Is deer hunting even real?

I’ve often wondered, is deer hunting even real?

I’ve also thought, why have I never personally seen a big buck alive? I’ve only seen them mounted on walls and I figured that person bought it somewhere! If all these hunting shows can take men, cameras, and trucks out in the woods, and film deer undetected, why do I have to soak myself in deer pee?! Yes, that’s a thing. If you didn’t know, now you do. But alas, deer pee and all, I will go into the woods to see if deer hunting is real.

I told you previously, I went deer hunting for the first time because someone prepared the ground for me. They scouted the land, saved me a seat, and gave me the necessary tools. Someone cared about a rookie deer hunter like me.

Getting out in the woods I had my fair share of reservations. I had spent my whole life wondering, is this even real? I thought, is this a myth? I thought, maybe this is just how guys get away from their wives for a few minutes! They just say, “I’m going deer hunting!” when in reality they just go sit in solitary confinement of the woods for the morning. But I also thought, I’m a rookie, I don’t belong out here. I’m going to mess up any chance the others guys have at getting a deer for themselves.

 

Those were my thoughts. Those were my reservations.

 

Every week, people like me are coming in to church with those same thoughts. People that have spent a lifetime running from God will suddenly be faced with the thought of, is this even real? Is this a myth? They’ve seen people commit outlandish crimes for the sake of God. They’ve been hurt by people that said they were Christians. They wonder if a God they can’t see is even real. They have come on a hunch that possibly something good might be found there.

I told you in the preceding entry title, treat people like rookie deer hunters. Rookie deer hunters are lost, unsure of where they are. They know something good might be out there. From now on, save them a seat. Make sure they are positioned to receive from Jesus. They’re walking into a church building thinking, I’m a rookie, I don’t belong here.

I was a rookie hunter looking for deer; they’re a rookie Christian, looking for Jesus.

Point them to Him and His grace.

Christians, please treat people like rookie deer hunters.

my view.
my view.

Let me start by saying: I am not a hunter.
I was not raised to hunt; I was raised to avoid hitting deer with my car on the back country roads where my family lived. Although not a hunter, I married into a hunting family…so hunting one day was guaranteed. That day came this week.

My father-in-law took me hunting for the first time and it gave me a great realization.
This realization can affect, not only how people are treated as they walk through the doors of a church for the first time, but also how we portray Church to them.

As we gather on a Saturday night or Sunday morning, wherever it may be, church is often singing a few songs, hearing a few announcements, the offering, then an encouraging word. We then leave hoping that something we heard might help sometime in the next 6 days.

Let me show you how a a Christian might miss the point.

My Father-in-law knows deer. He can think like them, act like them, put himself in their hooves, and figure out how to get a big buck. With this knowledge, he set up a tree stand in the right spot: near adequate food source, perfectly situated between rolling hills and a creek that flowed to a pond, acting as a natural funnel that deer follow.
All this comes from years of experience watching and observing this animal.

After doing all of that, he then took me to hunt. It being my first time, his main concern was getting a deer in the crosshairs of my muzzleloader. It wasn’t about adding another trophy buck to his collection or getting more meat for his freezer. For him, his thrill was me getting to experience getting my own trophy buck.

Sunday mornings should be much of the same. What if we make our life’s mission setting up opportunities for people to experience the Jesus we already have? Every Sunday, not hoping that the worship leader would sing our favorite song or the preacher would say something that would answer that question you came to church with. But rather, making the most of every opportunity to prepare the ground, leave a better seat for someone, knowing that watching them experience Jesus would thrill us more than being touched yet again.

Put yourself in their shoes this week. Prepare the ground, knowing that someone who has never experienced Jesus will walk through your church doors this weekend. Pray that Jesus would speak to them more than He speaks to you. Create a spiritual funnel for people to follow, putting Jesus in their crosshairs so they have nothing left but to look at Him.

Focus less on, “I hope I get something this week,” and focus more on “I hope I can help change someone’s life this week”.