Teaching a skill opens door to share the gospel
Coming from a background of serving as a pastor myself, I know that one continuous prayer for a pastor is to reach people wherever God has planted us.
Praying with power involves our reliance on and commitment to the Holy Spirit’s leadership as we pray for ways to reach people outside the walls of the churches where we serve. Knowing that, if we are serious about reaching people, the power available to us through the Holy Spirit as we pray will open up those opportunities to reach people for Christ.
Clear Creek alumnus Mitch Huff is pastor of Dione Baptist Church in Totz, Ky. He knows firsthand what can happen when we pray for God to open up those opportunities to reach people outside the church walls.
“The entire created universe is constantly communicating the glory of God to mankind. We are only able to experience and enjoy a small portion of that displayed glory. The portion God has used in our church at Dione to declare His glory is fish,” said Huff.
“In both Harlan and Letcher counties in Kentucky, the fishing is amazing — bass, catfish, panfish and trout seem to be in every pond, puddle and creek. I have always loved to fish, and the idea to share the gospel with something I enjoyed came naturally. In the past eight months, we have witnessed God move in unmistakable ways to declare His glory outside.
“Through ministry partnerships already in place, our church was invited to mentor a group of young men in an alternative school situated in our county,” said Huff. “Many of them participated in the program because of court orders. Our task was to invest in these young men by teaching some sort of skill, building relationships and introducing them to the Christ. The skill I was asked to provide was tying flies for fly fishing. God provided ways that are nothing short of miraculous and the boys responded to the working of God. Some of them had never before picked up a Bible, but were digging into the Word each week and hearing the truth of Jesus Christ.
“It is amazing that God can use small bits of fur and feathers with a little thread to proclaim the gospel,” proclaimed Huff. “Yet, week after week, we gathered to pray, read Scripture and tie flies (we had snacks, too).
“I often describe fly tying as a discipline because it requires dedication, patience and self-control. The materials are all small and their manipulation onto a hook is detailed. I informed the young men that in Proverbs, God tells us that ‘in all labor there is profit’ (Prov 14:23). I wanted them to know that this practice may not bring them long-term fulfillment, but the character they develop would be beneficial.
“The greatest benefit of the program though is time,” said Huff. “Each week we met for three and a half hours. We were outside their normal routine. Outside the environment that fostered unwise choices. Even outside of the church (we met at a local shelter). By being outside of what they expected, they were introduced to Jesus, to the Bible and to Christians from a new perspective.
“I am convinced that the best way to reach people for Christ who are outside the church is for Christians to be outside the church.”
Donnie Fox is president of Clear Creek Baptist Bible College