Discipleship Is Catch-and-Release by Brandon Cox

Reprint of an article I really like….. read and enjoy.  I only reprinted the first segment so follow the link for the entire content.

Discipleship Is Catch-and-Release

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Jesus stopped a few fishermen one day in the Sea of Galilee and challenged them to turn the world upside down by issuing a simple call … “Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Matthew 4:19, NIV)

Many have taught about how the disciples left their careers behind to follow Jesus into full-time ministry that day, but they forget the other instances of the disciples fishing for fish later in the gospels.

It wasn’t a career change or the sacrifice of a job to which Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James and John that day. He called them to fish for people, and to make people a superior priority to fish.

One of the mistakes we make in modern ministry leadership is to see people who walk through the doors of our churches on Sunday mornings as potential helpers, come to assist us in the fulfillment of our mission. If we’re not careful, we begin to assess the usefulness of people based on their appearance, their talent, or their apparent zeal and commitment to spending time doing churchy things.

What if, instead of seeing people as a means to accomplishing our mission, we viewed people as the mission.

The difference is subtle, but important, between “thanks for coming to help us grow” and “thanks for coming so that we may help you grow.”

Does this mean we don’t expect believers to get involved, invest their lives and serve others? Of course not. There is no real spiritual growth without serving others.

It’s simply a matter of being sure we aren’t inadvertently using people for our purposes rather than helping people discover the purposes for which God wants to use them.

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