Sharks, Life, and Jesus

The shark jumped right into his boat.

Terry Selwood was fishing of the coast of Australia, just like he had hundreds of times before. Something almost knocked him down and when he turned to see what it was that hit the boat, he realized that a seven-foot, 440-pound Great White shark had jumped into his boat.

I wonder who was more surprised – the shark or Mr. Selwood. After radioing for help, he hung on the side of the boat until he was rescued.  He evidently did not think it wise to share his boat with a shark.

And seeing this story got me to thinking about life, Jesus, and ministry.

You never know when life will take an unexpected turn for the worse. It could be a natural disaster that destroys property, an unforeseen layoff at work, or bad news from the Doctor.  It can be something evil done to someone you know and care about.  Or to you.  It might be consequences from a bad choice or decision.  It is a hard world and bad things happen.

They happen to those of us in ministry and church leadership also. That is why we must stay consistent in our spiritual disciplines.  Bad news rarely comes with advance notice.  So stay grounded so you can withstand the attacks of Satan.

Hard things happen to those you lead, so help them be ready. Pray for your flock, speak truth into their lives, keep them connected to you and to others in their community of faith.  They will need help when life blows up.

Non-believers are often most open to hearing the good news of Jesus when a life crisis occurs. That is why we form relationships and friendships.  That is why we live the Jesus life in open and transparent ways.  That is why we serve and why we are ready to step in with help in times of crisis.  And that is why we are ready to share the hope we have found in Jesus.

Because you never know when a shark may jump into the boat.

So stay ready.

It will happen.

Steve loves to tell the story of Jesus. He is the Director of Ministry for Hope for Life, a Herald of Truth Ministry, and serves as an elder at the Southern Hills church of Christ in Abilene, TX. He is a popular speaker for Lectureships, seminars, and retreats, and his latest book is “Can I Tell You a Story?” He and his wife Marsha have two children and five grandchildren.

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Author:  Publish Date: July 7, 2017

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The CHARIS website hosts conversations of and about Churches of Christ. In partnership with the ACU Library and the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry at Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX), the website is supported and led by the Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality (CHARIS) at ACU. The Center’s mission is to renew Christian spirituality through engagement of Christian heritage, at Abilene Christian University and beyond. The views expressed on the CHARIS website are those of the various authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Abilene Christian University or CHARIS at ACU. Questions or comments about the CHARIS website can be directed to charis @

2017-18 CHARIS Editorial Board:
Dr. Carisse Berryhill
Dr. Jason Fikes
Karissa Herchenroeder
Mac Ice
Chai Green
Tammy Marcelain
Molly Scherer
Dr. John Weaver

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