The “Fish” Or The “Net”
May 26, 2009, 1:01 am
Filed under: Church, Personal | Tags: ,

Well, what to say? I have recently had a conversation of sorts (electronic/internet/blog) with a friend that has some specific views on how a church should do ministry and reach out to people who don’t know Christ. The conversation was civil and good natured. I will also say that this person was not any part of C3 Church or the church that preceeded C3 so this conversation was not driven by the particular set of circumstances that involved the transition of C3 Church. So this person is a personal friend who has a point of view of what some would call “seeker sensitive” churches.

What was truly sad about the whole exchange is that my friend seemed to equate anything that was creative or out of the box thinking for reaching non-Christians as being flawed and shallow without merit for changing people’s lives. My friend had a such a set of pre-conceived notions about “seeker sensitive” churches that no matter how I tried to spur a different way of thinking about  church it was automatically rebuffed.

I realize that if you ask ten different churched people the definition of “seeker sensitive” you will get ten different answers with most of them having a negative conotation. The fact of the matter is we have never labeled C3 as seeker sensitive but we have said that we are definitely sensitive to people seeking meaning to their lives. We have the answer, and it is Jesus Christ.

Here is my last response to my friend and the response I got back.


Not only I but many of my Christian brothers not only are working our hardest to see people saved but also withstanding attacks from our Christian brothers. It seems that so many times we are fighting the forces of Satan and the forces of religiosity all at the same time. So it just is very personal for me. I guess that is a part of the burden that we must carry. I know that normal people were not offended by the Gospel that Jesus brought when He was on the Earth, it was only the religious elite that were screaming bloody murder and eventually had Jesus killed. So, I know I’m in good company and God sees my heart. I know that you meant nothing personal. I would just love for everyone’s focus to be on the “fish” instead of the “net”. Thanks for the discussion and God bless you _______ and your ministry.


Just remember…nets get holes sometimes. :) People will eventually get tired of all the cool, flashy, nets…and then what remains? The fact that we should be building relationships with people, and preaching the truth…that is the “net” that will remain firm when our culture and society constantly fluctuates… That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

What was sad that even in the response the “net” was the focus not the “fish”.  What my friend seems not to get is that the “net” is not what we use to keep the “fish” once they are caught. Once the “fish” are caught they are hauled onto the the “boat” which is the truth of scripture and the life changing power of Jesus Christ. So it’s ok if the net fluctuates and is fluid in order to initially catch the “fish”. In fact I don’t think a rigid net that never fluctuated would be very effective in catching fish. The fact of the matter is that when the “fish” is the focus the relationships are built the truth is preached and lives are changed.

I tried through the exchanges to get the point accross that the message of Jesus Christ and the Gospel were sound and unchangeable but the vehicle or way we delivered that message should change and be relavant to our culture. My friend was so convinced that marketing, relavant worship, excellent media etc. was so antithetical to the truth of scripture that the mere use of any of these tools meant that the church was watered down or subscribed to a social doctrine of the Gospel. I could not convince my friend that you could have marketing, relavant worship, excellent media etc. AND the truth of scripture and genuine life change in people.

I’ve said all of that to say this. I hope that I never become so hyper focused on just one view or angle that I can’t see anything else. It’s like the old proverbial saying, “You can’t see the forest, for the trees”. It was like there was only one thing going on over and over in my friend’s mind to the point that nothing else I could say would even get them to look at something through different eyes. I hope I’m always looking for new ways and new ideas to reach people. The way that we do church should never be static. Evaluation of the methods and way we do church, to present the unchangable truth of scripture, should constantly be on the table for discussion. I hope I am always sitting at that table because the “fish” are what matters not the “net”!


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