Fishers of people: lessons in evangelism from our children

At Ark, my Sunday morning children’s group, we follow the lectionary, so today we were looking at Jesus calling his first disciples to be fishers of people. (We avoided the translation which renders this as “I will make you fish for people” which has led to some confused mental images of mermaids or fish-with-legs in the past!). Once we’d established that Jesus didn’t want us to actually catch people in a fishing net, and demonstrated why that wouldn’t work, our small group (age 4-12) had a great discussion about what he did mean.

We established that Jesus wants us to follow him, and get other people to follow him too. But how? “How do you get people to join in with your game in the playground?” I asked the children. And based on their answers, we came up with this list of things we need to do to get people to join in with something, whether it’s a playground game or following Jesus.

TELL people that there’s something going on.

EXPLAIN what it is and what it involves.

INVITE them to join in.

SHOW them that it’s a good (fun/enjoyable/worthwhile) thing to do.

Not bad as a strategy for evangelism, I’d say. Well done, Ark! Now I wonder if we can get the grown ups joining in? It’s not so complicated when you look at it, is it? Tell people about Jesus. Explain what it means to follow him. Invite them, or rather pass on God’s invitation to them. Show them how following Jesus transforms our lives. Not rocket science. No specialist training or tools required. Even a child, perhaps especially a child, can show you how. So let’s do it! 

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