Fishers of men, not keepers of the aquarium

And Jesus said to them, Come after Me and be My disciples, and I will make you to become fishers of men. – Mark 1:17

Ever wondered what Jesus had in mind when He issued this challenge to us?

Keeping an aquarium

  • The water is clean and filtered.
  • The temperature is controlled
  • We choose the pretty and elite fish
  • One person can maintain it
  • In order to add more fish, we build a bigger aquarium
  • Looks are paramount in importance
  • We stay indoors

Fishing on the open sea

  • The weather can get uncomfortable
  • The fish smell and the fishermen get stinky
  • Sometime we catch weird-looking creatures
  • It is better done with a team
  • There is greater risk-water can get in the boat, people can fall out of the boat, and we can get wet
  • We go out to where the fish are

And you?

Are you a fisherperson? Is your church a fishing church, or an aquarium? Does your leader encourage you to go fishing in a way that is suitable for your specific set of talents?

For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love. – Gal 5:6

Everyone fishes differently. Some are pastoral. Some are evangelistic. Some pray. Some open their houses. Some help with school feeding projects. Some visit those in jail.

No one way is better or worse. The only thing that matters is that you go fishing. 🙂

7 responses to “Fishers of men, not keepers of the aquarium

  1. As we fish for men, we must also put Biblical measures to keep our aquarium from death and loss, otherwise we will be like foolish fishers. We must balance both and not focus on one at the expense of the other. He that winneth soul is wise. Shalom!

    • Perhaps. I don’t remember where I got this from.

      But… freely you received, freely will you give? Huh? So – on behalf of the readers here – may I “steal” your article please? 🙂

      You are welcome to “steal” anything on this website that I write.

  2. While looking for inspiration for our church magazine, I came across this post – thank-you for such a clear analogy. It is just what I need for an article about our mission meeting. Please may I use it (with your name and URL included)?
    God Bless you

  3. This is a fantastic analogy. Thanks!
    God Bless you today,

    I didn’t invent it, but I’m glad you enjoyed it Scotti!

  4. I love this post!!
    (All the best fish are out in open water–that is really where the ones who can reproduce are — )

    Great analogy.


    Yeah, I love this analogy too. I didn’t make it up, but I wanted to share it. – Mark.

  5. Amen, that’s awesome!
    Just this morning I read in the Word in Philemon something to this effect “Through your diligent witnessing, you have come to understand the full knowledge of what we have in Christ Jesus”. Basically, it tells me that I need to go fishing so that I can finally see what it is I have in my own life.

    Praise God! Great Word! I think I might have to borrow it one day, personalize it some with my own words, and post it on my blog. It’s great stuff!

    Amen Tim!

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