Blog  /  General  /  Teach the World to Fish


Teach the World to Fish

Written by: admin  |  Found in: General  |  6 Comments »

You know the old adage: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.”

That was my dad’s philosophy.  Unfortunately, whenever my Dad took the kids fishing he spent more time putting bait on our hooks (and getting miscast hooks out of our skin) than he spent with his line in the water.

That’s because Dad understood something.  It was more important for his kids to learn how to fish than it was for him to catch a fish.

This is a philosophy that the Church is just starting to consider.

I think that, on the whole, the Church has not done a bad job at giving the world “fish”, but for the last 2000 years, we have done a poor job of training fishermen.

What does that mean?  God has given Christian leaders some extraordinary talents.  We have pastors that go to the fishing hole and reliably “catch” the Word of God every week.   They skin it, clean it, fry it up, and serve it to the congregation every Sunday.  We have gifted songwriters who “catch” songs for the congregation and skilled worship leaders who are able to “catch” the presence of God for the congregation.

The Church is being fed by some true masters of the trade.  They are good and faithful fisher-folk.

It seems to me that the problem lies in the logistics.  How can a few fishermen adequately feed the world?  The answer: it is impossible.  Because the world was never meant to be spiritually supported and nourished by a few talented ministers.

1 Peter 2:9 says that we, all of us, have been chosen to be God’s priests to the world.  Do you get that?  Not just a few especially talented, especially trained people, but every believer is supposed to be a priest – a minister of God.

To return to our fishing metaphor, God never intended for a few people to catch fish for the world; He intends to teach the entire world to fish.

What would happen if every believer were able to go to that fishing hole and reliably and skillfully “catch” the Word, the presence, and the power of God?  What if the lost world was being fed, not by a few master “fishermen”, but by legions and families and communities of master “fishermen” who’s combined energy and resources are limitless?

I feel that this is the challenge of believers and leaders in the next decade.  I want to continue to go to those fishing holes and continue to catch fish that will feed my family, my congregation, and my community, but I am being challenged to a greater work: to never go fishing alone – to always fish with “kids” (disciples) at my elbow – to think beyond the next spiritual “meal” to the next spiritual generation.

I want be more proud of the fish my “kids” catch than the ones I land.  Why?  Because it may be more important for them to learn how to fish than it is for me to catch a fish.  It is the only way to insure that they are fed for life, and it is the only way that we will ever feed the world.

That’s one of the reasons I wrote “How to Worship a King”.  I am a worshipper.  And it is my goal to make worshippers as common and as plentiful as stones across the earth (1 Peter 2:5“You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Christ Jesus.” NIV)

I’m just itching to teach the world to fish.

Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows.  There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.  Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets.  The fish will be of many kinds – like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea.

Ezekiel 47:9-11 NIV