

    What I am writing here isn’t really responding to what you have said. Rather, since your concern is how pragmatism and utilitarianism have affected the Church, I have one more issue for you to investigate.

    Years ago, I have come across a book _Against the Protestant Gnostics_ by Philip J. Lee. I thought the book was pretty good. However, after reading that, I can find anyone who raises similar issue until recently. While David Wells would deal with something similar to pragmaticism and utilitarianism in his _No Place for Truth_, Lee would tackle Gnosticism. It seems that we Evangelicals are mostly unaware of how our beliefs are similar to that of the Gnostics (heresies in the first few centuries). Yesterday, I picked up the current issue of Modern Reformation (issue: The New Spiritualities, May/June 2008) and there I see Lee has written an article on Gnosticism. This brings me back to that book I have read years ago. There are a few other articles in this issue of MR that is pretty good, too, all dealing with Gnosticism. If you got a chance, I suggest that you can get hold of an issue….:

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