May 24, 2007

Where's the Fish?

Mark 1:14-20

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Mark 1:17


In a Sunday worship service, a minister who was preaching on Mark 1:17 said that the church is in "the fishing business." He said, "When people ask you, just tell them you are in the fishing business. And someday," he added, "the One who made you a partner in this business will point at your fish bucket and ask, "Where's the fish?"

Where's the fish? For some of us, this question could be painful and embarrassing. Some of our buckets are completely empty. Some of us have never understood that in calling the disciples to become fishers of men, Jesus is also calling us to cast out nets and fishing lines. Some of us have never understood that our churches are to be in the fishing business. But that is our calling. We are to tell others about the Lord Jesus so they too can acknowledge him as Lord and Savior.

I have heard about a church that will not accept people as members unless they have talked about the Lord to at least four unbelievers in the past two months. I'm sure I would not qualify. How about you? Such a hurdle to membership may be extreme. But do we--and does our church--know that our main focus is to reach people with the good news?

What's most important to you and to your church? Someday our Lord will be asking, "Where's the fish?"

Lord, we thank you for the privilege of allowing us to be your partners in fishing. Help us to be faithful in our calling, and guide our churches to win people for Christ. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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