Series: “I LOVE MY CHURCH” by Pastor David R. Stokes
Sunday, October 21st, 2018: “WE TEACH TO FISH: It’s about empowering others to accomplish more”
This week’s expectakeaway devotional come to us from Pastor Austin Parkhurst!
read: Matthew 4:18-22
One of the things I love about Jesus is His ability to take any regular activity and turn it into something more significant. He takes a meal and uses it to exemplify the sacrifice of His body and blood. He uses a storm to demonstrate His power. He uses a well to show His ability to provide and restore.
Jesus always approached people where they were, often in the middle of a job, to call them to ministry or to do something more. And so is the case with Peter and Andrew. They’re at work, throwing nets into the water hoping to bring in a good haul when Jesus passes by and calls out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” (Matthew 4:19 NLT) A little further along he sees two more brothers, James and John, and calls them to follow along. Their jobs were important. They were the Wegmans and Costco of their time. They made their living as fishermen, but Jesus had other plans. That’s what makes this next principle so great: WE TEACH TO FISH: It’s about empowering others to accomplish more.
There’s an adage, “Catch a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.” Our goal here isn’t just to feed people, but it’s to teach people to feed themselves. We don’t just want to tell people HOW to do something, but we want them to see WHY we do it.
I love the word empower. It simply means “to give qualities or abilities to.” The whole idea of empowerment is taking what you have and passing it along to somebody else, so they’re able to do more. It’s about taking somebody and investing time, energy, and teaching into them with growth as the goal.
This may shock you, or you may have heard it before, but here at Expectation Church, we don’t have a discipleship program. Occasionally, we’ll have somebody ask us, “So what type of discipleship programs do you offer?” And our response is always, “None.” But we don’t end it there. We don’t have any discipleship programs because we are a discipleship program.
Discipleship is a part of everything we do. We have our Pastor’s incredible teaching each week. We have eGroups and serving opportunities. We have different events throughout the year to engage our community and build connections with the people around us. But we don’t limit discipleship to one specific thing. Instead, we make discipleship a part of what we do.
Our goal is to empower people with the ability to accomplish more. Our intention isn’t just to feed but to teach people to feed themselves. Jesus would often feed people, but He would always encourage them to learn to feed themselves. His whole life focused on teaching the disciples that followed His journey to fish and then to teach people to do the same. Our goal is that we don’t finish the same way we started.
We want to grow. We want to invest and empower others to accomplish more. After all, that’s a huge part of how We Expect Great As We Attempt Great.