alford

The story is told about an old man who was having no luck at his favorite fishing hole. Try as he might, he could catch nothing. Meanwhile, a boy just down the way was pulling them out one after the other.

Just as we might have done, the old man swallowed his pride and asked the boy how he was catching all those fish. The boy mumbled back something that sounded like “roo raf roo reep ra rums rarm.”

“What was that?” the old fellow asked.

The boy responded again: “Roo raf roo reep ra rums rarm.”

“I can’t understand a word you’re saying,” the old man said.

The boy then spit a wriggling reddish blob into his hand and said: “You have to keep the worms warm.”

I’m always glad to meet Christians who, like that boy, are willing to do whatever it takes to catch fish. You see, Jesus calls us to “fish” for people who don’t yet know Him. He said “follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).

I’ve been exploring Georgia the past few months, and I’ve been impressed with the great lengths church folks go to in following Jesus’ command to be fishers of men.

I talked to a man the other day who had introduced 11 people to Christ in the waiting rooxm of a dental office in recent months. What an incredibly simple idea. People are sitting around trying to pass the time with nothing to read but months-old magazines. Why not pass the time talking? And why not make Jesus the topic of conversation?

One preacher I met owns a motorcycle and is part of a club that rides the rural routes of Georgia. Those riders love to talk to one another when they’re not on the road. While everyone else is talking motorcycles, this preacher is sharing the gospel to great effect.

Just today, I heard about church folks who minister to families by paying for school lunches. In the local school district, kids whose families were behind on their cafeteria bills had been given only peanut butter sandwiches and water for lunch … until the church got involved. Parents heard about that good deed, and started attending the church, and, as a result, were introduced to Christ.

I’ve heard of several churches that are getting barbers to come and volunteer their time to give free haircuts to impoverished families. The kids go to church looking just as spiffy as anyone else. The parents go to work trimmed neatly. Why? Because those free haircuts were just the bait the church members needed to share the gospel with entire families.

Some people are convinced that the culture in some parts of the U.S. is no longer conducive to door-to-door church visitation. They say folks consider it a bother to have someone show up at their doors to talk about spiritual matters. They say it could cause more harm than good. If that’s true in the area where you live, you may have to find another fishing strategy that does work.

You need to do whatever works, but I’d advise against shoving worms in your mouth to keep them warm.

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