Gone Fishing!

By: Pastor Kathy F. Burkhart, 565 Elm Drive, Hughesville, PA 17737, Independent Pastor at Sonrise Vision/North Mountain Stone Heap Charge in Millville/Unityville


After Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples embarked on a fishing evening. So the disciples headed out to the Sea of Galilee, but they caught absolutely nothing.  The disciples struggled all night to catch some fish. It wasn’t that the disciples did not have the right equipment. Without the presence of fish, the disciples were simply “wetting their lines,” as I call it.

I believe there are two kinds of fishermen. Some fishermen are not satisfied unless the ice chest is full of fish at the end of the day. Anything less is almost considered a failure.

Then there are the fishermen who just fish for pleasure. They are more interested in relaxation than they are catching fish. They are satisfied with just getting out for the day and “wetting their lines.”

If they catch a few fish, that’s fine, but if they don’t, they have still enjoyed the day God created.  What may be enjoyable as a pastime is deadly from a spiritual perspective. The church (followers of Jesus) is called to be “fishers of men,” yet often we may just be “wetting our lines.”

Could it be that some folks do not notice the need for new people to come into their church? Caught fish can be messy, and you have to clean them. It does take some effort to fish like you want to fill your ice chest, your church. The question for us is what kind of “fishers of men” are we?

According to a 2021 Gallup poll, statistically fewer than half of USA adults attend a house of religion regularly. This begs the question, “Are we truly fishing for men, or just wetting our lines?”  Why are the nets coming up empty?

Do the members of your church need to get out of their boat, that has been stuck on a spiritual sandbar for too long, in order to wade out into the waters where the fish are schooling?  Then you will cast your nets and bring in a great catch that will be nothing short of miraculous!

In John 21:5 we read that Jesus called out to the disciples and asked, “have you caught any fish?” The disciples’ response was honest: NO! Is that your answer also?  This is the measure of the faithfulness of your church. It is not your inspiring buildings or impressive budgets or your impassioned boastings, but your fishing!

How many souls have you caught? How many disciples of Christ are you making? And your church must be painfully honest about the success or failure of your catching.

I have three grandchildren who are dedicated and passionate fishermen. It is hard to be a successful fisherman when your boat serves more time as a leaf catcher and your fishing for men is only one or two times a year.

Just imagine the possibilities of what God could do for your church if you throw out your nets and you faithfully and prayerfully follow Him!

Are you ready to do some fishing? Set some priority time aside. Get passionate about “fishing for men.”  Follow Jesus to the river bank and expect a great catch! “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19 NKJV).