Lately, pastors tell me, “I’m tired!” “I am working harder now than I ever did before.” “I’ll be glad when we can get church back to normal.” But even as I have heard pastors say these things, I have also been encouraged by and proud of the pastors that I am acquainted with, as they have sought and tried to connect to their congregations in compelling and significant ways.
Let me pose this for you to consider, “Maybe, God doesn’t want us to go back to normal.” Maybe we had this pause to do things that aren’t normal to show us what God may be wanting us to continue or learn from for our “next normal” as we come out of this coronavirus trial. To this end I am reminded of Jesus after his resurrection showing up at a beach on Lake Galilee, building a fire and watching his disciples fishing. (John 21:1-11) Let’s highlight a few things in this passage.
Vs 1 – “after these things” Jesus was with them
Vs 2 – They had gone back to fishing
Vs 3 – Caught nothing while fishing all night
Vs 5 – Jesus asks them, “How many fish have you caught?”
Vs 6 – Tells them to try the other side of the boat to see if there are any fish there; there are more fish than they had ever caught at one time
Vs 7 – They recognize that Jesus is there instructing them
Don’t miss what God has taught you and is teaching you during this trial. Learn from these lessons!
The disciples had been with Jesus three years – you would have thought they would have learned something in that time. They did – the best way to fish!
153 fish (11) – As we exit this trial, it is going to be a time of great harvest – a bounty, plenty, and great provision – many disciples. Be encouraged Pastors, there are fish on the other side of the boat. Put the net where Jesus tells you to put it. “But Lord, we know how to fish.” “But guys, I know where the fish are. Put the net in that place.”
Church innovation and fishing in a different spot from the same boat is now the “new normal.” Maybe attracting crowds is over and fishing where the fish are is what we are now about. What does this look like? I am not sure, but in whatever God shows us to do, we will have a great start by being in the boat fishing instead of standing on the beach wondering if there are any fish out there.
Another thing that I am sure of is that as long as we listen to the voice of Jesus we will always know where the fish are. The best is yet to come! God blesses us when we listen and follow His methods. More people coming to salvation in Jesus! What a great outcome to this trial!