I’ve always been fascinated by the Biblical accounts of how Jesus called on his disciples to come and follow him.
The Gospel of Matthews tells it this way in chapter 4, verses 18 to 20:
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
Christ did two things with these men – he called them and commissioned them. In my experience working with men and fathers for the past 20 years, I have found that this is the only effective way to engage men in a positive way in God’s Kingdom.
First, you have to actively seek men out and call on them. But getting their attention isn’t enough—you have to give them a specific call to action… a mission.
Jesus didn’t assume that Peter and Andrew would just follow him—he told them “follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” He gave them their mission!
It’s important to note the difference between the way Christ interacted with women and men. Of note, women typically came to Jesus, like in the story of the woman with the issue of blood: “When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ (Mark 5:27-28)”
Christ—knowing human nature better than we know ourselves—understood that you must be prepared to both retrieve and receive people. Jesus went out and retrieved the disciples. When the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus’ cloak, he received and healed her.
This principle—retrieving and receiving—informs our ministry at Care Net. We have built tools and training to help our affiliated pregnancy centers reach into their communities to retrieve the men who can make a positive impact on the pregnancy decisions being made at their centers every day by the women that centers receive with open and loving arms. Only when we serve both women and men effectively can we build the strong, God-honoring families we need to help people have abundant life!
So, this Father’s Day, think about the men you might need to retrieve so they can help save lives and build families in your church and community.