Parable of the Fishless Fishers

by John M. Drescher

Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves, “The Fishers Fellowship.” And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish. And the fish were hungry.

Year after year these who called themselves fishers met in meetings and talked about their call to fish, the abundance of fish, and how they might go about fishing. However, they didn’t fish.

Continually they searched for new and better definitions of fishing. They sponsored costly nationwide and worldwide conventions to discuss and promote the many ways to fish.

These fishers built a large beautiful building called “National Fishing Headquarters.” They sent a plea out that everyone should be a fisher. Hence, they organized a board to commission fishers.

The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage to speak out about the need to fish in local communities and to promote the idea of fishing in far-away streams and lakes where many other fish of different colors lived.

The board hired staff and appointed committees and held many meetings to define fishing, to defend fishing, and to decide what new streams should be thought about. But the board, staff and committee members did not fish.

Expensive training centers were built to teach fishers how to fish. Those who taught had doctorates in fishology, but the instructors did not fish. They only taught fishing. Many who felt the call to become fishers responded by taking the fishing classes and were sent to fish. The training centers graduated hundreds of fishers year after year. But like the fishers back home, they never actually went fishing.

The fishers wrote books and built large printing houses to publish fishing guides. A fishing speaker’s bureau was also established to hire expert fishers to speak on the subject of fishing.

After one stirring meeting on “The Necessity of Fishing, a young fellow named Cast, a newcomer, left the meeting and went fishing. The next day he reported he had caught several fish. At the next meeting he told his story and was honored for his excellent catch. He was told that he had a special “gift of fishing.”

Cast was immediately offered a job attending fishing conventions and Fishing Fellowship chapter meetings to tell how he did it. So he quit fishing in order to have time to tell about his experience. He was also placed on the official Fishers board as an experienced fisher.

Soon he began to remember what it was like to fish. He reflected on the exhilaration he felt when he knew a live fish was on the line. Then he became bored just talking about fishing. He envisioned himself catching fish. He longed to feel the tug on the line once again.

So, he decided to stop talking and lecturing about how to fish. He resigned from the fishers board and he said to a friend, “LET’S GO FISHING.” They did, just the two of them, and they caught fish.

Imagine how hurt and offended the board, committees, staff and fishing chapters became when one day someone suggested that those who do not go fishing aren’t really catching fish.

CONCLUSION: Our communities, neighborhoods and workplaces are full of fish. Have you gone fishing and cast your gospel line?”

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