“Put a sinker on the line. Tie on the hook. Hook the worm. Throw him out there. Watch your line. If it moves, set the hook.” Sadly, I didn’t grasp what it meant to “set the hook,” nor could I tell the difference between my line moving and the wind blowing it. In fact, that was my first and only lesson on how to fish. Needless to say, that experience was less than stellar.
If someone had taken me by the hand, showed me how to cast and let me feel the tug of a line being pulled – that would have made me much more comfortable, confident and motivated from the start. Telling me what to do didn’t equip me to fish.
You see, talking is not training. Telling is not teaching. “God commands you to witness. Be faithful to the Lord. Share Christ. Obey the Great Commission. Ask God for a burden for souls.” These directives exhort but they neither encourage nor equip. Jesus’ followers know we are to fish for men; many just don’t know how.
How can you train others to live evangelistically? What are some solid strategies for reproducing believers who reproduce as a way of life? Jesus left a repeatable model of making fishers of men when he trained the Twelve and others to witness naturally. We’ll observe several key principles from Mark 1:16-20 in a few posts. Here’s one: Modeling a lifestyle of evangelism attracts and motivates fishers of men.
Andrew, Peter, John, Philip and Nathanael first met Jesus in John 1:35-51. As you read the passage you note that they spent the first two days with him talking, discussing Scripture and conversing about their lives, upbringing and hopes. On the third they went together to that famous wedding in Cana. In fact, the disciples spent the next couple of months with Jesus (Jn 2:1-4:42) before he sent them home to consider what they had seen and heard. To model outreach demands time together with those we hope to train. Facebook lets you “friend” someone whom you will never meet. Training by modeling demands time in FaceLook – nose to nose, eye to eye. Relating drives learning.
Show and Think
During those early months, the disciples experienced Jesus spontaneously witness (Jn 3) and intentionally seek the lost (Jn 4). They watched him ask questions, listen and extend hospitality. He enjoyed social events with lost persons, accepted the rejected and challenged worldviews. After this model, Jesus sent the disciples home to consider what they had seen and heard. Christ’s call to leave their boats and follow him occurs several months later. Effective modeling gives people time to consider what they see.
Take someone with you this week and let him or her watch you interact with the lost. Model fishing and give him or her time to consider things before you challenge them.