God’s Affirmation of Fishing and Hunting

by Jim on April 29, 2014


Ministry Encouragement Podcast – Episode #090  – 4-29-14

Our Sponsor: Proactive Ministries    Your Host: Rev. Jim W. Hollis

Hello and welcome to the ninetieth episode of the Ministry Encouragement Podcast.  I’m delighted that you have taken part of your busy schedule to share in our community that God is continuing to build around the podcast.

We are celebrating experiencing Spring and the ending of a very hard, long winter.  Temperatures are moving far above freezing and sunny days are coming on strong.  This is the time of the year when millions of us will begin to move back outside for two very popular activities – Fishing and Hunting.

For this episode I will be having us take a scriptural look at Fishing and Hunting. The topic for this episode is:

God’s Affirmation of Fishing and Hunting

Across nearly 40 years of ministry I’ve found that far more people have experienced fishing than hunting.  After all, there’s no adventure or joy quite like taking a child or a young person fishing for the first time.  When they put bait on the line and a fish gets o the hook – regardless of the size – seeing the joy on their faces is incredible.

Let’s take a look at some things the Bible says about fishing and hunting and see if we can relate it to ministry and the community of faith today.

We can start with a text in Jeremiah 16:16-17, where we find these words:

Jeremiah 16:16-17

New International Version (NIV)

16 “But now I will send for many fishermen,” declares the Lord, “and they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks. 17 My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.

I can recall growing up as a young boy and my Dad taking me fishing near my home in the eastern part of the state of Georgia in a little place called Hard Labor Creek State Park near Rutledge, GA.

And I’ve continued to fish all my life taking our own two sons early on in their lives and now our three grandchildren to experience the joy of fishing.  There are some things that we can learn from our fishing experiences that relate to us as Christ Followers today:

1) For too many years in churches, we have been doing the wrong kind of fishing.  We’ve fished as what refer to as “Bait Casters.”  When you’re fishing as a Bait Caster there are some things that are incredibly limited and restrictive.

2) It’s my counsel that we need to graduate from Bait Casting to Bass Fishing.  Here in the United States there is a group of people who fish that are often called, “Bass Masters.”  They are very different from Bait Casters.

When we pause and think about how we have been doing outreach and evangelism in most congregations across North America for the past 50 years, we have been much more like Bait Casters than Bass Masters.

Jesus spent much of his ministry time with fishermen.  Some of this own disciples were professional fishermen who made a living fishing.  Simon Peter, James and John came to Christ through experiences of fishing on the Sea of Galilee.  And they left being mere fishermen behind to follow Jesus as disciples.  Jesus made disciples out of fishermen.

Jesus told them, “From now on you will be catching people rather than fish.”  And their lives were never the same again.

3) A parallel comparison be seen in the area of hunting.  In the text for today, Jeremiah 16:16-17 (in the notes for this episode) – God sends persons to not only fish but to hunt as well.  I learned much about hunting growing up in a rural area.

Early on as a young person I was introduced to deer hunting.  Many of men in our town got excited about deer hunting.  And they decided to teach me how to do it.  I never was good at deer hunting.  I started young and it just didn’t make sense to me.

With this less than positive experience of deer hunting, by my second year in high school I decided to graduate to a different kind of hunting – quail hunting.  Quail hunting is very different that deer hunting.

4) In too many faith communities across North America, particularly those that are mainline, established churches – we have been doing the wrong kind of hunting.  We have been deer hunting rather than moving up to hunt quail.

The Bible does give many examples of fishing and hunting that we can learn from.  The key to benefiting from it is to know that it’s not the fish and the game or the sport of it all that matters – it’s walking with Christ where Christ is at work in that unconditional love in order to connect with others in caring, authentic relationships, grounded in Divine Grace.  This is relational evangelism.


Thanks so much for joining me again for this podcast.  You are an encouragement to me and our ministry.  As always, for you to contact me by email, phone, or voicemail right off this blog page – means so much.  I love it when you take a moment to share with me what you received from the podcast and to let me know of suggestions on how I can make this more meaningful to you going forward.  What are some topics that you would like to see covered on here?

Until next time, I invite you to keep the ministry of this podcast in your prayers, share it with others you know and take heart in knowing that I’m praying for you as well.  May the Lord bless you in what you’re doing for the Kingdom.



To contact me:

Email: jim@ministryencouragementpodcast.com

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