The Believer's Net and Bait
The analogy of being a fisherman is something that we often use when we talk about evangelism because there are so many similarities. Christ’s profound message of telling the first disciples that they will be fishers of men has more and more depth when you think about it. For example, people that go fishing know all too well the importance of both the net and bait that are used when going out to the water. Although different fish may require different bait and methods, the nets are still designed to do the same thing. Similarly, the net for believers is always constant. The net when evangelizing is the Gospel.
Our faith resides in the Gospel as stated in Romans 1, and it is what gives us both power and salvation. Although our approaches may vary, there is no compromise in the believer’s net and it is the net that truly catches people, it is God who is working on the heart that brings forth salvation.
Now when it comes to the bait, we use it in conjunction with our net. In this stance, things can change and adapt. We believe that common ground, love, breaking bread, community events, and the Holy Spirit are great types of bait when evangelizing.
Finding what you have in common with someone is a great way to create opportunities to share Christ. Establishing a relationship helps remove walls and creates a way to break the ice. One of the reasons why Paul’s ministry was successful is because he had common ground with his audience. Although any of the disciples or other leaders in the new church could have taken the role to share Christ to the Gentiles, but the rapport naturally built in Paul’s background allowed him to use common ground in his ministry.
Love is the foundation of our approach. Showing genuine care for another is exactly what Jesus did during his time on Earth. This was the main ingredient used in His ministry to reach the lost, and this is why it is important to have genuine compassion. This is most important when we are looking at the needs of others. Love is an action verb, and we show love by doing.
One of the things that Jesus enjoyed doing was eating and fellowshipping with the people. From one of his first miracles of turning water into wine to the infamous feeding of thousands, food and fellowship were something that was common throughout scripture. A meal goes a long way in the hearts of people. Taking a coworker out to lunch, treating someone to a meal, or inviting a family to your home for dinner creates an opportunity to share the gospel of Christ.
Many unbelievers will not come to a church service. The intimidation, bad history, or flat-out unwillingness to go to a church service happens often. This is why a community event is a wonderful option. In Scripture, some of Jesus’ greatest miracles took place away from church gatherings because of His desire to connect with people who were least likely and unwelcomed. Be innovative and use an event to shine for Christ; especially one that does not happen in the four walls of the building. Help release the pressure of presenting Jesus and open up new doors of compassion.
Although last, the Holy Spirit should be a part of any and every evangelistic strategy. Praying for the hearts of people who do not know God allows the Holy Spirit to do things in the background that aren’t even calculable. Never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit!
These are just a few tools that believers can use as nets and baits of evangelism. There is no one sure way to reach an unbeliever or unchurched individual, but one sure method is praying and allowing the Holy Spirit to give you creative means and opportunities to do so.