The location of the above spot on Rock Creek will remain a secret. Well away from any campground or road. No recently stocked trout, so if you happen to find it, forget using Power Bait. Wild trout reign here; at a minimum, stockers have lived here long enough to get cagey. So walk softly, watch your shadows, and stalk the fish with worms. Night crawlers are best. Techniques that land trout in campgrounds with newly stocked trout won’t work here. Ya gotta know the habits and leeriness of your targeted trout.
Sharing Jesus, a vital part of following him, works the same. In an earlier age, tools like the Four Spiritual Laws worked well. Most people had some church background or Bible knowledge. They acknowledged the reality of sin. But times have changed. Those we hope to tell about Jesus may not accept absolute truth—relativism and subjectivism reign today. Sin has disappeared as a concept.
So what does this metaphor teach us about telling others about Jesus?
First, throw away the playbook—improvise. With trout, what works in a campground won’t in a rarely fished stream. Or even with another trout in the same hole. For us, give up canned presentations. Relax, be natural, and flex with the setting.
Second, listen—learn their beliefs and needs and hurts. With trout, discover what works now. For us, ask questions with a sincere interest in their beliefs, background, wounds, and history. Get to know them.
Third, tell your story—entice them. With trout, we show them the bait they desire. For us, we link our story with their needs and history and hurts. Let your story build a connection; let them discover you really listened.
Fourth, tell Jesus’ story—how his story gives the solution to their concerns. At first, I thought the metaphor of trout fishing broke down here, but it fits. Wisely and strategically craft what and how you share to give them the best chance to freely desire and accept Jesus.
Kick Starting the Application
Most importantly, do you look for opportunities to tell about Jesus? What seems to work best for you to open a spiritual conversation? Do you tend to open by telling them “how to find Jesus,” or by asking questions and listening and learning who they are? Do you have a basic knowledge of some key verses that can directly relate to their story? Most importantly, perhaps, will you pray that God gives you a chance this week to put this post into practice?