What role does a church community play in the work of evangelism? A great place to start in looking at this theologically is the actual words and context of Christ’s determination: “I will make you fishers of men (Matt. 4:19).” For starters, was his metaphor of ministry about poles or nets?
Read my recent article in Leadership Journal called “Rod and Reel, or Net?”
The Pole vs. The Net. – A Fishing Mindset
What does it mean when our efforts to evangelize are more communitarian? And, how can we help people get “caught into a community”? What is the difference between a pole fishing mindset and a net fishing mindset? Consider this:
Pole “Fishing” is a solo effort.
Net “Fishing” is a team effort.
Pole “Fishing” involves throwing them a line on your own.
Net “Fishing” involves showing them Christ within a community.
Pole “Fishing” helps people hear about the Gospel.
Net “Fishing” helps people see the Gospel lived out.
With Pole “Fishing” the idea is “coming to a decision”;
With Net “Fishing” it is “coming INTO community.”
With Pole “Fishing” the technique is convincing them of the truth of Christ (i.e., information);
With Net “Fishing” it is showing to them the love of Christ (i.e., transformation).
While Pole “Fishing” tends to view evangelism as a periodic project;
Net “Fishing” sees outreach as an ongoing and necessary occupation.