One of the earliest lessons I learned as a little mean kid trying to catch fish down at the river with my brothers was simple and true: if you are not catching any fish…switch bait. We tried worms, salmon eggs, bread, cheese, and crickets… whatever. Sometimes we caught fish and sometimes we didn’t.
Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” (The Greek word used here as ‘men’ means men and women, or people) The bait is not the church, the right knowledge, the correct doctrine, the correct liturgy, or having ‘the gift of gab’ or the ability to ‘hold an audience.’ That’s all man-made goofy stuff. Cleverness, cute stories and sentimentality may turn heads…but not hearts.
We are the bait. Whatever we are determines what will be on the end of our line and hook. It is not ‘Christianity’ or religion or history or any religious symbols, costumes, robes or decorations… it is us. We are the bait. If we are not legitimate Kingdom presentation and life… others will switch bait. Some times we just need to change our behavior, actions and message… to switch what we are doing into something new and legitimate that might better influence others.
“Come with me, and I will teach you to catch people.” Jesus