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Fishing for people

To tell the story of Andrew, Peter, James and John, and to consider what it may have to say to us today.

by Ronni Lamont

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To tell the story of the calling of Andrew, Peter, James and John, and to consider what it may have to say to us today.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a picture of the type of fishing boat used by the disciples. Your local vicar may have a stole in this design.


  1. Show the picture of the boat and ask: What sort of boat is this? What is it used for? Where would you see boats like this? Do you know the names of any people who used a fishing boat like this?
  2. Explain that Simon Peter and Andrew were brothers. So were James and John, who were the sons of Zebedee (boing! – explain that this is where the name originally came from if children recognize the Magic Roundabout allusion). They earned their living by fishing.
  3. Explain how fishing with nets works, with either one or two boats. You might like to get a couple of children up to demonstrate throwing in the net and pulling it in - have they caught any fish today?

  4. Now the men are sitting down, by the lake called the Sea of Galilee, cleaning their nets. They take out all the bits and pieces of weed and other stuff that they didn’t mean to catch (your two children could mime this). What are they talking about? Are they talking about the new teacher who has just moved to Capernaum, the town nearby where these four men live?

    Suddenly a shadow falls over the men and they look up - who is standing watching them work? Has he stolen some of their catch? Does he want to work with them? Who is he? They don’t recognize him at all! (Your two children could react nervously as you approach.)

    He says to them: ‘Come with me, and I will teach you how to fish for people.’
  5. Who do they think the stranger was? Explain that it was Jesus. Ask the children what they think he meant by ‘I will teach you how to fish for people’? The answer is that he taught them how to tell people the good news of how much God loves them.

    Explain that Christians believe that God wants us all to share the good news of God’s love. Who tells people how much God loves them today? The answer is, ultimately, that we do! Not just through our words, but by the way that we care for people, the way we treat others.

Time for reflection

Who could you surprise by helping them today?

Ask the children to be quiet, and close their eyes.
Who could they tell ‘God loves you’ today,
by the way that they treat them and by their words as well?
Ask for God’s help to do that.


‘Go tell it on the mountain’ (Come and Praise, 24)

Publication date: April 2005   (Vol.7 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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