Evangelism Is Not a Gentle Sunday Sport

fishing

The Church of England’s report on evangelism observes: “When Jesus said to his disciples ‘I will make you fishers of men’ the picture that he and they had in mind was that they would ‘launch out into the deep’ of the particularly treacherous lake of Galilee, dragging or casting a net over the side of the boat and then trying to bring the net ashore. It was a dangerous occupation in a dangerous milieu, but their livelihood depended on it. It was their full-time occupation. The commonest modern image of a fisherman in England (with apologies to deep sea trawler men) is of a man safely sitting alone under an umbrella on a river bank with a baited rod and line occasionally landing a small fish out of the river and into his bucket. He runs no risk and catches very little worth catching. His is a weekend pastime and not a daily occupation. His living does not depend on it. As long as we play at evangelism, with no risk to ourselves and no price to pay, we shall make little impact on our society. When we see evangelism, not as a gentle Sunday sport, but as the serious, costly business of everyday life, we may have to ride out many storms but there will be a fishing harvest for God’s glory.

– David Watson, Called & Committed, p. 147.

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