THE INCREDIBLE POWER OF BEING PART OF A NETWORK OF CHURCHES
He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. For when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”– Luke 5:3-8 (NIV)
Nothing in scripture is ever by mistake. It is significant that Jesus called fishermen that fished with NETS, and as family, and who were not solitary fishermen with fishing lines. I believe that we will operate most effectively as ‘fishers of men’ when we operate as a NETWORK and as groups of families, because NETWORKS WORK!
By calling them to be fishers of men when they were fishing with nets I believe that Jesus was comparing ministry to fishing with nets on a number of levels. Fishing with nets is a team effort and that’s how God wants us to minister. Secondly, fishing with nets catches many more fish and that is what God wants us to do as well – to reach multitudes. And thirdly, fishing with nets takes more skill because it involves so much more. Think about it – fishing with one line on land is always going to be so much less complicated than using a net off an unstable, insecure boat. God also wants us to be highly skillful ministers in every possible way … and to enjoy the full benefits of being networked together.
Successful community (ancient and modern) all depends on multiple networks and institutions working together smoothly. Every department of any municipality is actually a network and the co-operation of these departments across a town or city requires a networking of many networks. An individual, or nuclear, family could be considered to be a micro-network. A class, a tribe, or a community could be viewed as a medium network, and a nation could be seen as a macro-network. At all of these levels life demands and depends on intricate networking.
So, just as nets work for fishing, networks are essential for life and ministry, and here at New Zion Ministries we are on a journey to greatly increase our anointing, our skill, our impact and our fruitfulness. We don’t want to be like a certain country where there are endless service delivery protests that destroy the infrastructure further because they want better networks, when we can be like Japan whose rail network is so efficient that trains only falls seven seconds behind in the entire country in one year.