God has given the church its mission. He gave us The Great Commission—"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" (Matthew 28:19). This is what every church must do.
Now, it may be fair to say that most churches don't feel they are actually accomplishing the mission God has assigned. Many disappointments exist when looking at our churches. How do we solve this problem? What's the silver bullet? How can we implement something that fixes this problem? How do we make disciples?
Jesus said this—"Follow me and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19).
It would be convenient if we could solve all the discipleship disappointments by casting a single net. If only a simple net existed to catch them all. However, no such net exists.
Many churches default to a program. Surely, there's a program or event out there that can catch everyone and bring them in, right?
Programs are really like fishing boats. When you fish, boats are helpful and beneficial, but they never guarantee you will catch anything. They help us stay afloat, but they don't catch anything.
Neither will you catch every type of fish using the same lure, with the same line, on the same pole, in that same place, on the same day. You have to customize your casts. Discipleship has to be tailored to those you're speaking with.
Furthermore, many churches view their pastor as the fisherman of the church. But Jesus said, "I will make you fishers of men." Your pastor is really just your fishing guide. He may cast for you a couple times, or tell you where to go and what to do, but you're the one casting. Besides, when only one person in the church is fishing, that is addition; we are looking to multiply. Multiplication happens when the entire church grabs their poles.
Discipleship has to be customized. It's not a one-size-fits-all program. It's an assignment every believer needs to be active in. It requires relationship. You'll have to know who you're casting to. It's personal.
May all believers recognize that a simple program cannot substitute our responsibility as disciples to be fishing for men. Let's carefully strategize our gear, schedule, and method. Let's become better, as Jesus puts it, fishers of men.