Repeat Saturday: Shark Fishing

No new post coming this weekend, so here’s an old one you may have missed:

Imagine a few friends decide they want to go deep sea fishing and catch sharks. These guys go to Wal-Mart, buy some poles, drive down to the marina, pick up some bait, get in their boat, drive out where some other people are fishing, and drop their lures. Fish start biting instantly. By the end of the day these guys catch 92 Grouper, 37 Sea Bass, 11 Tuna and … 2 small Sharks.

By chance, another group of buddies also decide to try and catch some sharks. This group gets together the night before to study up on shark fishing. The next morning they drive to a specialty fishing store and purchase 80lb. class rods with 100 lb. fishing line. They get the right size hooks and a gaff. They also buy a flat of mackerel and some fresh bluefish to use as chum and bait. They go down to the marina, get in their boat, and drive southeast to a pre-determined spot, approximately 30 miles out. This area has a dip in the sea floor and a certain water temperature, both making it a far more likely home for the type of shark they have elected to target. They discovered that different species of shark prefer varying depths of water. On the way out they troll for fresh bluefish, knowing it will be even more effective in attracting sharks. Two of the guys begin preparing their bait and chunks for the chum. When they arrive, they create a big chum slick. They have learned that sharks are smell driven and will follow a slick to its source. Then, knowing that shark fishing is drift fishing, they chart their drift, based on the wind and tide, to follow the edge of the chosen structure below. Next they set their four baits, putting the deepest the furthest away from the boat, keeping their drags very loose so they can hear the clicker start to move. By the end of the day this boat returns to shore with 7 Grouper, 2 Tuna … and 29 Sharks.

Who was more successful? Well, I guess it’s debatable, but if the goal is to catch sharks, I’d say the second group. Sure, the first group ended the day with 104 more fish, but they had 27 less sharks. If it’s all about “numbers” the first group can brag, but if the deal is really shark fishing, I’d rather be with the second group. In fact, the first group can say they went out shark fishing, but really the truth is … they’re grouper fishermen.

So it’s no surprise where I’m going with this. A lot of us say we’ve heard Jesus’ call and we’re fishing … for lost people. But the truth is that we have no idea how to fish for lost people. And it turns out the bait is more expensive, and where they swim is more difficult to get to. So we go fishing, but we don’t go far and we use the wrong bait. And we may catch people, maybe even hundreds or thousands. But what kind of people? Perhaps we came up with a few lost people (basically by mistake) but just about everyone we reached are saved people. And so really the truth is … we’re saved people fisherman.

So how can you truly become fishers of lost people?

One thing that can help you is the conference we put on every year that addresses this (and only this) topic: