Last week I was reading in Luke chapter 5 and I saw this account.
“One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
As I reflected on that passage I realized that I had become like Simon Peter. In my quest to lead our church to be fishers of men, we had planned several big outreaches this Spring. We spent a lot of money and effort into making a huge Easter celebration and we had thoroughly canvassed our neighborhood for a Block Party, only to have almost no results. I was tired and extremely discouraged and out of ideas as to how we might reach out. I was washing my nets to put them away. But then I looked at Peter’s response.
When he [Jesus] had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.”
The Lord reminded me that I am still called to reach out whether or not I see any results. He reminded me that there are still people in our community who need to hear about Christ’s love. I need to keep fishing. Will you go fishing with me?
There are four ways you can help. First, continue to pray that the Lord would lead us to opportunities to share Christ with others. Pray that He would build our church. Nothing happens without faith and prayer.
Second, this coming Sunday I am placing copies of Outreach Magazine in the lobby. Each magazine contains ideas that other churches have used to reach out with the Gospel of Christ. I don’t have enough time to get through them all on my own. Would you be willing to take one and read the ideas and get back to me with the ones you think would work for us in the weeks and months ahead?
Third, on Saturday, September 16 I am planning to show the film “The Case for Christ” about the marvelous conversion of Lee Stroebel from agnostic to Christian author and pastor. As some of you may remember I came to faith through a Billy Graham film myself, so I know the power of a Christian film. I will be contacting you soon for help in setting up the Family Life Center, advertising, making popcorn, and all the rest. Please begin to pray and think about people you could invite to this event.
Fourth, I am planning a Harvest Carnival for mid to late October. This would be inside the Family Life Center and would be similar to the old Rock Rest fest with games, food, and prizes. I would love for a group of you to come alongside me and help plan this event.
I know that my discouragement caused some of you to wonder if I still had the heart for the task of outreach. I do and I believe together we can see God do great things.
We just need to keep fishing!