Fish Got Away
I remember a Revival Crusade in an auditorium in Windsor. Much advertised. Many churches on board. Big American Prophet-Evangelist to speak with an exceptional praise team accompanying. We had visited a Windsor Pentecostal church that morning and had decided to stick around.
As the crowd developed, I took special note of a "young twenties something" dating couple who had brought along a male friend, seemingly unchurched. As the praise began, the couple appeared to get quickly into the choruses, hand clapping, arm raising etc. Their friend seemed to remain eyes forward and rigid. Periodically his buddy would place his hand on his back, give him the full frontal smile and wink knowingly, all the while singing at near top volume. The gestures seemed to say,"Isn't this great? Are you getting it? Praise the Lord!"
I felt that I was watching a tragedy. No sensitivity to the stranger; no understanding as to where he was at. Just a carnal desire 'to get him under the spout and watch the glory happen'. It didn't.
The poor struggling young man half turned in the direction of his friends, lowered his eyes, mumbling something, and then spun on his heels bolting for the back door. As I watched his retreating back framed by raised hands and glowing and somewhat dazed faces, I sensed the Spirit whispering, "Know the man. Know the time. Know the place."
If we have been called to be fishers of men, then we must manifest the same moxy as a good angler. What do they enjoy to eat? Where do they prefer to hang out? What time of day is to their best advantage? Are they accustomed to the school or to the lone depth? Are they patient or skittish? Must they be allowed to nibble for a while?
But remember, no cheap plastic baits. Only the allurement of that legitimate and timely portion of scripture. Pray for the gentle word in season. Your part is to be sensitive and sincere. The Word will beget new life, not some formula or pitch or atmosphere. Not even some striking personal testimony. Humbly give your contribution. It is, after all, the Lord's business.