Sunday, April 30, 2023

Church Mission Part 6 – When, Where & How to Fish

Church Mission

Part 6 – When, Where & How to Fish

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

The House of Faith Church | |

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This document is a Sermon Outline. You may hear the full audio of the actual sermon by following the link Online Audio Files located above for this and other Full Sermon Audios. For a complete list of Sermon Outlines, visit or Truth Digest on Facebook; for our Official Church website, visit, or find us on Facebook at House of Faith Church.





·          Introduction

o   Step One: Where do we Begin?

o   The Disciples

o   Go and ‘Make’ Disciples

o   Get Your Nets

o   When, Where & How to Fish



Today is Sunday. April 23rd, 2023

             Now that we have compared Luke 5 (the first disciples) which laid out the plan of Jesus and His ministry here on earth with Matthew 28 (the great commission and end of Jesus’ ministry on earth), we have a complete picture of the mission of the Body of Christ, or the Church.

             We saw in both cases, Jesus calls the disciples whom He chose. Simon, James & John in Luke 5, and the eleven in Matthew 28:16.

            In both cases, Jesus tells them where to go. “Go into the deep water,” in Luke 5:4, and to the mountain which Jesus had designated in Matthew 28:16.

            And finally, in both cases, Jesus tells them the “how.” “Let down your nets,” in Luke 5:4, and “Go make disciples of all the nations, baptizing and teaching them to obey all that I command.” In Matthew 28:19.

            Jesus tells the disciples, When, Where and How in scripture, as well as today!

            In both, the beginning of Jesus’ mission on earth and His last moments before ascension, Jesus teaches us that He is the master of When, Where and How.

            This is probably one of the most asked questions after one converts to Christianity, “What is God’s Will for me?”

            To which I answer, the same as His will for all of His people.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth.”

            Though the free will God has given us will prevent many from entering the Kingdom, it remains true that “God desires ALL MEN TO BE SAVED.”

            And we see from scripture that God intends on allowing us the blessing of being part of His Will by listening to His call, going where He tells us and doing what He tells us to do there.

1 Peter 2:5 & 9, we are a holy priesthood, and Christ the High Priest. What are the duties of the Priests? To bring Gods Word to the people

1 Peter 2:11-12 “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul, by keeping your conduct excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good works, as they observe them, glorify God in the DAY OF VISITATION.”

            We as priests of the Most High, travelers and exiles here on earth, must abstain from lusts of the flesh, keeping our conduct excellent among the lost, even though they slander us as the evildoers, because of our good works they have observed, will glorify God at the Second Coming and Judgment Day.

            1 Peter 2 does not promise all will be saved by our serving the Lord, but that our serving the Lord is never in vain, whether it brings listeners to repentance, or lays final judgment upon the listeners who call you evil and refuse to repent. That determination will be the Lord’s.

Jesus is Lord of the When, Where & How


SCRIPTURE READING (Legacy Standard Bible)

Luke 9:62 “But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Jesus telling the listeners the cost of following Him.

Luke 10:1-3 “Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. “Go! Behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.

            Another example of When, the Lord appointed seventy, Where, sent them into the city ahead of Him, How, pray earnestly.

            Praying the Lord of the Harvest will send laborers into His harvest.

            How can we know the Will of God, and understand His timing and mission?


I.       WHEN?

a.      What Determines the time of harvest?

                                                 i.      Terri and I are planting our gardens again after a few years

1.      Knowing when to harvest is important


                                              ii.      In Michigan, depending on what you are growing, harvest can be from April (asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, etc), to the end of October (Apples, pears, beans, cabbage and broccoli’s second harvest)


                                           iii.      Today we have the internet, Apps, computers, ways to know when to harvest including charts online for every state and climate zone.


                                            iv.      Who knows best?

1.      The one who sowed the seed, and watered it.



b.     When is the seed sown?

                                                 i.      There is timing for that as well.

1.      It is better to sow seeds a little late than it is to sow them too early. Younger, vigorously growing transplants will make the transition to the garden much more successfully than spindly, overgrown ones.


                                              ii.      Who knows best?

1.      The experienced farmer.


                                           iii.      There is a reason the Lord refers to ministry in terms of sowing, watering, reaping, the harvest.


1.      Not just because most of those listening were farmers and understood the analogy.


a.      Rather, the seed of God’s Word is sown into our hearts.

                                                                                                                         i.      Luke 8


2.      After the Seed of God’s Word has been planted, which happens through preaching and evangelizing, it is watered by the Holy Spirit, and a time comes when that person is ready for the harvest.



c.      When is the Harvest?

                                                 i.      Proverbs 21:2 “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.”


                                              ii.      Only the Lord knows when the heart of man is ready for Salvation!


                                           iii.      Therefore, only the Lord knows the WHEN!


 The Lord knows WHO to call, and WHEN it is time for the harvest!

 For only He sees and knows the heart of the ones He calls, and the ones who are ready for the harvest.



a.      Where do you plant the garden?

                                                 i.      Many things determine whether a garden will succeed or fail

1.      Sunlight (too much or too little)


2.      Rain (too much or too little)


3.      Soil (no nutrients, or incorrect nutrients)


4.      Animals (may eat your crops before they produce fruit or eat the fruit after)


                                              ii.      All of these things are important, none more or less than another


                                           iii.      Only the Lord knows where He planted.


                                            iv.      Where He plants is where the harvest will be!


                                               v.      Therefore, only the Lord can determine the WHERE!



b.     Why does it matter?

                                                 i.      Can you harvest where nothing has been sown?


                                              ii.      Can you randomly go and harvest where you have not been sent?


                                           iii.      Does fishing in the same spot you caught nothing all night and getting a huge catch because the Lord said to return mean anything?


Acts 21:4b-5 “they kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem. And when our days there were ended, we left and started on our journey.”

 Acts 20:22b-23 “…I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that chains and afflictions await me.”

 Even his close associates recognized the voice of the Spirit, to which the apostle seemed strangely deaf. He refused to listen.

And in Paul's reply to them we can detect that, without quite realizing what has happened, he has succumbed to what today we call a "martyr complex." His words are brave and sincere and earnest. He meant every word of them. He said, "Why are you weeping, and breaking my heart? Why do you make it difficult for me? I'm determined to go on to Jerusalem, and I'm ready to die there."

 We can find no fault with the bravery and courage expressed in those words. But it was not necessary for him to go, and the Spirit had told him not to go.

 Now, the Spirit of God, as he was with Paul, is always faithful to warn us. We need not stumble blindly into this trap, any more than Paul needed to, but what this great study shows us is that we must be very careful to be obedient to the Spirit's voice.


c.      The Lord knows where He planted Seed

                                                 i.      And the Lord knows the heart of men


                                              ii.      Therefore, only the Lord knows when the harvest is ready!


 III.            HOW?

a.      The HOW is one of the most unique things about the mission

                                                 i.      We are all different


                                              ii.      The way Paul sowed and harvested was different from the way Barnabas did


                                           iii.      In fact, they split ways over a disagreement


Acts 15:36-41 “Now after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” And Barnabas wanted to take John, called Mark, along with them also. But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there was such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. But Paul chose Silas and left, being committed by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. And he was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.”


                                            iv.      God made us all different, purposefully


                                               v.      Therefore, some will listen to one and ignore another


                                            vi.      The HOW of this mission is chosen individually.


b.     The HOW of Harvesting

                                                 i.      There are many ways to harvest the crops


                                              ii.      Each way is specific to the fruit


                                           iii.      You harvest cranberries by flooding the field


                                            iv.      You harvest almonds by shaking the tree


                                               v.      Who knows best the method of harvest but the one who sowed the crop?

1.      Jesus is the Lord of HOW the harvest takes place


                                            vi.      THIS is why He chooses the disciples, and tells them specifically where to go



c.      Does the HOW matter?       

                                                 i.      If you preach repentance where there has already been repentance, then what good have you accomplished?


                                              ii.      If you preach salvation to those already saved, then what good have you accomplished?


There is the HOW, sowing, growing, harvesting, and there is the HOW, which is you as a person who is unique with your experience and education in the Word of God, using your spiritual gifts to reach others.

             Two different HOWs to obeying the Lord of the harvest.


 Disciples, Listen for the call, go where He send you and Do what He has said!



It is clear that the Lord CALLS through the Holy Spirit WHEN it is time. His Timing!


He then reveals through the Holy Spirit the WHERE you are to go.


And through the Holy Spirit, and your Spiritual Gifts, the Lord gives you the instructions of HOW you are to accomplish what He sent you out to do.



Next week: When is When?



Part 7 – When is When?



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