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Archive for May, 2013

Jump in the Boat?

I have been asked to write this blog for our churches to consider.  The request came as the result of a conversation that we had at one of our team meetings.  The conversation revolved around how we as the church need to become more missional and less attractional in our approach to outreach.

Since that conversation, I watched a YouTube video about how fishermen in Brazil are catching a particular species of fish in the back areas of the Amazon.  They discovered that this particular fish when startled will jump out of the water and into the boat. These fishermen go out in their boats after dark and use spotlights and megaphones to make all kinds of noise in order to scare the fish into their boats.

When I saw the video it made me think that is how many churches are doing evangelism.  Jesus called us to be fishers of men but instead of going out and fishing we are sitting in the boat waiting for the fish to jump in the boat.

The combination of the conversation and the video helped me to visualize how we need to be fishing.  We need to go to the fish and not wait for them to jump in the boat.  The days of that type of fishing are quickly waning. We have to be aggressive fishermen and go the “fish”.  But when we do we need to realize what the “fish” are thinking.  Because what they are thinking dictates how we reach out to them.

Here are the three questions that everybody is thinking when you meet them for the first time.

  1. Can I trust you?
  2. Do you care about me?
  3. Can you help me?

Non-believers are all asking these questions whether consciously or unconsciously.  Therefore we must be able to develop relationships with them that will answer those questions in the affirmative.  It cannot be done by sitting in the boat or by having the best worship service, or the fanciest building, or the best technology.   These questions can only be answered through deep caring relationships.  The problem is these types of relationships take time to develop.  We have to make the commitment to invest in the lives of people.  To love them even when they seem to be unlovable.   We need to show them that we can be trusted, that we do care for them, and that we know the one who can help them.

The days of the “Billy Graham Era” are gone.  Even the days of the “Seeker Sensitive” Churches is rapidly receding.    Today is the day of being on mission for Christ everywhere we go including our own community.  It is time for us to invest in the most important commodity the world has to offer –PEOPLE.  Stop waiting for the fish to jump in the boat.  Go to the fish and love them with the love of the Lord.

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