Fishers of Men
The fruit of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives [for God, as a fisher of men — he gathers and receives them for eternity]. Proverbs 11: 30 (AMP)
If you don’t know it yet, PRM is absolutely sold out on soul winning. It is literally the lifeblood of the Christian church and the primary job Christ gave us in the New Testament. Many problems in believer’s lives can be attributed to stagnancy in their Christian walk as a result of not “giving anything out” or sharing their faith. This leads to complacent, unfruitful lives and ultimately severe hindrances to spiritual growth. That is why we are so dedicated to evangelism and the art of soul winning. We know how important it is for you to be on the front-line of the work of God in the earth today!
It is amazing how closely related the art of fishing is, to the art of soul winning. Let’s look at the relationship between fishing for fish and fishing for people.
- You have to go out and catch the fish – You have to go out and convince people. (They aren’t going to run to church)
- You have to lure fish in – You have to persuade and convince people into the Kingdom.
- You have to consider your environment and what bait is most likely to appeal to the fish in that environment – The same is true for people.
- Once you get a “bite” you have to use all your fishing skills to get the fish into the net or the boat – You have to use wisdom and boldness to bring people into the kingdom of God.
“Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me! And I will make you fishermen for the souls of men!” 18 At once they left their nets and went along with him.” (TLB) Mark 1:17-18
Jesus used the analogy of fishing because the similarities to soul winning were so similar. For those of you who have never fished – the type of bait, rod, reel and the line you use as well as the river, the lake or the ocean, are all strategies and preparations for catching the right fish. The same approach is used in fishing for (or witnessing to) people. It is going to take wisdom and knowledge together with people skills and also being “streetwise” to bring people to Christ.
“And those who are wise – the people of God – shall shine as brightly as the sun’s brilliance; and those who turn many to righteousness will glitter like stars forever”. Daniel 12:3 TLB
The bait you use is the most important part of a successful catch. You have to use the appropriate bait to lure the fish and in the same way you will have to discern where a person is at spiritually and use the correct approach to win them to Christ.
It would be foolish to go out deep-sea fishing in a canoe or raft, with a child’s rod and reel. It would be just as foolish to go out into a little river or stream and use a deep-sea fishing rod and reel in shallow water. I have very seldom lost a fish that I hooked, but when I did it was because of my own carelessness and not the fish’s craftiness.
When we are unable to get people to commit to Christ and make Him the Lord of their lives, it is because of how we approach them, and more specifically, the words we use to get their attention. It is also important to know how to keep their attention. Since each person is different and has an entirely different mindset and pre-determined ideas toward God it’s critical that we rely on the leading of the Holy Spirit – it will make the difference in their decision for Christ.
Although God has given every person their own free will to choose or reject Christ, we definitely have more success in leading people to Christ by using the wisdom we receive from the Word of God and being led, guided and governed by the Spirit of God. It’s really just a matter of showing the person the rewards of a life submitted to God in a way that they can understand, appreciate and makes sense to them.
“For as many as are being constantly led by God’s Spirit, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:14 (Wuest)
The apostle Paul is one of the finest examples we can follow of being a witness for Christ. He says in 1 Corinthians 9:22 “… I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” By no means is Paul saying that he saves, but that he has given the Lord free access in and through his life, and this bears witness of the Lord saying to our heavenly Father, “Not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
When the Lord sent me out into the streets of Johannesburg, to be a witness for Him, I quickly learned that you lead a mayor of a town to the Lord differently than you would a homeless person or a drug addict. We must be relevant and real in each situation – try to speak the language of the people.
Here are some suggestions for witnessing:
- Live a Spirit-filled and Spirit-led life before your family and peers:
- Use the natural gifts and talents God has given you to reach people (If you’re a shy, computer geek, offer to fix someone’s computer and try to find an opportunity to witness to them while you remove the viruses)
- Seek ways to start a conversation, e.g. when in a restaurant, ask your server how he/she is doing and compliment them on their service.
- Share your testimony – it’s a great witnessing tool. Again, the Apostle Paul is a great example of sharing his testimony. (Read Acts 22:6-8, Acts 26:12-14)
I pray this message will encourage you to share the love of Christ with a lost and dying world at every opportunity.
I also pray that you will you grow in the grace that is in Christ Jesus and allow His Spirit to guide you as you obey the voice of the Lord.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Evangelist Peter Rahme