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The wind knocked my hat off, though the Captain—flashing a sly grin—bellowed that we were only using one-third of the Yamaha 250's engine. Eleven-year-old Caleb and I cruised the San Pablo River, Pablo Creek, and St. John’s River—all in search of fish.

I smiled, pondering how the disciples might have processed this fishing charter of ours. What would James and John have thought of our fishing rods? Would Judas have stroked his beard in disapproval at our engine's 30-thousand-dollar price tag?

Ultimately, we hauled in Trout, Red Fish, and Croakers during that four-hour charter. But not before I was reminded of some lessons about fishing for fish—and fishing for souls.

Reminder #1: You gotta go where the fish are!

Our Captain made frequent use of a digital "fish finder" screen. But he had also developed a keen sense of what the water surface looks like when many fish are present. But the same is true spiritually. Don't rely on lost people showing up at your church by themselves. Though this does happen, you usually have to go where they are.

Reminder #2: Different fish respond to different bait.

At each stop, we changed bait—and rods. Then, the casting began. The same is true with fishing for souls. Different people respond to different approaches. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for evangelism. A good fisherman doesn't just know "about" fish in general. You have to know the fish personally!

Reminder #3: The majority of the time, you catch nothing!

Fishing is a great sport, but even the pros you see online or on television spend most of their lives baiting hooks, casting out lines—and hauling in nothing. But that doesn't stop them. Nor should you and I stop if people reject our message. Remember—most people didn't believe Jesus when He preached!

Reminder #4: If you cast long enough, you will catch something.

Like sales, fishing is a numbers game. Stay at it long enough, and you'll catch a fish. I have no chapter and verse to quote you here—only personal experience. And that experience suggests the more people you witness to, the more likely someone will respond to Christ.

Reminder #5: Catching fish is a thrill that never gets old!

Every time Caleb or I cranked in a fish, we felt a rush of adrenalin. It never got old. The same is true spiritually. Our heavenly Captain designed it that way. There’s nothing like being a part of someone’s journey to Christ.

Reminder #6: Trust your Captain

Even if I owned a fancy boat with a costly engine with the most advanced digital fish finder in the world, it would be nothing without the expertise of a knowledgeable captain. The same is true with catching souls. Yes, we need to be ready. Yes, there are verses we should memorize and fundamentals we should know. But ultimately, fishers of souls must trust our Captain, Jesus.

Now—get out there and do some fishing!




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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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