· Scouting, Ministry to Men

What is our job?

By Gil Hanke

When you have time, Larry Coppock and I have a lot of wonderful stories to tell you about the July 17-28 National BSA Jamboree.

Our United Methodist Scouting booth was well received and helpful to hundreds of folks every day.

Larry put together a wonderful team. All of us have special moments we will always remember.

On a rainy Sunday, we sat or stood on the side of a wet grassy hill for the 8 a.m. Protestant Worship Service. Dr. Bruce Reed, director of state family programs for the National Guard, offered a memorable illustration about our task to bring others into relationships with Christ.

We know we are to be fishers of others. We are commissioned to go into the world to tell the Good News; that is our job.

But the question Dr. Reed raised next still bothers me; it challenges me, and it inspires me.

He asked, “Are we the fishers, or are we only taking care of the aquarium?”

You see, keepers of the aquarium make sure each fish in the tanks is well fed and happy. That is an important task.

But a “fisher” is focused on those who have yet to be caught.

It is time to redefine our task in the local church.

Perhaps the pastor and some of the staff (if you go to a big church) should take care of the aquarium and all the church members should engage in a systematic effort to fish for those who are not in anyone’s tank.

We know that an invitation from the pastor will bring a number of people to begin a new relationship with Christ.

We also know that number is small compared to the possible numbers that might be reached if laity made the same invitation.

But many of us never invite folks. We never invite a friend or co-worker to join us in worship. We don’t invite them to participate in a new small group or attend a special event. We don’t suggest they join us in a local mission project.

Looking at the current state of the church, it’s safe to say, “We are not very good fishers.”

But, that is our job.

This week, I am going to find a way to invite at least one person to take one step on that path to Jesus.

That is my job.

Will you join me?

Gil Hanke, general secretary

General Commission on United Methodist Men




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