Preparation: Find a fishing net and some toy fish. Make sure that you emphasize the work “gather” throughout the children’s time.
Faith+Open: Call the children together by saying something like, “Come look what I caught!” When they are close enough to see what is in the net give them a chance to see the fish.
Faith+Share: Today I have a net. Look at these fish that I gathered in here. It looks like I did pretty well, don’t you think? If these were real fish I could eat for a few days on this many fish. Well, maybe not, they are kind of small. Have any of you ever gone fishing? (Leave a little time for them to answer.) Have you ever used a net? (Allow answers again.) Usually, with this kind of net you would probably catch the fish on a pole, then use the net to scoop them into the boat. In the Gospel lesson today we hear about some fishermen who use nets too, but their nets are huge! They drag their nets behind them in the water and gather a bunch of fish, kind of like I have here (Drag the net a little like you are scooping the fish off the ground).
When Jesus sees these fishermen he knows that they would make good disciples and he calls to them. He says, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” They drop their nets and follow, but what do you think Jesus means? Do you think he means they should drag nets along behind them and scoop people up? (Give a second for the silly image to sink in.) No, that wouldn’t work! I think that Jesus means that he will teach them to gather people together, like the net gather the fish. Instead of a net, Jesus is going to teach his disciples the Good News that Jesus is bringing to the world. People will gather around the stories and words of Jesus, and we can help by sharing the good news, too!
Faith+Prayer: : Gracious God, teach us to gather around your word and be fishers of people, just like the disciples in this story. Help us to share the stories about Jesus with other people and to show the world your love and peace. Amen
Faith+Blessing: May your eyes be opened to see all the amazing works of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.