Personal Mission Field
Therefore indeed it is true that there is an obligation to fish well and diligently, as the Lord commanded...we are obliged to spread our nets so that we can catch a great shoal and multitude for God.
- Patrick, Confession (Irish, 5th century)
And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."
- Luke 5.4
Let's face it: the evangelical church in America has lost its zeal for evangelism.
We're happy for folks to come to our church and find the Lord, if that's what they want to do. But we aren't seeking the lost like Jesus did (Lk. 19.10), we aren't being witnesses for Christ in our everyday lives (Acts 1.8; Matt. 28.18-20), and, consequently, we aren't seeing many people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
And, apparently, we're OK with this situation.
Patrick would not have been; and we can be sure that Jesus is not. He has told us what we need to do.
First, we need to believe that the "fish" are out there, in the deep water, and that they can be collected in the nets of the Gospel. Their souls are crying out for someone to come and gather them to the Lord. They may not recognize this as their need, but the growing uncertainty of these times is only turning up the pressure on their souls to find relief from doubts and fears.
We need to go among them, to push out into the deep waters among the lost. We won't have to go far, because they're all around us - in our neighborhoods, schools, work places, and communities.
But we need to go with the intention of putting out our nets - talking about the Lord, sharing our testimony, inviting others to consider the offer of the Gospel, urging them to repent and believe the Good News.
Can't see yourself doing that? Why not? Is it because you've never thought of it before? Or never done it before? Do you believe that there is a power at work in you Who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that you have ever dared to ask or think (Eph. 3.20)? If so, then what better way to fall back on Him than to go in obedience to His urging and make the Good News of Jesus known to the people around you each day?
Will some of them resent you? Mock you? Even laugh at you? Count on it. But more will want to talk a bit more about this, and some will actually be saved (Acts 17.32-34).
Patrick - uneducated and untrained, alone, and clinging only to the promise of God - went back to the same people who had enslaved him and let down the nets of the Gospel. A great catch of souls ensued, followed by a revival and awakening that lasted nearly four centuries.
Could you be the Patrick of our generation?
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
ReVision - Why do people send money, pray, and watch worriedly to learn more about the events in Libya and Japan? Why do we care? If you need good conversation starters to begin letting down your Gospel nets, ReVision supplies them, three times a week.
Pastors' Fellowship - What is pastoral vision and how does one get it? If you're a pastor, join us to discuss this important question and to work through God's vision for your own ministry. But be careful: it might have you putting out into the deep water. Register today, as seating for each of the two sections is limited.
Prayer for Revival - We will be gathering tonight at 9:00 Eastern by webinar to pray for revival. You'll need a link to join us, so write me right now and let me know that you'd like to attend. Space is limited.