Catch Fish Or Die Trying (Mustard Seed Musing)

I am not a fisherman. But the other day, at my sons’ insistence, I bought a state fishing license and a container of night crawlers; my wife dusted off to rod and reels from her dad’s garage. That night, we had one of the best times I’ve ever had with my sons for less than $10, and they hauled in fish after fish, like these aquatic creatures couldn’t wait to get out of the water.

It must’ve been the worms!

The DMF Bait worms I bought came with a cartoon worm logo and the slogan, “Our worms catch fish or die trying!” And, frequent readers of the blog will know, this got me thinking.

In Matthew 4:19, Jesus called the first disciples, while they were standing beside their fishing boats at the Sea of Galilee. “Come, and follow me,” he said, “and I will make you fishers of people.”

There are stories about these fishermen and their ineptitude at catching fish (check out John 21). But the thing is, as illiterate and ill-tempered and like you and me as they might’ve been, the Christian Church (big “C”, not denominations) is still around because by the power of God they were awesome at fishing for people.

Again, thinking “out loud” here, but what would happen if the Church had the motto that we would “catch people or die trying?” What if we were that awesome at catching people, not because we said sweet things or did just so, but because we loved Jesus enough that it showed?

Consider these things that are true of the worms:

1- They get thrown out into the dark where they can attract fish. These worms are grown specifically for the purpose of ‘attraction,’ and ultimately, they give it up for something deeper.

2- They’re going to get all wet. (I think there’s something in there about baptism, but this is a musing, not a sermon…)

2- They get torn up, eaten, nibbled on, pulled and pushed, hooked, and die. They are all in. Their ‘sacrifice,’ even though they’re blind and un-sentient and all that, is for the greater good, of catching the fish.

If you’re still with me, consider what it would look like if the Church recognized that it’s purpose was to give God glory and draw others to God; if it recognized that it had to be committed to the task to be successful; if it believed that it wasn’t for itself but it was that others might live.

DMF Bait has a solid customer right here. But it’s slogan has me thinking: what if the church was ready to fish for people or die trying?


About Jacob Sahms

I'm searching for hope in the midst of the storms, raising a family, pastoring a church, writing on faith and film, rooting for the Red Sox, and sleeping occasionally. Find me at,, and the brand new
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1 Response to Catch Fish Or Die Trying (Mustard Seed Musing)

  1. schroera says:

    Thanks for the encouragement! I like your comparison with worms. Just so you know, though, Jesus’ disciples wouldn’t have used worms. They used nets. But that’s okay. So did you.

    You went fishing on the inter…net.

    Anyway, thanks for your article. I found it as I was posting an article about fishing on my blog. If you have a chance, check it out:
    I would love to hear any thoughts you might have. Thanks!


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