Just keep casting your line

I’m not what you would consider a man of the outdoors, but I did my fair share of fishing during my teen years. A friend of mine growing up owned a bass boat, and we would stay out on the water for countless hours tossing plastic worms under lighted docks and running crank baits through a forest of submerged tree limbs trying to catch a lake record. 

Though it may seem like a straightforward endeavor, fishing requires skill. Unlike me, my friend spent his entire childhood fishing, and he had developed a talent for understanding how factors including water levels, temperature, and spawning season timetables affected his ability to catch fish. I knew none of those things, but what I did know was this: the more times I threw my line in the water, the better chance I had of catching a fish. 

As followers of Christ, we are all called to tell others about Jesus. That can be intimidating for many, and it’s often a source of guilt for others who struggle to do so. But can I just encourage you to remember a couple things?

Don’t be discouraged. Instead, be ever-mindful of ways you can sneak Jesus’ name, or your testimony, or the full-blown gospel, into your conversations.

1The Holy Spirit has promised to give us the right words at the right time when He is at work. There’s nothing wrong at all with evangelism trainings that aim to better equip us to share our faith, but we also see biblical examples of the Holy Spirit boldly using “uneducated and untrained” people (Acts 4) to speak boldly for Jesus. This ought to be a freeing truth.

2Our best days, regardless of their circumstances, will be the ones spent with a constant awareness of the presence of Jesus. That’s a tall order as we navigate this world of distraction, but if we can just keep our Lord at the forefront of our minds, we’ll likely be more intentional about speaking His name when the moment calls for it. To say it another way, the more we keep Jesus on our minds, the more likely we are to keep throwing our lines into the water knowing that it will increase our chances to tell someone the good news about Jesus.

In this issue, you’ll see examples of churches throwing their lines into the water and hoping for opportunities to tell others about Jesus. Churches in the eastern and southern parts of the state are seeing God bless their efforts through traditional outreaches such as Vacation Bible School and fall festivals. A church plant in Corpus Christi hosts community forums on mental health topics to open doors to a wider conversation about how Jesus can heal our minds. Other churches are using the fast-growing sport of pickleball—pickleball, I said!—to introduce people to the gospel. And on our new Leading Off page, you’ll read about how our Southern Baptists of Texas Disaster Relief teams are thrusting themselves into the heart of the worst wildfire in Texas history to minister to people with a hope only Jesus can give.

Don’t be discouraged. Instead, be ever-mindful of ways you can sneak Jesus’ name, or your testimony, or the full-blown gospel, into your conversations. Be creative. Be consistent. Be intentional. Whatever you do, just keep throwing your line into the water and trust God with the results.

Digital Editor
Jayson Larson
Southern Baptist Texan
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