Fishing in an Aquarium

Unfortunately, some people view evangelism as what the pastor does on Sundays. This idea has been called fishing in an aquarium. The problem with that view is that most churches are filled on Sundays with those who are already believers. They don’t need to be evangelized – they need to be equipped to share their faith. One pastor describes this as herding fish within reach of the big fisherman. I don’t think that’s what Jesus had in mind in Matthew 4:19 when He said – “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”

Jesus expects all of us to follow Him – and to be fishers of men.

If the method for sharing our faith is to let the pastor do it – few people will come to believe in Christ – and those of you who do know Him already will miss out on one of the most exciting parts of following Christ – introducing someone to faith in Jesus.

I think this starts with loving God and loving lost people with God’s love. Often times I’ve described this as “loving people until they ask you why.” Then – share how God’s love and grace have transformed your life. The more you love people – really love them – the more opportunities you’ll have to share the gospel with them.

Joe Aldrich notes, “I think it is fair to say that the majority of Christians have lost their ability to relate significantly to non-Christians. After knowing the Lord two years, the average Christian has no significant relationships with non-Christians.”

He also says – “Frequently the unsaved are viewed as enemies rather than victims of the enemy. Spirituality is viewed as separation from the unsaved.” You may think you have nothing in common with unbelievers – but the reality is, you do. You have a lot in common with them – like a mortgage, car payments, kids who misbehave, a lawn to mow, a car to wash, a less-than-perfect marriage, a few too many pounds around the waist, and an interest in sports, hobbies, and other activities they enjoy.

I think we need to remember that Jesus was called a “friend of sinners.” Are we friends of sinners?

I agree with Leonard Sweet – “The time for getting people to come to church is over; it is now time to get people to come to Christ.”

Faithquakes

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Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
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