Jesus said, "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men." (Matt. 4:19) Characteristics of fishers of men:
1. They catch fish. They do more than talk about fishing in meetings. Neither do they allow themselves to be caught up in such maintenance activities as repairing their nets, buying the latest lures, or giving seminars to others about how to fish. They are productive people who have something to show for their efforts. You know them by the fruit of their labors.
2. Fishermen are passionate about fishing. In many cases they would rather fish than do just about anything. They do not mind all of the hassles of the long hours because they are satisfied with the processes, purposes, & identities that come in the course of their lifestyle. Fishing is more than just a job it is a way of life.
3. Fishermen are a unique breed who do not mind being misunderstood. They don't mind when people laugh at them about their seemingly lower class standing in the community. They believe that they are on a holy mission from God that transcends social-economic class. They are not afraid of being disliked for what they do even by their relatives who would prefer that they take a more profitable job some where closer to the people of power.
4. Fishermen don't get sidetracked by disappointments. Even if a fishermen does not catch a great quantity of fish one day does not mean that he is not ready & eager to get up early the next day as one never knows when the Lord will provide a great catch. Fishermen are dependent on the Lord for the success just as much as the farmer is dependent on the Creator for their harvests.
5. Fishermen are enterprising without being self-serving. Wise fishermen know that they cannot over harvest their fishing fields or the breeding stock will be killed off. They are able to know their times so that they can utilize the best seasons to fish. They are patient waiting on the Almighty God to give them favorable seas where they can bring in the maximum harvest.
6. Fishermen are equipped with tools for all kinds of jobs. In order to accomplish their jobs, fishermen have the latest equipment, knowledge, & machinery to make the most of every opportunity. They are constantly reading the latest journals, articles, & news bulletins to find out the best places, methods, & tools to catch the kind of fish that will be most fruitful.
7. Fishermen learn a great deal through on the job training. By never ceasing in their learning about the art & science of fishing they are able to acquire new ideas from just about any other fishermen. They are never too proud to learn from even the youngest of their kind. They recognize the diversity of gifts & abilities & callings in their industry so as to utilize a diverse portfolio of people in accomplishing their mission.
8. Fishermen do not sit around & just philosophize about fishing. These are men who are busy with the task of bringing fish into their boats. They sometimes grow discontent with others who are just content to be spectators. Realizing that they will always have critics they have developed a thick skin to deflect accusations from their peers.
9. Fishermen are contextually wise about how the environment affects the kind of fish they want to catch. They are students of the surrounding factors that will help them determine the right kinds of bait to suit the fish they want to attract. They realize that one kind of bait will not appeal to every kind of fish. They study the habits of fish through practical experience as well as educative literature that gives them a leg up on their competition.
10. Fishermen realize that by following Jesus, He makes them into fishers of men through a long process. They are humble enough to know that they are always in the process of becoming more like the Master. Never do real fishermen rest on their laurels & insist that they have arrived demanding that others respect them for their accomplishments or many years of service. These are men who recognize that it is the Spirit's transformation that conforms them into His image.
11. Fishermen do not do more or less than God wants them to do. They stay away from those who would make fishing for men into a glamorous Hollywood enterprise. Similarly, they resist the temptations to just be weekend fishermen who give God their two hours on Sunday mornings. They know how to balance the left brained orientations & the right brained orientations of the
12. Fishermen are equally adept at the art as well as the science of fishing. They have a good balance between using their finely tuned intuitive senses to know the best ways of fishing with the latest scientific know-how of sonar devices that allow them to zero in on their catch.