Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Fisher of Kids

by Rev. James Wong
"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." ~Matt 4:19-20 (NIV)

The first image that Jesus gave to this first disciple was ‘being a fisher of men.’ They were to follow him and their mission included ‘fishing for men.’ They must be able to win people to the Kingdom of God. The last image that he gave to his disciples was that, they were to go and make disciples of all nations.’ The life mission of a disciple of Jesus Christ is to win others into the Kingdom of God through their lives.

Fishermen are knowledgeable people. The type of fish they wish to catch will determine their methods and their fishing tools. To catch sharks you need to have a tool-set that is suitable for catching sharks. This tool-set is totally irrelevant for catching ikan bilis. A different tool-set, skill-set and mind-set are needed to catch the different types of fishes. “Change to adapt” is the key.

I once went fishing with KFC chicken and the fish never bite because fishes like worms. If I wish to catch fish, I must get into the messy business of hooking up the worms and getting my hands dirty. I must see things from the fishes’ point of view and not my point of view. I must give to the fishes what they like and not what I like. This is uncomfortable. But if I want to catch any fish I must catch them according to their terms and not according to my terms. Simple and obvious? Yet this is one of the greatest revelation I receive concerning reaching people for Christ and church evangelism.

There are effective methods and non-effective methods. The effectiveness of winning people for Christ lies in our knowledge of their needs; their aspirations, their likes and dislikes, their habits, their successes and failures, their fears, their pain and struggles. Different age groups have different needs and tastes.

The most challenging ministry in the church is the children ministry. After growing old for many years, it is so hard for me to ‘think’ like a kid and to see the world through their eyes. Many researches have shown that this is the age group that most readily accept Christ but it is also the easiest group that the church can lose without understanding their needs and tastes.

The Bible says: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30 NIV). It takes wisdom to win souls. May God grant us wisdom to reach a child. Take the challenge to invite a child to the coming children camp. I know Christ because someone invited me to church when I was a kid. I am thankful for that. Be a fisher of kids.

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