Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by eric m williams, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. Some fisherman use nets. When they find a good spot they can bring in huge hauls, but they almost always drag in fish and debris that they do not want and that will not be kept. For them large numbers of fish are expected.

    When most people think of evangelism and evangelists, this is what they think of. They envision one man (fisherman) standing and preaching the gospel (throwing out the net) and drawing in crowds of converts.

    Some fishermen find a “choice” spot or two and some preferred tackle and go there often. The techniques and equipment can vary from a cane pole and a worm, to a bow and arrow, or thousand dollar flexible super fishing poles with state of the art scientific lures, or anything in between.
    Sometimes these fisherman catch something and sometimes they don’t.
    For these it usually more about the act itself, but they still have a blast pulling one in.

    This is basically what most churches teach for evangelism these days. Give the people a chosen technique (are you a good person, wonderful life, paradise to come, whatever…) and teach them how to use it. These may truly want to bring something in, but if they don’t then they will just try a new technique (tackle of choice) or a new spot. If they get a hold of something that they can’t handle it is easy to just cut the line and move on.

    Then come the noodlers. Most folks think these guys are nuts. They go around in muddy water sticking their bare hands and/or feet into an underwater hole that they can’t see into. There’s no telling what they might get. They might stick their hand into an animal den (muskrat, beaver, snapping turtle, gator, etc…) or even into a knot of snakes. They only know that the fish they want likes these kinds of spots. They risk some severe injury and even death just to land a fish, but they tend to land one the majority of the time. In truth most of them give little thought to the risks involved.

    This is what real personal evangelism is. It is risky and you can lay hold of some really nasty things, but it is undeniably effective.
    Mention Jesus at work one time and it can be just like sticking your hand into a nest of vipers, the biting and poison start spreading. Often the snakes even bite some of the other snakes in the ensuing melee.
    You may share the gospel with that one person that is determined to drag you down because you interrupted their little world (like a snapping turtle or gator they won’t let go).
    Then we have those that will attack and savage you because they feel threatened, but then they may back off. When you stick your foot into a muskrat or beaver den you are quite likely to pull back a bleeding stump.
    Then there is the empty hole. You stick yourself out there and nothing happens. It feels like you accomplished nothing, but the risk you took is still profound. You put yourself in harm’s way and even if you had someone helping you or standing by to pull you out, it was still you that was in harm’s way.

    Regardless of the fishing style used they are all bring in fish. Some people are good fly fishers, but couldn’t bow fish if their life depended on it. One man may routinely bring huge loads with his nets, but get weak in the knees at the thought of noodling. Some always bring something back when they use an old cane pole and whatever bugs were around, but are lousy with a rod and reel.

    We will all learn the best way by one of three methods:
    1) Paying attention to what works as we simply just go for it.
    2) We are taught by someone with more experience and knowledge.
    3) A combination of 1 & 2.

    The specifics of the technique and tools we use can vary greatly, but there is only one way to learn what works for us. Try, Try, and Try again!

    Most importantly we must remember two simple things.
    First, we may be the bait, the tackle, or even the bait and the tackle used by the fisherman, but we are not actually the fisherman.
    The Holy Spirit is the fisherman, and to be effective we must let Him guide and control us.

    Second, every single fish brought in is “The Big One!” and precious to God.
    Arrie03 and Juk say Amen and like this.
  2. Being relatively new to the Christian faith I must admit I feel a bit uncomfortable having to go out and save souls. Its as if it is more of a job than a personal relationship with God.

    Is it not enough to simply live our lives according to Christ and let others witness us as an example?
  3. Not all of us are evangelists, but all of us should be ready to explain why we trust in Jesus when we are asked (1 Peter 3:15).

    Knowing how we can most effectively share our faith is a matter of what leading the Holy Spirit gives us.
    It isn't always or even usually about getting behind a podium, banging on doors, or accosting strangers.

    If you have given in any thought, what makes you uncomfortable? Is it the doing, the idea of doing, lack of knowledge, lack of experience, or something else?
  4. I do not want to be one of "those" people who appear to want to ram my religion onto someone else. I have no problem sharing my belief if the situation comes up but I do not want to walk down the halls of my campus asking everyone if they know Jesus.

    That seems uncomfortable to me.
  5. Then don't, unless you know that the Holy Spirit is leading you to do so.

    When I was younger I was taught that you had to press the issue and get a decision every time. I hurt some people and pushed them away by doing so.

    I am no evangelist, but if I can steer a conversation to the thing's of God without forcing it, I will.
    One guidline I've learned to use when talking about the things of God with others is to understand that I have no right to expect them to listen to me if am not also willing to listen to them.

    If you focus on following Jesus, He will make it clear when and how you are to share your faith, but living it is definately a good start.
    Cturtle likes this.
  6. "Living it" is the most important part. Talk is cheap, living a virtuous life shows others that there is truth behind your words.
    There has been immeasurable harm done by supposed "TV evangelists" that have been exposed as frauds, thieves, and adulterers.
    Cturtle and eric m williams say Amen and like this.
  7. Well that is good to know and I suppose I will just take it slow and take advantage of an opportunity but not feel pressured to go out and save everyone.
    Cturtle likes this.
  8. Hmm, interesting.
    I had one that was more like a crayfish. Or hermit crab. He was hiding in the dark and wouldnt come out. I had to hold my breath and go under.
    It was hard. I had to keep coming up for breath at times and he was prickly. He wanted to hear what I said but he also wanted me to leave him alone after I kept annoying him.
    Im sure he will make his own way to the light and come to the surface eventually.
    Can you pray for him?
    Cturtle likes this.
  9. shall do and am doing
  10. To live it is to be witnessing to others, but we can live it yet that doesn't discuss the issues that others have, or their questions. Granted, we are not all evangelism, but we are all called to make disciples in Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth (acts 1:8)

    Its a learning process, and yes, it is uncomfortable at first, and its awesome that you're new to the Faith, and great things come from those who do according to his word :D
    Moses was a terrible speaker, yet, through God, he lead a nation. If you're uncomfortable doing something, more than likely, it is something the Lord will work with.
  11. Hello eric m williams.
    I agree that evangelists 'fish in different ways and in different places' (good story-analogy by the way).
    My evangelism is both a public sharing and as a personal witness.
    It is not done where people do not want to hear it, for that only gives them more fuel to dislike.
    I prefer to go where people are more prepared to hear the words of Truth that is more suited to their predicament.
    My main calling is to help alcoholics and addicts, and anybody who asks.
    I go to where the afflicted hang out (mostly where the homeless are). I befriend them, and do what I can to ease them - without supporting their affliction.
    I also go to AA and NA, to share my testimony. Have done so for 27 years. We help each other.
    All the ones who get to know me know that I am a strong advocate for AA and NA as a spiritual program.
    A twelve-step spiritual program that requires deep honesty and truth, by the afflicted, to maintain recovery.
    I am a fortunate one (so far). It is a very sad thing to make friends, some for decades, and see most of them relapsing and/or die from the affliction.
    Most of those who are 'old-timers' in recovery have strong spiritual lifestyles.

    Sadder still, is to see many churches that only focus their evangelism on the young. I have actually been told by certain church leaders to forget about the alcoholics, addicts, and the homeless, because they are too hard (a fish to catch). As far as I am concerned, they need salvation too.
    In good conscience, I felt it best to leave such church policies. I had to find a more suited church, or group, that suited my ethics.
    Mykuhl and Cturtle say Amen and like this.
  12. Good Morning (or what have you) Peter,
    NA is Narcotics Anonymous?
    Its always fascinating to me to see where God leads people and what He uses to get them there and use them there.
    In my own case it seems that I am here for those with questions that the church finds uncomfortable.
    They are rife throughout the non-christian community and there are many in the churches who get ignored or tossed by the wayside because they have questions that aren't in the approved doctrine and liturgy or they question the approved doctrine and liturgy.
    People that can't or won't accept pat answers are hard for those that do to deal with.

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