The Shepherd’s Flock International Church (TSF), Ikeja, Lagos, recently concluded its annual 2023 Divine Impact Summit (DIS-2023) with an appeal to all ministers of the gospel and leaders to awake to mighty harvest of souls in this season. The DIS-2023 marked the 19th anniversary of The Shepherd’s Flock International Church (TSF).
Rev. Tony Akinyemi, the senior pastor of the church, in his opening message at the one-day ministers & leaders seminar of the DIS-2023 titled, “A Season of Mighty Harvest” charged ministers and leaders to deploy more resources towards bringing a mighty harvest of souls into God’s kingdom in this End-time.
Akinyemi reminded them of their calling as fishers of men to bring fish unto God, saying, “Jesus called us to be fishers of men and the best way to fish is net fishing,” the cleric expressed. He explained to the ministers, leaders and other participants at the seminar the two ways of fishing (soul winning) as hook fishing and net fishing, and emphasized net fishing as the best way to bringing mighty harvest of souls into God’s kingdom.
“Hook fishing catches one fish at a time. Net fishing brings in quite a number of fish. The time is so short before the trumpet sounds that we cannot afford to waste time. The time has come for us to deploy all our resources to bringing in many fish. We use our net to bring in many fish. Jesus called us to be fishers of men and the best way to fish is net fishing. But that does not exclude hook fishing because we still need to meet people one on one, talk to them one on one, witness to them one on one, impact their lives and harvest them into God’s kingdom,” Akinyemi charged fellow ministers.
The senior pastor of The Shepherd’s Flock further charged ministers on four basic things that could happen to their nets of soul winning in their quest for mighty harvest of souls in this season. He also identified and explained four different categories of net handlers as follows: the net casters, the net menders, the net breakers and the net washers.
He explains: “There are four things that can happen to our nets. That gives us four kinds of people, or four kinds of fisher men or four kinds of net handlers. The first category is net casters. This is in Mark 1:16: “Now as He walked by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea for they were fishers.”
“As fishers of men, like Simon and Andrew, we should cast our nets to bring in the fish. If I may ask, every programme we organize in church do they actually bring in fish into God’s kingdom or we just organize jamborees to entertain ourselves? The first category is the net casters. There are people who are casting their nets.
“The second category is in Mark 1:19; “And when he had had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. These are net menders. These are people that ensure that when the net is cast to enclose the fish, the fish do not fall out of the net back into the water. They are those involved in ensuring the back door is shut so that the people that come into the church do not escape back into the world.
“The net menders ensure the shutting of the back door of escape back to the world through discipleship, follow-up, intercession for the people until Christ is fully formed in them. This also involves mending fences, healing relationships and dealing with offences to ensure nobody leaves the kingdom on account of offence.
“These are net menders. This needs one whole hour to deal with because there are many nets that we need to mend. Our network of relationship is some of us need to mend. What some of us need to mend is our attitude that drives people away from the kingdom of God. Some of us need to mend our language. Some people have stopped coming to church because of the way some of us talk to them. Some of us need to mend our temperament. There are many mending that we need to do. Mend your body language, mend your attitude, mend and mind your language.”
The third category is in Luke 5:5-6, “And Simon answering said unto him, master we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. (6) When they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fish and their net brake. “
These are net breakers. They are the one who open the back doors for people to escape. They are the ones who cause offences among the brethren. They are the ones who do reverse evangelism. There are those who do evangelism to bring in the fish. There are those who do reverse evangelism to drive away the fish. My prayer is that God would not give us the kind of fish that will break our nets.
It is dangerous having net breakers in a church. However it is not all fish that break the net if you study John 21:11. “Simon Peter went up and drew the net to life full of fish of great fish.” KJV says, “Simon Peter went up and dragged the net full of large fish, one hundred and fifty three pieces of fish”. The Bible said the net was not broken. May God give us such fish that will not break our nets. It is not all fish that break the net. These are big fish like senators, governors, doctors, commissioners, lawyers, the middle class, and the upper class, yet they are not breaking the net.
“The final category is in Luke 5:2-5: “And saw two boats standing by the lake but the fishermen had gone from there and were washing their net. And he got into the boat which were Simon’s and asked him to put a little from the land and he sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When he had stopped speaking he said to Simon launch out into the deep and let down your net for a catch and Simon answered unto him and said master we have toiled all night and caught nothing.”
“That was the reason they were washing their nets. They were washing their nets to pact it up they were not going again. They had tried all the skills and experiences of professional fishermen without success. They got frustrated. They got confused. Now, they were washing their net to pack it up. There are many ministers who are currently in the category of net washing. I watched a video in which I saw a man attempting to hang himself; trying to commit suicide. Thankfully, some people came around, held him, untied the rope round his neck and brought him down.”
“They asked him, ‘Why do you want to kill yourself? ‘ He said ‘I have done everything. I am a pastor. My congregation is not growing. All my colleagues that we started ministry together, are driving jeep now, travelling to America, going to London and going to Canada. I have fasted, prayed, done vigil; gone to mountains yet nothing is working for me.’ If you scrutinize that movie you will know that that person does not know what ministry is all about. Ministry is not all about driving jeep and travelling about. But for those who are genuine; who are doing this work of fishermen, who are bringing in their harvest, they are sincere, cool- headed, committed. They are labouring in the kingdom, yet it doesn’t appear as if they have commensurate reward for their efforts. They are beginning to get perturbed. Don’t wash your nets yet
“The was exactly what Jesus said to Peter; don’t wash your net yet. Instead, the Lord said Peter cast your net for the drought. Go back to net casting. if you need to mend your net before you recast, go ahead and mend what needs to be mended. Maybe your strategy is wrong. Maybe your approach needs some mending because some of us are still using 1970 approach to preach in 2023. You go around the street in one corner in Lagos and start singing, ‘Oh Sing on! Sing on! Praise the Lord.’
“Lagos has become too sophisticated for that one. I am not against morning cry but I wonder how many people hear you or give their lives to Christ. The traditional approach that we used to bring the fish in the past is quite different from today’s approach. The modern day fish is too sophisticated. You need to mend your approach, mend the method you are using in order to bring in the fish. After you have mended, corrected or upgraded, then cast your net again for the drought. The drought is coming. Peter said we toiled all night, we caught nothing; nevertheless at your word I will let down the net. Peter decided to go back to being a net caster. Of these four categories of net handlers there are only two we should be; a net caster and a net mender. Never be a net breaker. Never be a net washer.
“After this seminar, as we return to our various duty posts, we should start casting the net and bringing in the fish in this End-time harvest. Always tell yourself nevertheless at thy word I will cast my net again. I can never be the less of His word. I will always be more at His word. I will go back to cast my net and bring in the fish; one hundred and fifty three at a time; a thousand at a time. And the Lord will give me my mighty harvest. I pray, as you do all of this your ministry will blossom again. Your church will grow again. Your efforts will be rewarded. You shall not labour in vain. You shall not bring forth for nothing. The good hand of the Lord will rest upon you as you do his work in the name of Jesus. Amen.” Akinyemi concluded with prayer for ministers.