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Fishers of Men by Luke Preussler

Fishers of Men

    Our Lord said to the apostle Peter and his brother Andrew, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt 4:19). Christ still speaks that Word to his Church today.
On a recent occasion, I had the joy of witnessing firsthand the Church fulfill its mission to make disciples through a fishing trip to Lake Michigan. A generous member of New Covenant agreed to take me and three teen boys from Poplar Creek fishing in his boat and with his gear. What I did not realize was that the teens had never been fishing in a boat or done any type of serious fishing at all. To say the least, we were all about to learn a lot.

Give a Man a Fish and You Feed Him for a Day; Teach a Man to Fish and You Feed Him for a Lifetime

    I grew up in Minnesota--the land of 10,000 lakes. I went fishing almost everyday when I was a kid. My Dad would occasionally say, “Someday, son, you will be untangling lines and taking fish off for someone else.” He was right. I have never been fishing before when I did not actually fish. But what a thrill to see a young man absolutely ecstatic over landing his first salmon! After a full day of fishing Lake Michigan, we headed back to Poplar Creek with a livewell full of fish and lots of memories.
    Fast forward to the next Sunday morning after the fishing trip. One of the teens who went on the trip attended church with the New Covenant member who took us fishing. The relationship building that took place on the waters of Lake Michigan laid the relational foundation for an invite and ride to church. God used the occasion of fishing not only to teach three young men a valuable life skill but also to build trust and familiarity between the community and Christ’s Church.  Discipleship is truly “life together.”  Whether we are on the Sea of Galilee or one of the Great Lakes, dear Lord, please help us to be faithful fishers of men.  

About Riverworks

    Riverworks Life Skills Outreach, a ministry of Fox Valley Christian Action (formerly Riverwoods Christian Center), ministers the gospel among the economically poor here in the Fox Valley.  Since the early 1980s, Community Coordinators have served families in government housing communities in Aurora, Carpentersville, and Elgin.  I am the Community Coordinator for Poplar Creek, a multi-unit housing complex on the east side of Elgin, which houses about 400 low-income families.  I have served in Poplar Creek as a local missionary sent by NCBC since July 2010.  
    Riverworks’ objective is to connect Christ’s Church with the community in order to share in the gospel in three key areas: 1) Christian discipleship (e.g., Bible studies, prayer, church involvement); 2) educational excellence/success and advocacy; and 3) basic needs (e.g., medical assistance, legal aid and advocacy, housing education, transportation ministry, equal food access and nutrition education, seasonal clothing distribution, etc.).  Please contact me at (630) 523-3295 or if you would like more information about Riverworks or about how to get involved.

A man in Christ,

Luke Preussler