Kermit Long many years ago is credited for coining the phrase, “We’re no longer fishers of men, but keepers of the aquarium, and we spend most of our time swiping fish from each other’s bowl.” This has served as a long-time warning to us as believers for us to make sure we are telling others outside of our “bowl.” The result, as you might guess, is a swinging of the pendulums. Some hear this and say, “We need to be out winning souls for Christ. People need to be saved from their sin and the eternal consequences that await.” Others say, “Well, what good is it ‘saving’ them if we do not disciple them and show them what it means to live now for Christ?”
I have not had any fish in my adult life, but we did have an aquarium when I was in elementary school. So, as I’m prone to do, I consulted the oracle, that is, “Google” about “How to Take Care of Freshwater Aquatic Life: Tips for New Fish Parents.” Goodness! You have to (1) pick the right size aquarium, (2) condition the water correctly with the right temperature, pH levels, right condition of the water, (3) maintenance to siphon out water and debris, (4) proper aquarium acclimation, and (5) watch your aquatic life for changes. I read through that and thought, “Wow! Aquariums are important. Those environments help the fish be nourished, grow, and thrive.”
And so this happens with the environments of worship gatherings, Sunday School, prayer meetings, and other administrative meetings–working to help those the “fish” grow and thrive. That, my friends, is called discipleship. We are to be fishers of people and keepers of the aquarium. Do you? Let’s see what Jesus calls us to.