For some years, we lived in a home overlooking the beautiful Spokane River, where I would daily receive inspiration from God’s creation. The Spokane River was famous for its “caddis hatch” each June. I would regularly see drift boats and a few bank fishermen whipping the water with their fly rods hoping that their imitation bugs would tempt some unsuspecting trout.
While watching them one day, it occurred to me that with my busy travel and speaking schedule, and the numerous chores around the yard, I hadn’t taken the opportunity to participate in this seasonal event. It is hard to call yourself a fisherman if you are not fishing.
In a similar sense, it is hard to call yourself a disciple if you are not fishing for men. As former U.S. Senate Chaplain, Peter Marshall, once said, “Fishing for fish is pulling fish out of life unto death. Fishing for men is pulling men from death into eternal life.” When Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men,” to a group of common fisherman, He ignited a passion for evangelism that still burns in the hearts and minds of His disciples today.
We can learn a great deal from Andrew, one of the very first fisherman/apostles called into service by Jesus. Before he met Jesus, Andrew was a follower of John the Baptist. But when John introduced Andrew to Jesus, “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ).” (John 1:41)
It was also Andrew who brought a little boy from the crowd to Jesus: “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish…” John 6:9a. Miraculously, Jesus used this introduction, and the boy’s lunch, to feed the entire crowd.
In John 12:20-22, we read about another time when Andrew introduced others to Christ. This time Andrew brought some Greeks to Jesus. Andrew was just a common fisherman, but he knew how to introduce others to Jesus Christ.
Andrew shows us how to lead others to Jesus simply and matter-of-factly. With his brother Peter, Andrew simply shared his experience with Jesus. Telling your story and how you met Jesus is one of the easiest yet most powerful ways to introduce others to Jesus Christ.
As we share our personal story of salvation with friends and neighbors, we give them an appetite to know Jesus. Our hope is that, like Andrew, we can bring people to know Jesus and that when they meet Him, they too will be captivated with Who He is and what He has done for them.
I encourage you to write out your story of how you came to know Jesus. Keep it short—perhaps just half-a-page. Then, rehearse it so you can tell it easily from memory. Now, share it with someone you know.
Jim Grassi, D. Min. and Wendell Morton
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5