Here is a leader in full swing. He decides to do something (3), and others say, ‘’We’ll go with you.’’ They take their inspiration from him. (See again 7, 8 where the rest of the group follow Peter). Now the text does not criticise Peter for his decision to go fishing, but I note that there is no record of his praying about it. You may say, ‘’Well why would he? It was probably just an obvious thing to do.’’ But he returned to what was his old occupation, before Jesus called him to a whole new life. When he pushed the boat out onto Galilee, he was acting on his own initiative. And the result? ‘’…but that night they caught nothing’’ (3b). It was only when they heard the voice of Jesus, and were obedient to Him, that they caught fish (6). In fact, it was a miraculous haul, as on a previous occasion (Luke 5:1-10). For me, the lesson is clear: a church wanting to be fruitful in evangelism must pay close attention to Jesus.
Bill Hybels, the senior pastor of Willow Creek Community church, Chicago, has a mantra: ‘’Speed of the leader, speed of the team.’’ Because leadership is so important; because so much in the church rises and falls with leadership; because leaders create waves for good or ill, with their words and actions, brothers and sisters, I urge you, PRAY FOR YOUR LEADERS! Make them the object of sincere, believing and fervent intercession. You many never know on earth the good you will do for the church by your prayers, but if you are content to be invisible to man, but known to God, what a ministry you can carry out on your knees, and in the secret place. Because Simon Peter’s are going to be followed by Thomas’s, Nathanael’s etc, pray that these Simon Peter’s will not just act, but act on the word of Christ. There are many good ideas in the church that did not have their origin in heaven. We may be impressed by them. They make perfect sense to us. There’s just one problem – they are not of God. Here’s one final thought, Jesus is there in our moments of failure (4), but we may not recognise Him. But once we do see Him, and respond to His voice, we are on our way to real success. Your failure can be the doorway into a more fruitful life.