Follow Me, and I will Make You Fishers of Men. Part 2
Strong and Courageous
August 24, 2018
In last week’s post we talked about an important part of fishing is simply being out there on the water. This week I would like to drill down deeper into equipping us with an overarching understanding of certain processes that are often in play in the hearts and minds of those whom God is drawing unto himself.
In Mark Chapter 4, Jesus speaks a parable that is very revealing to the process of evangelism. Here is the parable:
The Parable of the Seed Growing
26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
It is interesting to note that the farmer in this story does not fully know how the seed germinates and grows, but he does know what this maturation process looks like. He can tell when the shoot is rising up through the soil, he can see the grain develop, and he certainly sees when the harvest is ready. Is it possible for us to see this type of process at work in the minds of seekers? Can this parable unlock our thinking about being intentional about sharing the gospel and being salt and light to those around us? I think that the answer to these questions is yes we can. While we need to be careful about taking portions of a parable and making a doctrinal position out of it, the big picture in this story can help us understand what being missional is all about.
In the parable, there are 5 distinct phases of growth taking place:
- Full Grain
In the book titled I Once was Lost by Don Everts, He explains this parable in the context of being involved in campus ministry for over 30 years and realizing that there are similar benchmarks that students often went through on their journey to faith in Jesus Christ. He did a survey with a sample size of over 1,000 participants and discovered 5 distinct phases of discovery much like the 5 steps found in the parable.
- Starting to Trust a Christian Friend.
- Developing a Curiosity about Jesus.
- Starting to Consider becoming a Christian.
- Hungry Quest to Discover who Jesus is and what He has done for us.
- Crossing the Finish Line to Faith in God.
For most of us we are able to see step one easily. We know that we are called to live a life that is different from the general flow of society. Often times, people around us realize this difference, are curious, and are attracted to this novelty. The problem for us is that we just get this far and then get stuck without going any deeper into the process.
So how do we go further and move on to steps 2-5?
Stay tuned next week as we further explore this.