Fishing for people

To bring diversity and unity into our churches, we must serve all who fall into our "net," not only those who interest us, shares Pastor Marty Walker.

Marty Walker
Marty Walker

Jesus said: “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” (Matt. 4:19, NLT).

What kind of fishermen would we be if we cut holes in our nets because we wanted to catch only a specific kind of fish? When we drop our net, we have to pull in all kinds of fish, not just the particular type that interests us. Once we’ve caught them, it’s not our job to sort the fish, either—to pick through and decide which fish to keep and which fish to toss back (Matt. 13:48).

And yet, as pastors, many of us want to lead only a certain kind of congregation, free from those folks who require a little “extra grace.” We desire people who are going to support our vision, our ministries, our outreaches and our fundraising efforts.

It’s time we pull our nets aboard, examine them and mend them. Our culture celebrates diversity, but can’t find unity anywhere. The church begins with unity and celebrates diversity.

Let’s go fishing!

This Week’s Prayer Focus [5 in 5]

Personal Prayer

1. Where are the weeds and wheat growing side by side in our congregation (Matt. 13:24-30)?
2. How can we welcome those from “behind the hedges” into our banquet (Luke 14:23)?
3. Ask God to open your heart to all those who fall into your church’s “net.”

Foursquare Focus

4. Pray for a huge move of the Lord outward into our communities for all Foursquare churches.

5. Help pray for our chaplains, associate chaplains and chaplain candidates who serve locally and around the world. Download the chaplain prayer guide here.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is the senior pastor of The Sanctuary (Canyon Country Foursquare Church) in Santa Clarita, Calif.
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