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It is time to renew our efforts at net working. Our main NEED is for people to ask for help with projects, problems, hobbies, and just general everyday tasks where it would be nicer having one or more others involved.

As a reminder the help request does not “need” to be a “need.” If you have something you would like some help and fellowship with doing, please make a request. And if you have a real need, then please ask. Give someone a chance to be blessed and let’s truly love one another in front of the world. That will exalt Jesus and he will use that network of love to draw men to Himself.

If you do not know how this works, read the RECENT POSTS to the right of this post or click on the HOW TO PARTICIPATE button on the top of this page.

If you want to offer services for the first time or change services you offered previously just fill out a new Skills Survey at the top of the home page. If you want to withdraw all services you offered previously just let Russell Brock, Jeremy Duncan or Craig Duncan know.

We also need administrators, that is, people who connect those who make a request with those who have offered services. To find out more how that works contact Russell Brock, Jeremy Duncan or Craig Duncan.

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It is good to recognize and celebrate our freedom, our Independence. Hopefully, you had a great and blessed 4th. If the Son makes you free, you are free indeed.

Sometimes though, the illusions of our culture, our wealth, our self sufficiency, our pride rip holes in the reality of our interdependence, our wholeness as a body, our network of love. When this happens, as a weakened body we fail to exalt Jesus as we should and so we fail to be a part of His drawing people to Himself.

As we celebrate our freedom in deed, consider doing some net work this summer and make a Help Request allowing others to share/help/love you with some task or project or need that you have. And if you have not already filled out a Skills Survey, you can find one at the top of this page or on the book table in the gym.

Let’s have a great summer and love one another so others will know we are disciples of Jesus.

Our Net is Empty

Once there was a neighborhood that in recent years had seen many of the neighbors move away. Some new neighbors moved in and they were nice enough, but the neighborhood wasn’t the thriving community it once was. It wasn’t just the vacant homes and overgrown yards that made the neighborhood seem lifeless and unattractive to other people looking for a place to live. It was that there seemed to be very few “neighbors” at all. If it had not been for the children, most likely none of the neighbors would even know one another.

So some in the neighborhood came up with a plan. They bought one of the vacant homes and had it renovated. They donated games, a big screen TV, an above ground pool, you name it, they had it. The plan was that if they could get the neighbors interacting, the neighborhood would start to return to what a neighborhood should be and in the process attract new neighbors to the vacant homes.

Initially there was an enthusiastic response to the idea and again a flurry of activity when the community center opened. But then almost everyone decided that they would just watch their own TV at home, swim in their own pool, you get the picture. The result was that the community center was empty and the neighborhood did not get any better.

Our net is empty. We have all the structure there. We have a lot of services offered. But we have had almost no participation from the help request side of the equation in the last month.

As a reminder the help request does not need to be a “need.” If you have something you would like some help and fellowship with doing, please make a request. And if you have a real need, then please ask. Give someone a chance to be blessed and let’s truly love one another in front of the world. That will exalt Jesus and he will use that network of love to draw men to Himself.

If you do not know how this works, read the RECENT POSTS to the right of this post or click on the buttons on the top of this page. Help Request Forms and Skills Surveys are also on the book table in the gym.

Is the Net Working?

After our first month we seem to be off to a pretty good start.

We have 29 people listing their skills, talents and resources and we have had 12 help requests which have been met, or which are in different stages of being met.

But this is just the start. Some suggestions for next steps:

A way of getting more participation might be if each community group followed Henry’s group’s example and took a little time to fill out the surveys and the request forms. And remember, this is not just limited to adults. Members of the youth group can also volunteer their services.

Another “need” has emerged as we have gotten started with Fishers’ Net.

You do not have to help alone. There are many times when a need would be better met with more than one person helping. This could occur in several ways. Once a need is expressed and someone is contacted, they may discover they will need some help. A number of people have offered themselves for manual labor. Just contact us if you need someone to help you meet a need that has come your way.

Also, some have indicated their desire learn a skill by working with others. If you would be willing to mentor someone else in the skills you are offering just let us know. If there is a skill you want to gain, offer your time to assist someone in order to learn that skill.

Or, a community group, the youth group, or some other group may wish to provide a service as a group.

You may want to form a team of two or three people that work together regularly.

If you want to be an administrator (someone who connects helpers and those who have a need) for Fishers’ Net, contact us and let us know.

If you have other ideas on how to work with others in helping meet needs, please feel free to submit them on the website or via email.

And if you wish to share how this ministry has blessed you, it will be an encouragement to all.

    Finally, please remember the key ingredient is being willing to ask for help. Without those requests, nothing happens.

Check the book table for surveys and request forms or go to http://www.fishersnet.wordpress.com to contact us.

You Have Not

Fishers net is off to a good start with 16 helpers already signed up. But we do have a problem. So far there has been no one for our helpers to help. We need helpees. One of the main goals of this endeavor is to serve one another. So let’s take a cue from the master fisherman, Peter. When he refused to allow Jesus to serve him, Jesus rebuked him. Then Peter allowed Jesus to serve him. Yes, it is more blessed to give than to receive, but someone has to receive for giving to happen. So bless somebody and give them the opportunity to serve you.

Services offered so far include:

Auto maintenance , Bicycle maintenance, Carpentry, Fix Flat tires, Yard work, Cooking/meals, Moving (helping move boxes/furniture/packing/etc…), Musician (willing to help others learn), Counseling, Laundry, Baking, Babysitting, Car Washing, Chauffeuring/transporting, English help, Housekeeping, Painting (homes), Prayer partner, Shopping (Errands for others), Tutoring, Visitation, Budgeting, Computer assembly, Counseling, English help, House repair, Manual labor, Mentoring, Sports – training/coaching, Mending, Special event preparation (makeup, hair, etc.), etc.

The more we ask for help, the more one anothering will happen, the more we will connect with and strengthen bonds with each other, the more Jesus will be lifted up as others see our love for one another, and He will use that network of love to draw men to himself. That is organic evangelism.

Become a helpee today. Submit a help request. We have not, because we ask not.

P.S. Helpers do not need to work alone. If you need help meeting someone’s need, just ask. work with someone else or mentor someone who wants to learn a skill.

Network — Real Fishing

“Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mat 4:19)

Jesus links two ideas here, discipleship and evangelism: learning of him, imitating him, becoming like him and winning hearts, drawing men into the kingdom, reaping the ready harvest of men’s souls. To follow Jesus is to follow as a disciple intending to learn from and become like the chosen master. At the last supper Jesus demonstrates his intention for his followers. To be like him they must become servants of one another.

How does this service relate to evangelism? When we follow Jesus in this way, as one bumper sticker puts it, “Grace happens.” Look again at the promise for following Jesus. He makes us fishers of men, not recreational or sports fishermen, but working class, their-catch-is-their-life fishermen.

What’s the difference? — the tools. Instead of hooks and bait, rods and reels, the chosen weapons of the individual to whom success is fun or a matter of ego building, the occupational fisherman uses a net. He spends time weaving, repairing, maintaining the net so it loses nothing that comes within its reach, especially when the Master directs the casting of the net.

What kind of net do we use when fishing for men? Back again to the first words of the command – “Follow me.” Jesus spent 3 years on his net, weaving together 12 apostles, and drawing and weaving in countless disciples into an ever-expanding net which strained to breaking as it brought in, at times, thousands.

The net is imitating Him as servant: seeking another’s interest above our own, storing up treasure in heaven by expending our resources, talents, and energies on each other here on earth, sacrificing our wants, our luxuries, our comforts of time, energy, resources, and talents so that none will suffer need.

In short, the net we must weave, maintain, repair and cast is real, intimate, self-sacrificing love. “They will know you are my disciples by your love for one another.” (John 13:35) When they know whose disciples we are, the Holy Spirit uses that net to draw them. “If I am lifted up, I will draw all men to me.”(John 12:32)

The way to effectively reach others is not in using some slick campaign or strategy. We don’t need phone banks or tracts. We don’t need target audience analysis and marketing strategies. God may use any of these things, along with, but not instead of, the nitty gritty, hands on, get your nails dirty service that generates and sustains the love for one another which mirrors His self sacrificing love for us.

Hopefully this website will help to that end. Needs expressed and met by others within our fellowship will strengthen our net, spinning lines of communication to connect more and more people within our fellowship, and repairing the lines already established but weak or frayed. Spending time in net work will result in a more bountiful outreach. The stronger the net, the fewer that get away. Let’s fish for a living, not for sport.