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4 Ways to FISH for Men

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Opening: 4 Ways to FISH for Men

When I was 12 years old, an incoming freshman in high school, we lived in a Barrio (village) called Buenavista
At that time, going in out of our village, going to and from the town feels like taking forever. The roads are unpaved, the bridge is half done.
Almost whole year round, me and my childhood friends would swim the rivers that isolates our village from the town
On summer nights when the moon is bright, we will play games such as “harayang taga” and “hide and seek”
Speaking of “hide and seek”, this reminds me of Pastor Sam Talaver. The shepherd of the “Bible Baptist Church” in my home town.
Because I remember hiding from him many times, but he never gave up seeking me
This servant of God will walk from house to house, knocking on peoples’ doors.
He was literally on foot with his accordion keyboard wrapped around his chest.
After knocking on doors, he will play a song or two, if the home owner welcomes him in, then he will start sharing the Gospel.
He will play a
He will invite them to his church.
He didn’t have any plan of missing a house, he saturates every house in the block until he reached ours and that was how we met.
From the day we met, he started inviting me to their church (take note of my age back at that time), but with my catholic background, heeding to his invitation is not easy for me
At the beginning of our friendship, I really felt good listening to the things he shared to me.
That was how we met. From the day we met, he started inviting me to their church.
Over time however, I started feeling bored. Obviously my heart wasn’t ready. So, I started hiding from him.
Whenever he will come to seek me, I will hide from him.
14 years and many life seasons after, when my wife Joan and I, along with our first 2 children, Aj & Jaja, were “under tension” and “in transition”.
When we literally lived in a dirty kitchen of one of my brothers. Where our make-shift walls are made of nylon canvas just to protect my family during the rainy season
We have no money. One night there was no food on the table. Joan and I are staring at each other, while we look at our sleeping children.
I remembered Pastor Sam. So, I told my wife, let’s visit Pastor Sam’s church this Sunday.
Sunday came, we were dragging ourselves going to the church.
We were kinda anxious about what to expect.
Do you remember how you felt when you were invited to a birthday party where you know no one there except for the person that actually invited you to come? That is exactly the kind of feeling we had..
Being invited to a church, and coming for the first time could be very difficult for people specially those who have not been in the church in their entire life (the unchurched), or may have been in a church but not for a very long time (they’re called the de-churched)
But because God had prepared our hearts that day, we were able to overcome our fear with courage
So, we made it to the church, we sat on the rear most pew where we could easily push the eject button, should we decide not to stay, and quietly disappear without anyone noticing
But! the church people was very welcoming, love was in the air, and the atmosphere was very friendly, so we managed to hang tight and see what happens next
When the worship started, they started singing hymns. Behind the pews are song books for reference if anyone wanted to sing along with them
It wasn’t very difficult. All you need to do is to shout the lyrics of the song, and sing at the top of your voice, and as loud as you can (hahaha)
But seriously, as the singing continued, as the choir brought it down to mellow songs, I began to feel something is going on, something is happening inside me, water started to drip from my eyes until tears started to roll down my cheeks
And then Pastor Sam offered and invitation to accept Jesus as Lord & Savior
I was dragging my feet when we came to the church, I was mocking their songs deep inside me. But when Pastor Sam did an altar call, my feet was raising against each other, rushing to the altar
And right there, I accepted Jesus as my Lord, King and Savior. Then things were never the same for us after that.
Because there was once a Sam Talaver who willingly gave himself to be the feet, to be the mouth and to be the ears of Jesus.
A wretched like me received the amazing grace of God.
I was once lost, but now I am found, because in spite of my hiding, someone decides to keep seeking
This was back in 1993 and here is a picture of the late Pastor Sam (show photo of Pastor Sam)
BREATHE!
Zig Ziglar said… “The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist” (show quote)
Now, let’s take a look at the state of health of the body of Christ
The Bride whom the Groom had died for.
The Bride that one day, the Groom will return for...
Let me just define some of the terms I will used to make sure that we understand each other clearly
Churched People - People who attended a church service in the past 7 days are classified as “churched people”
Unchurched People - People who have not attended a church service for the past 6 months (not including special events such as weddings or funerals)
Dechurched People - are those who formerly either very, somewhat or minimally active churchgoers, but have not attended a church service in the past 6 months (not including special events such as weddings or funerals)
Based on Barna’s most recent data, almost 4 in 10 or 38 % of Americans are active churchgoers
5 of 10 or 43% are unchurched
And around 1/3 or 34% are dechurched
BREATHE!
Top 5 of the list of the most churched cities in America are: (show table churched)
Chattanooga, TN (59%)
Salt Lake City, UT (59%)
Augusta, GA (57%)
Baton Rouge, LA (57%)
Birmingham, AL (56%)
Top 5 of the list of the most unchurched cities in America are: (show table unchurched)
San Francisco, CA (60%)
Reno, NV (59%)
Springfield, MA (57%)
Boston, MA (56%)
Las Vegas, NV (55%)
And finally, the Top 5 of the list of the most dechurched cities in America are: (show table dechurched)
San Francisco, CA (47%)
Boston, MA (46%)
Seattle, WA (45%)
Portland, ME (45%)
Springfield, MA (43
5
BREATHE!
The Christian church has been a cornerstone of American life for centuries, but much has changed in the last 30 years.
The Christian church has been a cornerstone of American life for centuries, but much has changed in the last 30 years. Americans are attending church less, and more people are experiencing and practicing their faith outside of its four walls. Millennials in particular are coming of age at a time of great skepticism and cynicism toward institutions—particularly the church. Add to this the broader secularizing trend in American culture
Americans are attending church less, and more people are experiencing and practicing their faith outside of its four walls.
Millennials in particular are coming of age at a time of great skepticism toward institutions—particularly the church.
Add to this the broader secularizing trend in American culture
Almost three quarters of Americans say they are christians (show table How American Affiliate)
If 73% of Americans says they are christians, but only 38% are actually active in church, where are the remaining 45% (these are the unchurched and the dechurched people)
BREATHE!
Every year more than 4,000 churches closes their doors compared to only 1,000 new church starts
Every year 2.7 Million church members fall into being inactive
Half of all churches in the US did not add any new members to their ranks in the last 2 years
If we, the followers of Jesus will not do anything about this trend, we can see the figures on American attendance dropping to 15% by 2025 and 11-12% in 2050 (show table The Future of American Church)
Romans 10:14–15 ESV
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Paul Quote the prophet Isaiah (52:7)
If we, the followers of Jesus will not do anything about this trend, we can see the figures on American attendance dropping to 15% by 2025 and 11-12% in 2050 (show table The Future of American Church)
James 1:22 ESV
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
And when the disciples asked the Lord which among His Word are the most important, Jesus said...
Matthew 22:37–40 ESV
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:37-
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he left us, not just the 12, the great commission
Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:
BREATHE!
Why so many churches are failing?
Study shows that the following are some of the reasons why? (this is just in random order)
Evangelists seen on TV living a lavish lifestyle
Gossiping, and how some people in the church treats other people
Teaching is not tied into the needs of our people
We are to make God’s Word relate to us then to the people around us, specially when we teach it
Church people are not very welcoming
Or simply, the church itself does not want to grow
Only 26% of christians believed that they have a responsibility to evangelize for others (show chart What Americans Believe)
In other words, even in our church, only 2 to 3 out 10 members believes that as christians, it is their responsibility to evangelize for others
While 3 to 4 out of 10 members strongly disagree that it is their responsibility to evangelize for others
The remaining 3 to 4 out of 10 members are kinda in the middle, probably 2 somewhat agree and the other 2 somewhat disagree
Now, let us see how the Lord will talk to the hearts of those 7-8 out of 10 members of our church today
Those who disagree or somewhat disagree that as christians, it is our responsibility to evangelize for others

Text: The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

Matthew 22:1–14 NCV
Jesus again used stories to teach them. He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. The king invited some people to the feast. When the feast was ready, the king sent his servants to tell the people, but they refused to come. “Then the king sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited that my feast is ready. I have killed my best bulls and calves for the dinner, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’ “But the people refused to listen to the servants and left to do other things. One went to work in his field, and another went to his business. Some of the other people grabbed the servants, beat them, and killed them. The king was furious and sent his army to kill the murderers and burn their city. “After that, the king said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready. I invited those people, but they were not worthy to come. So go to the street corners and invite everyone you find to come to my feast.’ So the servants went into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. “When the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man who was not dressed for a wedding. The king said, ‘Friend, how were you allowed to come in here? You are not dressed for a wedding.’ But the man said nothing. So the king told some servants, ‘Tie this man’s hands and feet. Throw him out into the darkness, where people will cry and grind their teeth with pain.’ “Yes, many are invited, but only a few are chosen.”
Matthew 22:1-14
In this parable Jesus was not suggesting, He was not requesting, He was instructing
What he was telling us is to “go and invite”
It is not even a choice, it is a command
And Jesus said
John 14:15 NCV
“If you love me, you will obey my commands.
John 14:15 ESV
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
John 14:23 NCV
Jesus answered, “If people love me, they will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
BREATHE!
When Jesus started selecting His disciples He saw the fishing brothers, Andrew and Peter, by the Sea of Galilee, casting their net into the sea
Matthew 4:18–22 ESV
While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Matthew 4:18-22
Do you think it was just so happen that Jesus was walking by the sea and saw some fishermen and all of a sudden He decided to call them to be His disciples?
Absolutely not!.. He is the Son of God.. He Himself is God..
Through Him all things were made, without Him nothing was made that has been made
In other words, He is the beginning and the end
The Alpha and the Omega
If He is who He say He is, which truly He is, then everything that He does comes with a purpose
He did not just randomly picked Peter, Andrew, James and John, which by the way are all fishermen
He picked them with a purpose
Jesus told them that He will make them fishers of men
Behind these, Jesus is teaching us that to “go & invite” people to His banquet is like going out to fish
Who likes fishing?
To be efficient in fishing there are 5 things you need to remember:
Know what you’re fishing for
The kind of fish you want to catch will determine every part of your strategy
"Fishing for bass, catfish or salmon requires different equipment, bait and timing. You don't catch marlin the same way you catch trout. There's no 'one-size-fits-all' approach to fishing, and the same is true in fishing for men."
"Fishing for bass, catfish or salmon requires different equipment, bait and timing.
"Fishing for bass, catfish or salmon requires different equipment, bait and timing. You don't catch marlin the same way you catch trout. There's no 'one-size-fits-all' approach to fishing, and the same is true in fishing for men."
You don't catch marlin the same way you catch trout.
There's no 'one-size-fits-all' approach to fishing, and the same is true in fishing for men."
Matthew 10:5–6 ESV
These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Go where the fish are biting
"It's a waste of time to fish in a spot where the fish aren't biting,"
"Wise fishermen move on. They understand that fish are not hungry all the time."
"It's a waste of time to fish in a spot where the fish aren't biting," Warren said. "Wise fishermen move on. They understand that fish are not hungry all the time."
Sometimes unbelievers are more responsive to spiritual truth than at other times, Warren said, noting that the apostle Paul's strategy was to go through open doors and not waste time banging on closed ones. Don't focus your efforts on people who aren't ready to listen, said Warren, adding, "There are far more people in the world ready to receive Christ than there are believers ready to witness to them."
Sometimes unbelievers are more responsive to spiritual truth than at other times
noting that the apostle Paul's strategy was to go through open doors and not waste time banging on closed ones.
Sometimes unbelievers are more responsive to spiritual truth than at other times, Warren said, noting that the apostle Paul's strategy was to go through open doors and not waste time banging on closed ones. Don't focus your efforts on people who aren't ready to listen, said Warren, adding, "There are far more people in the world ready to receive Christ than there are believers ready to witness to them."
Don't focus your efforts on people who aren't ready to listen,
"There are far more people in the world ready to receive Christ than there are believers ready to witness to them."
Learn to thin like a fish
In order to catch fish, it helps to understand their habits, preferences and feeding patterns
"Jesus often knew what unbelievers were thinking,"
"He understood and defused the mental barriers people held. This is the reason he was so effective in dealing with people.
"We must learn to think like unbelievers in order to win them,"
"The problem is, the longer you are a believer the less you think like an unbeliever.
Your interests and values change. You must intentionally change mental gears when seeking to relate to non-Christians."
Catch fish on their terms
cultural differences between believers and unbelievers become barriers to getting the message out.
for some Christians any talk of "adapting to their culture" sounds like theological liberalism.
"But this is not a new fear, It's the reason the apostles held the Jerusalem conference in .
"But this is not a new fear," Warren said. "It's the reason the apostles held the Jerusalem conference in . In those days the issue was, 'Do Gentile believers have to follow Jewish customs and culture to be considered true Christians?' The apostles and elders answered with a clear 'No way!'
"But this is not a new fear," Warren said. "It's the reason the apostles held the Jerusalem conference in . In those days the issue was, 'Do Gentile believers have to follow Jewish customs and culture to be considered true Christians?' The apostles and elders answered with a clear 'No way!'
In those days the issue was, 'Do Gentile believers have to follow Jewish customs and culture to be considered true Christians?'
The apostles and elders answered with a clear 'No way!'
No church can be culturally neutral. It will express some culture because it is composed of human beings.
No church can be culturally neutral. It will express some culture because it is composed of human beings.
"The problem with many churches today is that they're stuck in the culture of the 1950s -- using bait and hooks that worked in that era -- and they're wondering why the fish are no longer biting,"
"The problem with many churches today is that they're stuck in the culture of the 1950s -- using bait and hooks that worked in that era -- and they're wondering why the fish are no longer biting,"
Use more than one hook
people have a myriad of choices today, yet many churches offer only two choices: Take it or leave it!
people have a myriad of choices today, yet many churches offer only two choices: Take it or leave it!

4 Ways to FISH for Men

"It's not pandering to consumerism to offer multiple times or even styles of worship services,
"It's strategic and it's unselfish
It says we will do whatever it takes to reach more people for Christ.
The goal is not to make it as difficult as possible but to make it as easy as possible for the unchurched to hear about Christ.
"It's strategic and it's unselfish 4 Ways to FISH for Men
Growing churches offer multiple programs, multiple services and sometimes even multiple locations, Warren added, and they realize it takes all kinds of approaches to reach all kinds of people.
Growing churches offer multiple programs, multiple services and sometimes even multiple locations,
and they realize it takes all kinds of approaches to reach all kinds of people.
Yet another teaching of the Lord Jesus involves fishing
A tax collector at the temple asked Peter if his teacher doesn’t pay temple tax, and he replied saying yes
After discussing the matter with the Lord, Jesus said to Peter
Matthew 17:27 NIV
“But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”
Matthew 17:27 ESV
However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.”
The underlying lesson there when it comes to matter concerning fishing for people or evangelism is that:
Money spent on fishing for men (evangelism) should not be considered as expenses, but rather an investment
The question must not be, How much evangelism would cost?
The right question should be, Who will it reach?
I believe there is an important lesson in that story: The coin was in the mouth of the fish! If you’ll focus on fishing (evangelism), God will pay your bills!
I believe there is an important lesson in that story:
The coin was in the mouth of the fish!
If you’ll focus on fishing (evangelism), God will pay your bills!
And by the way, out of the 5 purposes of church
worship
discipleship
fellowship
ministry
Only evangelism is what you cannot do in heaven. So! we must do more of it while we’re here on earth
BREATHE!

4 Ways to FISH for Men

Focus on Receptive People

it is not our duty to prepare the soil, God does that for us
Our duty is to plant the seed
Not all seed fell on good soil
Matthew 10:14 NIV
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.
Growing churches focus on reaching receptive people while non-growing churches focus on re-enlisting inactive people
People that are in transition and under tension are the most receptive
When I opened up to the gospel 25 years ago, Joan and I were “under tension” and “in transition”

Initiate a Conversation

Paul said that faith comes from the hearing the message
Before hearing there shall be talking
Remember that when you initiate a conversation, people are not looking up for a scripted encounter
So, be yourself when you are talking to them
It will be great to have a gospel script handy, even better if you could memorize those few verses in your gospel script so that when an opportunity presents itself, you’ll be ready to nail it
Because keep in mind that more than your opinion, they will value God’s Word more
Colossians 4:6 The Living Bible
Let your conversation be gracious as well as sensible, for then you will have the right answer for everyone.
Paul said that faith comes from hearing the message about Christ
Before hearing there shall be talking
Remember that when you initiate a conversation, people are not looking up for a scripted encounter
So, be yourself when you are talking to them
Be gracious and sensible
It will be great to have a gospel script handy, even better if you could memorize those few verses in your gospel script so that when an opportunity presents itself, you’ll be ready to nail it
What is a gospel script? - It’s just a short scripture line up that you can use to biblically explain salvation by grace through faith
Because keep in mind that more than your opinion, they will value God’s Word more
Titus 2:8 The Living Bible
Your conversation should be so sensible and logical that anyone who wants to argue will be ashamed of himself because there won’t be anything to criticize in anything you say!
If they’re open to receiving prayer or encouragement, take the opportunity and go for it!
If not, that’s totally okay.
Graciously thank them for their time and give them a copy of the “engager”
Point them to our church website by highlighting it
Pick a prayer partner if you haven’t already
Then start practicing praying for each other in preparation for you praying for someone else when we hit the streets
If not, that’s totally okay.
Graciously thank them for their time and give them a copy of the “engager”
Point them to our church website by highlighting it

Share the story how Jesus changed your life

Mark 5:19 The Living Bible
But Jesus said no. “Go home to your friends,” he told him, “and tell them what wonderful things God has done for you; and how merciful he has been.”
There’s nothing more credible to support what the Bible claims about salvation by grace through faith in Christ rather than sharing your own testimony
The story how Jesus changed your life
When you get the chance to do so, your story doesn’t have to be very long
You should be able to share a complete preview of your testimony in 2-3 minutes, or even less
Kinda like a movie trailer
To be able to do this, you should practice sharing your quick testimony with your prayer partner
Practice doesn’t make you better
“Correct” practice makes you better

Hear them out

finally, and very very importantly. Pay complete attention when they speak
You should listen to them with eagerness and gladness
Hear them out with empathy
James 1:19 ESV
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
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