15 December 2017

RPM part 5

RPM is designed as a motivational tool for people who live in the fast lane. Its purpose is to challenge us into becoming intentional in our witness to others.

Each month we are challenged to:

Read a particular text.

Pray into situations.

Move into the opportunities that God gives us.

Over ten issues of ‘Rejoice Always’ we are going to study Luke 5 verses 1-11 and see what we can glean in regards to a lifestyle of evangelism.

READ: 

Verses 6 – 7

“When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.”

On a recent fishing trip to Lough Derg I would have loved to have experienced our boats almost sinking with fish. Over three days of appalling wind and rain our four little boats didn’t land very many fish. My 5lb pike was the only fish I caught and some 17lbs behind the winner, but together we celebrated the winning catch. The trip was deemed a success because as a team we caught ‘a beauty’.

Verses 6 and 7 emphasise the enormous benefit of partnership in evangelism. Becoming a fisher of men was never intended to be a solo activity for a number of reasons:

 Encouragement: Not every fishing trip has a happy ending. The same can be said of evangelism; the team can help each other, spur one another on and encourage us to keep going (Hebrews 10:24). I became a Christian after attending a week long outreach in Albertbridge Congregational Church. Roger Carswell was the preacher that Wednesday evening. Ten years later, when I contacted Roger to tell him the news (I know it was a bit late), he told me that they were unaware that anyone had come to faith the whole week. He was so encouraged at the report and thanked me for ‘making his day’.

 A companion in evangelism is necessary because of our tendency towards self deception, sometimes only another can see that we are heading south when we sincerely believe that the road we are on leads north!

 A Kingdom approach to outreach. There is something very encouraging when Churches work together on the lake. While we may well have enjoyed singing ‘You in Your Small Corner and I in Mine’ as a child there is no Christian mandate for this practice. We need a model which provides shared resources, shared energy and more boats on the lake; not competing but supporting. It is thoroughly right and Biblical to work together in outreach.

Imagine: Churches working together with nets breaking and boats almost sinking due to the number of fish. That’s a dream I have for Ireland… maybe you can help me make that a reality?

PRAY:

Father we thank you that you have not left us alone in the work of evangelism but you have given us your Holy Spirit and the church family. We pray that as your word stirs us to action and motivates us to mission that we will find companions to join with us on the lake.

Help me to become a better team player by watching, listening and learning from others, as well as offering my support to those in need. Father in all our evangelism may our motivation always be to bring people to repentance and faith in your Son, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

MOVE:

Who can you support in outreach? The best attitude to evangelism is always to become a servant. Ask yourself – is there an existing outreach programme in church that I can help with? Are there organisations outside my church that I can offer my service to? What other evangelical churches nearby could we work with? Can we share our resources for summer or Bible clubs? Could we offer the use of our mini-bus or Church halls for a specific outreach activity?

May each of us move closer together as we let down our nets for a catch.

Look forward to seeing you out on the lake.

Mitch