Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Following and Fishing for people

Read Matthew's story of Jesus calling his Disciples. (Mt 4:18-19. Jesus says, "Come, follow me and I will send you out to fish for people."
1.) "Come, follow me."
That is the first task and for me is really hard. I often find myself not followBolding Jesus. I am following comfort, glory, vanity, power, money, desire, my vision of good instead of following Jesus. There is a singular focus, "Follow me." That means I must move from where I am, change my path, and keep Jesus in my sight. I do that through prayer, worship, and study. Prayer being the most essential.

How do you follow Jesus? What tools keep you on Jesus' trail.

2.) "I will send you out to fish for people."
Really had not thought much about that phrase since fifth grade. What is fishing for people? Evangelism is the usual idea, but where do people wind up being fished?

My only image that made sense was Hurrican Katrina. The image of people being fished off their roofs by helicopters or swamp boats fishing people out of homes. Fishing for people is about saving lives. People who are being fished are closer to being a fish than a person. If people are in a safe place there does not need to be fishing. If people are in a perilous place, they are more fish like than human. Where are the perilous places where people need to be fished in your community?

To fish for people is helping people become more human and less fish like.

You and I, as Christians, have as our task to follow Jesus and fish for people. The church is to provide a place where people can become more human and less fish like. We do that by...

A.) Reminding people they are not fish.
"You are a child of God and God loves you very much. The waters have not overwhelemed you, because Jesus called you by name. You are His. You are not a slimy fish." We lift up their humanity as a treasure and goodness. Yes there is sin, but saving is not teaching a life less it is about getting people out of the water and into safety.

B .) Helping to breathe.
Breathing the spirit that provides life not pollouted water that drowns. We teach people to connect to Holy Spirit through worship, prayer, and study. Small groups are breathing classes.

C.) Having been saved, helping them to fish for others.
Having been rescued they need to be sent out to save others. That requires learning and teaching. Nobody is to be left on a roof even some of the people we think deserve to be on a roof.

Key point as a christian leader must treat people like people not fish. People are not trophies nor are they something to fillet and put in the fryer. The guys who rescued folks in Katrina were nameless and faceless, it was not about them. It was about saving lives not glory, comfort, prestige or money. Fishing for people is selfless work that requires a humble heart. Fishing for fish gets you a TV show, a trophy, a big check. Fishing for people keeps you closer to Jesus and to one's he loves.

May you follow Jesus today and fish for people.