My family was helping to run an all-ages concert house in the heart of downtown Boise. Every week I found myself spending 18-20 hours of my nights there, taking tickets and working the door, checking wristbands and helping with security, and just hanging out talking with kids between band sets. I remember feeling like I was doing a whole lot of nothing, and asked God if I should be doing more of what looked like evangelism and pushing to "close the deal" in a way that those I talked to would have to make a decision about God. But, God showed me an image of myself sitting in a small boat, fishing out on the lake. I realized how much time fishermen spend just sitting with their line in the water, sometimes bored, wind-blown and sun-burned. That is exactly what I was doing!
When we think of being a fisher of men we usually have this concept that we are going to go make it happen and "do the catching". But in reality, there are many ways to catch a fish. You may use a net to catch many at once, or a spear to catch one at a time. You may even reach into the water and grab one like bears do, or sit with a fishing pole in the water. The type of fishing we are talking about is for people to come to know God through Jesus, and live a lifestyle of following Him. Since man has free will, it will not work for us to decide to "catch someone" for Christ. We are not called to be salesmen, and God does not need us to promote Him. The phrase, I will make you fishers of men, is easily understood by using the illustration of the fisherman in the boat. He has his fishing line out in the water, and is waiting for the "bite". In the same way, every time we show kindness and acceptance, we have a "line out" and we should pray that God would cause the hurting people around us to respond....or to “bite”. It really takes the pressure off, when we learn to always extend Christ's invitation and hospitality. When we reflect Christ in our actions and interactions with people, His concern and care for them shines through us. God is able to mold us and shape us to be like Jesus...the true Fisher of Men's hearts.