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In this dispensation, I think one of the greatest sign post scriptures of all is in Matthew 4:19 – “And He said unto them, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”

This perhaps is the most consistent measure you need to take of your view of life and your motivations in life. This, along with the reason you do the things you do, needs to be measured against the standard of God’s will—that all of us in this dispensation be fishers of men.

A “fisher of men” simply refers to somebody that is used by God to bring someone to an awareness of their need of the Lord and eventually into the kingdom of God. Unless we see ourselves this way, unless we see ourselves as fishers of men, and the resources of our life available to that end and purpose, then we will never fulfill our true purpose in this life.

Always keep one thing in mind: the power of God, the equipping of God, is never meant to enable you to consume more upon your own lust. The power and equipping of God is intended to enable for you to do the will of God. The power, the equipping, and the purpose of God always go hand and hand.

Being a fisher of men should describe the way you view your life but for most people, it doesn’t. Even though there are many good people out there—people who love the Lord and who want to live for Him—many still have their own agenda.

For many people, being a fisher of men is pretty far down on their list of things they’d like to do in life, yet these same people expect God to bless them. They want God to supernaturally make provision for them even though they are not interested in doing what He said is most important to Him?

Unfortunately, many people are intimidated to be a fisher of men or to reach out to others. Why? Because we have stereotypical ideas about what it means to evangelize or to share our faith. Therefore, we adopt this narrow thinking and become intimidated…and as a result, we don’t feel comfortable sharing our faith or being a witness.

For this reason we have churches across America that aren’t church’s at all; they are nothing but religious social clubs, and as such, they have no impact on the world around them. They are not interested in being a fisher of men and that’s why the supernatural will forever evade them. This is something we must understand and embrace.

To be a fisher of men, we must understand that God called, equipped, and gifted you to be a minister or an educator, a lawyer, a construction laborer, or an engineer. Or perhaps he equipped you to work in the medical field or in a large corporation as an office worker.

These professions are not your purpose or reason for your existence, they are simply the methodology that God uses in line with your natural gifting, talents, and abilities to help mold and place you where you can be the most effective in influencing the people around you.

Whether it’s through the money you make and use for the Gospel, or whether it’s the people you lead, or those whose lives you speak into, or the opportunities you have to influence others. This is why you are there! To the extent you see yourself this way and understand and function in this capacity, you will find your true purpose and fulfillment in Christ.

Confrontational Evangelism
We all need to become fishers of men, but that doesn’t mean we need to engage in confrontational evangelism. Unfortunately, that is the way a lot of folks see it.

Peter was a confrontational evangelist. As you know from the Word of God, Peter stuck his foot in his mouth on more than one occassion. Big mouth Peter was always willing to confront somebody and say, “Hey friend, if you don’t make Jesus your Lord, you’re going to go to hell and burn.”
 
Now, there are certain people who are anointed to operate like that, but most of us probably don’t consider ourselves that type of evangelist. The good news is that you don’t have to be like that; you just have to be who God made you. And if you just flow with the gifts and talents which are already inside of you, you will find your own way to reach out to others and begin to bring people to an awareness of the Lord and into the kingdom.

Intellectual Persuasion Evangelism
There are a lot ways to be a fisher of men. Peter, as a confrontational evangelist, is just one of them, but there are other ways we do it as well.

Paul was a good example of somebody who used intellectual persuasion. Paul had the education; he was an intellectual who loved to debate! He had the ability—the anointing—to intellectually persuade people to the “logic” or wisdom of being saved.

He would debate with them. He would reason with them. And ultimately, we see Paul successfully persuading them. Based on his example, we can say that intellectual persuasion is another way to be a fisher of men. Obviously, this type of evangelism depends on the particular gifting of the individual.

Relational Evangelism
Another way to be a fisher of men is through relational evangelism. Do you remember the story about the demon-possessed man in the country of the Gadarenes (Mark 5:1-19)  who was delivered from his demons? He wanted to follow Jesus but the Lord said no. “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you” (v. 19).

Here we see an example of Jesus ordering the healed man to go home and tell all of his family and friends about what the Lord has done. Some people are gifted in such a way whereas they have a lot of friends and family members. People like this have a unique and important opportunity to speak into the lives of those they know. That is why relational evangelism is so effective, and it just might be the way that you become a fisher of men.

Invitational Evangelism
We see another way to become a fisher of men is through invitational evangelism. A good example of this method in action is when the Samaritan woman by the well had an encounter with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (John 4).

After this woman talked with Jesus, did she go back to her town and preach to all of the people? No. She went back to her town and brought (invited) them to meet Jesus for themselves and they ended up having a two-day revival as a result!

If you are not comfortable sharing your faith as frequently as others do, then invite them instead. Invite people to church and bring them to a place where they can sit under the anointing and be changed forever.

“Compel them to come,” Jesus said, “and fill my house.” Can you do that? Can you compel them to come? Be sure to tell others when your church has an “open house” Sunday, or tell them when there is going to be a powerful drama performance, or simply mention the fact that your pastor tells the funniest jokes in town!

The idea is to reach out to the people you know…and invite them to church! This is the easiest and most effective way that you can be a fisher of men.

Service Evangelism
Another way to introduce people to the Lord is through service evangelism. For this example we can look at a woman of God named Dorcas in Acts chapter nine. Dorcas was a female deaconess in the early church who was known throughout her city for the good deeds she did for the people she served. The Bible says in verse 36 that she was “full of good works and alms deeds.” As a result, Dorcas influenced her entire city and many believed in the Lord because of her attitude of service and assistance toward others.

It reminds me of a pastor in northern Minnesota who built a church by using service evangelism. Living in Minnesota, this guy figured out that he could use what he had available to him—which was snow—to help grow his church.

At the time he had only about 10 people coming to church. So one day he got an idea. He had a pickup truck with a plow in the front to take care of the church’s parking lot. One day after it snowed, he decided to start plowing the driveways of all of the houses around him. After plowing the church parking lot, he ventured out and plowed about 15-20 other driveways. The next time it snowed, he did another 15-20 driveways. And every time he plowed someone out he would leave a church card in the garage door saying that Jesus loved them.

Through this practical example of service evangelism, the pastor in that town ended up growing his church from a small group of 10 people, to a church of several hundred members by doing nothing more than plowing people’s driveways.

Why did it work? Because the love of God is evident when we serve others, and it is the love of God that draws people! Not everyone can plow out driveways, but there is always something you can do. Something as simple as making cookies or muffins and taking them to your neighbor can be a very effective witnessing tool for the Lord. It’s about serving people in whatever way you can.

The point is this; we can be fishers of men in ways that are consistent with the gifting of God in our lives. Consider who you are and what you are; think about your gifts, talents, and abilities, and then draw on those unique qualities as you approach others to serve them.

And if we see our lives through this light—that we are all called to be fishers of men—then it changes the way we approach the affairs of our lives. You’ll begin looking for opportunities to influence people in the unique and special ways God has made possible through you based on your giftings and personality. And when you step out in this way, you’ll find that God will move on your behalf as well. Not only will you influence others for Him, but also this is how you can enter into places of rest, provision, and intimacy with God. Supernatural things will begin happening to you when you order your life in this way. Matthew 4:19 says that if you follow Him, He will make you a fisher of men; in other words, you don’t have to make yourself one.

Compassion For The Lost
Personally, I used to have a problem with this years ago and I’m embarrassed to admit it. I used to struggle with having compassion for the lost. I thought many of the guys I knew were fools and to be honest, at one point in my life I didn’t care if they ended up in hell. In fact, I didn’t want any of them to get saved.

The way I looked at it, these were people who I did not want to witness to. I felt they didn't deserve it. I also did not want to spend an eternity with them in heaven! That’s just the truth of it. Then the Lord made it clear to me one day that as a Pastor, I should not feel this way and that something needed to change on the inside of me!

So what did I do? I said, “Lord, I need a change because without you I can do nothing. You said you would make me a fisher of men; that means giving me compassion that will motivate me in that direction.”

And He did. He changed me. In fact, it only took a week or two and I started to sense a newfound compassion for those who needed the Lord. Now it doesn’t take much for me to get worked up about somebody who I know is going to hell; I want to do whatever I can to divert that destiny. I want to point them in the right direction.

There are things we all want God to do in our lives. Whether it’s the courage to share your faith, be a better spouse and parent, or put God first in your life, etc. If you want something but don’t have it, it’s usually because you did not ask. The Word says we have not because we ask not.

Many of us are not in the place we should be, and we know that we need to be more hungry for Him and more hungry for lost souls. To change that, all we need to do is ask! Ask Him and He will begin to cultivate a hunger and an appetite within you for those things of God that you currently lack.

He will begin to give you a compassion for the lost as He orients you toward this wonderful truth about being a fisher of men. There is nothing more rewarding than to know that your life has been used by God to influence others from an eternity of damnation. Dear Lord, what a wonderful thing! Glory to God!

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9 NKJ)

Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
(2 Tim. 4:2 NKJ)

As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, so the work of an evangelist, fully perform all the duties of your ministry.
(2 Tim. 4:5 AMP)


Source: A Place Called There by Mac Hammond.
Excerpt permission granted by Mac Hammond Ministries






Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
 
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Minute, which is seen locally in the Minneapolis area and can also be viewed at winnersminute.com. He is also the host of the Winner’s Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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