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EVANGELISM: AQUARIUMS AND FIRES

The late Sam Shoemaker, an Episcopalian bishop, summed up the situation this way: "In the Great Commission, the Lord has called us to be--like Peter--fishers of men. We’ve turned the commission around so that we have become merely keepers of the aquarium. Occasionally I take some fish out of your fishbowl and put them into mine, and you do the same with my bowl. But we’re all tending the same fish."

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It is easy to determine when something is aflame. It ignites other material. Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out. A church without evangelism is a contradiction in terms, just as a fire that does not burn is a contradiction.

(Sources: Em Griffin, The Mindchangers, Tyndale House, 1976, p. 151 and Christian Theology in Plain Language, p. 162. From a sermon by Clayton Beck, "Common Men with an Uncommon Opportunity" 1/16/2009)

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