The other day I saw a herd of cows do something I’m sure they do all the time. There was a flock of vultures in the field with the cows. For a while I could see several cows chasing the buzzards away from the herd. As the cows mellowed out, only one cow was left to chase the buzzards. She galloped towards the buzzards. The buzzards left the dead cow, for a time. Eventually, even the defending cow stopped chasing the buzzards.
We need to be like buzzards. We need to keep coming back to one idea. We need to keep coming back to the idea that we fish for people. People will not like this idea. People will try to drive us away from following Jesus by fishing for people.
We need to fish for people. In this dark world, we have a great light. For those growing up in the shadow of death, we know the light that has dawned.
To be more specific, we can fish for children. Yes, I believe when we hear a sermon preached, God is calling us to action. God has work for us to do. We follow Jesus Christ. One group of people for whom we are able to fish is the children. Oh, we fish for all people. Let us think about how soon we start and how many of us are to fish for children.
A. How soon can we fish for children? (4:18-20)
1. By the Sea of Galilee
2. Peter and Andrew were fishing with their Dad
3. Jesus called them
a. Follow Me – Preach, heal, cast out demons
b. You will fish for people – Bring children to hear about Jesus!
4. Peter and Andrew left their nets right then and there!
5. How soon can we fish for children? We have over 180 children who attend Glenwood Elementary School. They are our neighbors’ kids. They are our grandchildren. They are our children. We know there are drug users in our community. We know there are single moms who try hard to raise good kids. We know there has to be a way to bring light to the children. We are the way to bring light to the children! But we say, “I’m not comfortable with that.” We say, “I can’t do that.” On our own, we cannot fish for children. On our own, we will be comfortable with the way our lives are. But we are following Jesus! So, who is to be fishing for children?
B. Is this task only for a few people? (4:21-22)
1. James and John, sons of Zebedee, were also fishing
2. Jesus called them as well!
3. Right then and there, James and John followed Jesus
4. I have been around enough people who fish to know they like to fish. They will fish when it is drizzling rain. They will fish when it is late at night. They will fish when their wife has a “honey do list” a mile long! There is an enjoyment from fishing. There is finding the right bait. There is finding the right spot. The understanding of how to bring in the catch just comes to you once you have hauled in a fish.
5. Fishing for children can be just as exhilarating! There is nothing like seeing a child come to faith. The child will get excited. The child will tell family and friends about Jesus. The child will tell family and friends about their church.
I’ve been here long enough to know we don’t have many children. I’ve been here long enough to hear the moaning about not having children. I’ve been here long enough to catch the note of despair from not having children in the church.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are to fish for children. The light has dawned in our life. Now it is time for us to help the children know the light.
Maybe we know a family who most likely won’t be seen in church. Those are the children for whom we pray. We ask God to give us the words to say to the parents. We ask God to give us the words to say to the children. Write the name of the child in the space provided in the bulletin.
We realize this task is more than enough for one person in this congregation. This task of fishing for children is for the whole church. Here is our strategy: “Bring one or have one.”
Since some of us are beyond having any children, we bring a child to church. For those of us who are having children, keep on bringing the children to church!