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  • Writer's pictureDoc Murphy

Go Where the Fish are Biting

This is what the Lord spoke to me. He said, "Go where the fish are biting". We are on a mission to go #everywhere. But we must be wise in our going and in our staying. Go and stay where the fish are biting.

I've been guilty of being unwise and staying in certain places too long. The people don't want the message or the ministry. They come and hear the word, but their hearts are not good ground. The Word falls on stony ground for the most part. I've sat in places for years pushing and pounding and hoping and beieving that "they" would finally "Get it". I give out FREE resources, travel many miles to get to them, don't take a dime, share God's revelation and more, and they still won't bite.

There is no reason to stay in a spot or city that simply refuses to honor and receive your ministry. Jesus taught the principle of LEAVING WHERE YOU'RE NOT RECEIVED. Jesus said to move on. Even Jesus couldn't do a mighty work in His home town. He had to move on from places that didn't receive Him. His apostles moved on. We also must move on. There are millions of people who are waiting for us to get to them, but we are wasting money, time, energy, and resources on people who don't want it. I refuse to do it another year. I will obey Jesus and move on to where the fish are biting.

Mark 6:3 Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t His sisters here with us as well?” And they took offense at Him. 4 Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is without honor only in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his own household.” 5 So He could not perform any miracles there, except to lay His hands on a few of the sick and heal them.

They treated Jesus like He was nothing. They took offense at Him. They didn't receive Him and therefore they didn't receive His ministry. He COULDN'T do a mighty work there. He wanted to, but even JESUS (sovereign Jesus/God) couldn't do a mighty work in unbelief and DISHONOR. How do we think we will?

Wise fishermen move on. They know that fish eat at different times of the day in different places.

Just like wise fishermen, as leaders we have to focus on the most receptive people in our area and move on when we sense a dead end.

This is not a marketing principle but rather a basic New Testament principle. Jesus illustrated it in His parable of the sower (to add another metaphor). When you sow seed, some of it falls on rocky ground, some on stony ground, some on hard ground and some on good soil. Wouldn’t it be great if we knew where the good soil was and could sow all our seed there? Why waste seed, time, effort, energy and money?

Remember that it’s God’s job to prepare the soil and our job as the church to sow the seed.

The fact is, receptiveness to the gospel varies widely at different times in people’s lives. Sometimes people are very open to the gospel. Sometimes they’re very closed. And receptivity doesn’t last forever.

Jesus knew this truth very well. That’s why He said, “Go to the people who will listen.” When He sent the disciples out to evangelize, He told them, “If a home or town refuses to welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet” (Matthew 10:14, NCV).

That statement is significant. Jesus instructed His disciples to leave the unresponsive place and move on to other soil. Far more people in the world are ready to receive Christ than the number of people who are ready to share it. As leaders, we should constantly ask God, “Who are You preparing right now for me to talk to?”

People always think we ought to go back and round up all the old people who’ve left the church”? This is foolish because often the people who have left have resolved to be unreceptive to the church’s mission and message. Note: Some do come back but that's very few and it's an exception.

Reclaiming someone who’s gotten upset and disgruntled takes 10 times more energy than to go out and win someone who hasn’t yet trusted in Jesus. God has called us to feed sheep—not corral goats.

Growing churches focus on reaching receptive people while non-growing churches focus on re-enlisting inactive people.

My wife and I  only go after Sheep who left. That's what Jesus illustrated. We do not go after those people who are not sheep. We let the dogs, snakes, and wolves go!

We are now focused on where God is already working in communities around the U.S. We have made it a strict mission to ONLY go where the fish are biting. And if we hit a spot where they stop biting we will LEAVE.

Doc Murphy

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