4 Ways to FISH for Men
When I was around 12 years, an incoming freshman in high school, we lived in a village (barrio) called Buenavista. At that time, going in and out of our village felt like it was taking us forever. The roads are unpaved, the bridge was only half done and tricycles (similar to tuk-tuks in Thailand) are very scarce. On summer nights, when the moon shines bright, I remember playing with my child hood friends. We played street games such as "harayang-taga" and hide & seek. Those games reminded me of Pastor Sam Talaver.
A servant of God that literally knocks on people's houses, walking with his accordion keyboard wrapped around his chest. After singing a song or two, he will start sharing the Gospel. Until one day he reached our house, and that was how we met. From the day we met he never ceased to invite me to come to their church. I guess my catholic background didn't make that decision to go very easy. At the beginning of our friendship, I really felt good listening to the things he shared with me. But over a period of some time, I felt bored.
Obviously my heart was not yet ready. But Pastor Sam persistently sought me, and whenever he came to seek me, I always hide from him. After some 14 years, we ended up being homeless. We literally lived in a dirty kitchen of one of my brothers. No money, no food on the table. Joan and I were staring at each other while looking at our sleeping children. Under so much tension, I remembered Pastor Sam. I told my wife, let's go visit Pastor Sam's church. Sunday came, we were dragging ourselves to the church.
Despite our anxiety, we made it to one of the pews. We sat at the back so that we can easily disappear without being noticed, should we decide to leave early. But, the church people were so hospitable. We felt the love in the air and the atmosphere was very friendly, so we decided to stay and see what happens next. When the singing started, I grabbed one of their song books scattered on the benches. I don't know any of the song they're singing, but I sang along anyway. After the singing part of the service, Pastor Sam did his sermon, and at the end, he offered an opportunity to accept Jesus. We dragged our feet coming to the church that morning, but during the altar call, the same feet was racing against each other rushing to the altar.
Down on my knees, I accepted Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. And since that day, things were never the same for us. I thank God that there was one Sam Talaver who gave himself to be the hand, feet, mouth and ears of the Lord. And I thank Pastor Sam that he did not gave up on me. May he rest well in God's presence... Paul said in Romans 10:14-15, "How then will they call on Him whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
And how are they to preach unless they are sent? Then he quoted Isaiah 52:7, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news?".. On this Back-to-Church Sunday series, I'd like to encourage fellow believers to Go & Invite people to come to church. In Matthew 22:9 Jesus said, "Go to the street corners and Invite everyone you find to come to my feast".. Going out on the streets is like going fishing.
When Jesus picked His first disciples, Peter, Andrew, James and John, He told them, "come follow me and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). To begin our series, I'd like to share with you "4 Ways to FISH for Men". First, you must Focus on Receptive People. Secondly, Initiate a conversation. Thirdly, Share the story how Jesus changed your life. And fourthly, take time to Hear them out...
"Who are you going to invite to Back-to-Church Sunday?"