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“Any Dead Fish Can Float Downstream”

Fish Out of Water

“Any dead fish can float downstream!” These were my father’s words when I pleaded that all the other kids were doing something. I admit that I found it a frustrating reply then but is amazing how much smarter my father has become over the years.

I have often thought of these sage words. They remind me to chart my course by what I know is right rather than to be caught up with the shifting tides of the times, but they also taught me the importance of intentionality. If I am not to “float’ through life I need to have a purpose and steer my life by that purpose. I cannot live accidentally!

I have tried, with varying degrees of success to live these lessons in my life. This message was a big part of the ‘hidden’ curriculum when I taught. Evangelism is “those sets of activities governed by the intention of: inviting, ushering, and settling others into the Kingdom of God.” The goal of all evangelism is to see people find their unique place in the Kingdom of God. Evangelists then govern their lives with this intent! There is a variety of ministries and each has its own intent but this: inviting, ushering and settling is the intent of the Evangelist. If we lose sight of this intent we become like my father’s proverbial dead fish, good only for the fertiliser produced.

Our Street Hope community has just begun to study the book “The Master Plan of Evangelism” by Robert Coleman. Long ago I read this little book and I used to carry it in my back pocket and refer to it often. In this classic Coleman illumines Jesus’ intent and practice for: inviting, ushering, and settling people into his Kingdom. It has been really gratifying to see our little band “get” this material. More than one has commented that they see the things of this book reflected in the ways we do things and are as a community. The truths of the Master’s plan can be identified in the way we live! I find this gratifying because my goal is always to ‘incarnate’ (put flesh on) truth. This is my intent and I am pleased that my friends have recognized this pattern. We are getting to the point where we can see the people of our community begin to live with this same intent. When this begins to happen we will have followed, admittedly imperfectly, the pattern of the Master.

I am really pleased that one of our community has felt a call to apply to Threshold School of Ministry in the Masters of Ministry Engagement program and to be joined to the Threshold Missional Community. Kris already has a great ministry, particularly amongst the 12 Step Community. We have partnered over the last several years in our program “Recovering Hope” and our Recovery Workshops. The future for ministry together is truly exciting!

Please pray for Kris and his boys as they make this transition. Pray for his finances. Pray for his transition to the world of academics. Pray for his future service.

No dead fish here!


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