Four fishermen had a good business. They had boats to go out into the waters to gather fish, strong nets to pull in the catch, and helping laborers working at their side. However, their lives were altered one day when they heard the call for change.
Mark tells the story of that eventful day.
“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.
When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.” Mark 1:16-20 (NIV)
These men when they responded to the call went from fishers to speakers. Were they prepared for the change? Did they know all what would be asked of them when they stepped out of the boats to walk upon a new path? I don’t think so.
But they heard the call and took the first steps to walk by Christ’s side. Change gradually took place as they watched, listened, learned, and let the Lord lead them into a new venture.
For over 2,000 years, these men have been fishers of men through their words spoken and written about the gospel of Jesus Christ. They stepped up to the call when they were not qualified, but willing to step out when called. Each spoke up when opportunity and need was put before them.
Today, step-up speakers are called from all kinds of careers to enter into a speaking ministry. I found it scary when I heard the call and stepped out of the boat of higher education and corporate training. The first step on the field of the unknown took the most faith for me as it does everyone who hears, “I will make you fishers of men.”
The four fishermen went from a good business to worldwide life changing ministries because they answered the call of “follow me.” They netted their experience from walking with Christ. We who have heard the call can do the same by steeping in scripture and prayer in order to be ready when called to be a step-up speaker.