THE PARABLE OF THE FISHLESS FISHERMEN
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” —Matthew 9:37
There was a group called The Fishermen’s Fellowship. They were surrounded by streams and lakes swarming with hungry fish. They met regularly to discuss the call to fish, the abundance of fish, and the thrill of catching fish. They got all excited about fishing! The only problem was, they really weren’t fishing.
One member suggested that they needed a fishing philosophy, so they carefully defined and redefined fishing, and the purpose of fishing. They developed fishing strategies and tactics.
Then they realized that they had been going at it backwards. They had approached fishing from the point of view of the fisherman, and not from the point of view of the fish. How do fish view the world? How does the fisherman appear to the fish? What do fish eat, and when? These are all good things to know. So they began research studies, and attended conferences on fishing. Some traveled to far away places to study different kinds of fish, with different habits. Some got PhD’s in fishology.
They did assessment surveys to see if
future fishermen had the competency to fish. They planted new Fishermen
Fellowship communities and continued to launch additional campuses. They had
droves of weekly small groups made up of fishermen.
But still no one had yet gone fishing.
So a committee was formed to send out fishermen. As prospective fishing places outnumbered fishermen, the committee needed to determine priorities. A priority list of fishing places was posted on bulletin boards in all of the fellowship halls. But still, no one was fishing. A survey was launched, to find out why. Most did not answer the survey, but from those that did, it was discovered that some felt called to study fish, others to furnish fishing equipment, and several to go around encouraging the fishermen. What with meetings, conferences, and seminars, they just simply didn’t have time to fish.
Now, Jake was a newcomer to the Fishermen’s Fellowship. After one stirring meeting of the Fellowship, he went fishing and caught a large fish. At the next meeting, he told his story, and he was honored for his big catch. He was told that he had a special “gift of fishing.” He was then scheduled to speak at all the Fellowship chapters and tell how he did it.
With all the speaking invitations and
his election to the board of directors for the Fishermen’s Fellowship, Jake no
longer had time to go fishing. But soon he began to feel restless and empty. He
longed to feel the tug on the line once again. So he cut the speaking, he
resigned from the board, and he said to a friend, “Let’s go fishing.”
They did, just the two of them, and they caught fish.
The members of the Fishermen’s Fellowship were many, the fish were plentiful, but the fishers were few!
Dear Father, please help me to be a fisher of men that they might know You, honor You and be fishers of men for You as well. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son. Yes, may this be so.