“Get the net! This is a big one!”
There is nothing more aggravating than watching another man catch fish. My father had a knack for knowing where to throw the lure and how to feel a large bass slowly take the bait. At just the right moment, he would set the hook, and my job was to put it in the net.
With urgency he would say, “You’ve got one shot! Don’t let him get away.”
I watched him intently and attempted to mimic his rhythmic movements with the rod, but for some reason I wasn’t the fisherman he was. After several trips, he told me the secret.
He said, “You aren’t holding your mouth right.”
Seriously? That’s ridiculous. That’s almost as ridiculous as casting on the other side of the boat.
I wonder what Peter was thinking when Jesus told him to do that on the lake when they first met. Yet when he obeyed, miraculous things happened. From that point on, Peter walked with Jesus. Peter listened, watched, observed, and even argued a bit. Becoming a disciple was as much caught as it was taught. Jesus discipled him to become a fisher of men.
The last time he saw Jesus, Peter stood with the other Jesus-followers and listened to His last words: “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19, NLT).
What is interesting to note is that when Jesus gave this Great Commission, everyone else in the world was lost. Jesus in essence was saying, “Go and make disciples of lost people.”
This should change the way you develop disciples. Jesus discipled lost people by building a relationship, starting gospel conversations, giving them a chance to respond, modeling kingdom life, and releasing them to do the same for others. Disciple-making begins and ends with evangelism, as the evangelized become the evangelizers. It demands our time, patience and a lot of prayer.
This can only happen if you are in proximity to others who are far from God. Where do you need to go in order to begin that type of discipling relationship? How do you need to rearrange the rhythm of your schedule to plant yourself in the midst of lostness? Who needs your time?
There were some life-changing conversations that happened on that pond in Salley. There were priceless discussions about career, faith, family, marriage and raising children. Over time, I became a fisherman, myself.
If you are interested in starting a journey to better be and equip disciple-makers of the lost, I encourage you to register for Immersion, Sept. 24-25 at the Cove. More details may be found at www.scbaptist.org.