Another “blast from the past” I’d like to share with you about SOUL WINNING.   Everything you need to know about winning people to the Lord Jesus.  Many talk about it, but not many actually do it.  I hope this will bless you.



By Jerry Baysinger

Have you ever been fishing?  Many people have.  I grew up on a lake, and spent a lot of time fishing.  So, how do you catch fish?  Well, first of all, you have to go where the fish are, because they most likely won’t come to you.  A body of water is usually a good place to start.  But not just any water, it needs to be a place where fish live, like a lake or stream.  You see, there aren’t any fish in the public drinking water supply tanks, or in your neighbor’s swimming pool, or in the ditches along the road after the rain, so you can eliminate those places.  That is, unless you just like to sit there looking at a bobber sitting in the water.

Once you’ve established there are fish to catch where you’ve come to fish, you need some sort of fishing line with a hook and bait, or a net.  If you don’t want to mess with baiting a hook, then you’d better find a way to entice the fish to jump into your boat or net.  Better yet, if you’re REALLY good, try to come up with a way to get the fish to clean and scale and fillet itself, and jump into your frying pan and cook itself.  But don’t hold your breath, because though fish are dumb, they aren’t THAT dumb.  My dad once told me something as a child that stuck with me about fishing, that we are sitting here with a line in the water, trying to outsmart a fish with an IQ that is lower than the water temperature.  That puts it into perspective, doesn’t it?

Even if you have a line with a hook and bait in the water, that doesn’t guarantee you will catch a fish.  If the fish bites, you must be alert enough to actually catch the fish, else it will eat your bait and be gone, and you’ll be there staring at the water all day and go home with nothing.  What does that have to do with preaching the Gospel?  Glad you asked!   Many Christians say they want to win souls for Jesus, but wanting to is about as far as it goes. Ever notice that most Christians take empty stringers to church with them, but not the fish they’ve caught?

Remember when the Lord Jesus told His disciples that He would make them fishers of men?  Some of them knew a lot about fishing for fish, but not all of them.  One was a doctor, and one was a tax collector.  You may not be a fisherman by trade, but, believe it or not, you can be a fisher of men for Jesus, once you learn this simple process.  First off, fish need water, right?  People without Jesus need the Water of Life, so they have a lot in common with regular fish.  As with fish, you must go where they are, because most people needing Jesus won’t come knocking on your door, asking you to lead them to Jesus.  What kind of fish are you fishing for?  Jesus said He came to seek and save the lost, so let’s fish for lost fish, as they’re the most abundant kind.  By the way, you don’t need a license to fish for them, and there’s no limit, and they’re all “keepers”, which means you don’t throw any back, regardless of what they look like or how stinky or slimy they are.  As with ANY fish, they will try to get away, because they’re only used to where they’ve spent their lives.  But a good fisherman always lands their fish.

If you’re going to be a fisher of men, you need more than desire.  You need the Holy Spirit to tell you when and where the fishing is good.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to waste my time where the fish are not biting.

You’ll do lots better if the fish are hungry.  Oh, sometimes they don’t know they’re hungry, but they are, you just have to dangle the right bait in front of their noses.  What’s the right bait?  Well, I can tell you what it ISN’T!   It’s not, “You’d better repent NOW, or you’re gonna burn forever in HELL! I guarantee you won’t catch any fish with that line.  And why is it we only want to fish for the ones that look pretty and smell nice?  The Lord Jesus was continually surrounded with people seeking Him.  Do you think there’s any possibility at all that there were some stinky sinners in the crowds?  Jesus was the kind of person that people were drawn to like bugs are to a light at night.  Are you the kind of person that people want to be around?  If not, it doesn’t matter how good your bait is, nobody wants to be around a grouch.  If that’s you, take it, it’s for free….

People know if they’re lost, you don’t have to rub it in their faces.  They feel bad enough already without you making them feel worse.  Chances are, they’ve already tried every way but God’s way, with no satisfaction, and they’re looking.  If you’re going to land them for Jesus, you’ll need to make them hungry for God, and show them what they’re missing out on, not beat them over the head with your Bible.  Actually, YOU are the bait that will draw them to come in for a closer look.  Will they want what you have to offer, or are they looking at you and deciding they already have a better deal right where they are?  There are some pretty stubborn fish out there, but I don’t care how stubborn they are, every fish gets hungry now and then, and if you’re paying attention, you’ll catch on pretty quickly which ones are ready to bite, and which ones are not.

Concentrate your efforts on those that are ready to bite.  How can you tell?  They will come in for a look.  That’s YOUR cue to do likewise.  Pay attention to them; listen to what they have to say.  You should be there to help them, not the other way around.  Rule number one when fishing: be quiet, or you’ll scare the fish away.  Goes for fishing for people, too.  They don’t care how much you know, but they will know how much you care!  Just listen!  You know, you can learn a lot about a person by listening for a few minutes.  I’ve had a severe hearing loss for most of my adult life, and I’ve really learned how to listen.  It would serve you well to listen, too.  By doing so, you will soon know what their needs are.  There’s plenty of time for you to talk later, but if you talk too soon, they’ll leave you with your bait and be gone, and you won’t be able to help them.  Jesus always took time to listen, THEN He took care of that need.  Do likewise.

Fish aren’t stupid, and neither are people.  If you’re preaching the Gospel to make a name for yourself, they’ll know it soon enough.  But if you really care for their souls like Jesus does, that will be evident, too.  Take the time to tell them of how gracious Jesus has been to you.  It’s not about YOU, it’s about JESUS, and what He will do to soothe the hurting soul.  Every one of us has a different life and a different testimony.  God can put you in front of the people that only YOU can reach, if you will ask Him.  I can’t reach everyone and neither can you, but there are plenty of lost souls for every fisher of men, so we need not ever return home empty-handed.

What do you do with the ones you catch?  Take them under your wing and disciple them!  Don’t just catch them and lay them on the river bank and walk off!  Take them to church with you if possible.  Maintain contact with them and encourage them, and teach them how to be faithful with the Word of God, so they may win others also.  And don’t worry about “fishing the lake empty”, because that’s not going to happen.  Your job is to catch them and bring them in.  It’s God’s job to clean them up.  It’s not your job to get the messes cleaned up in their lives, remember, you’re a fisherman, not a janitor.  Your job is not to judge or convict, but to hold Jesus up high for all the world to see.

The Lord told me once: You catch ‘em, I’ll clean ‘em. Sounds like a deal to me!!  I love to fish, but I hate the cleaning part.  Tell you what:  you do what God called you to do, and He will do His part, and you’ll both be happy!  Happy fishing!