Lesson 1: Whats The Catch?
Peter was just an AVERAGE, ordinary guy. He was a fisherman by trade, and knew nothing but fishing. That is, until Jesus called him to become a follower. Peter had to be willing to leave behind everything he had worked his whole life to build. He dropped his nets, left his fishing business, and followed Jesus everywhere He went for the next three years. Today, the children will learn that God wants to use AVERAGE, ordinary people to do BIG things for Him. If they are willing to give up their dreams for God’s dreams and leave their “old life” behind, then God can use them to change the world—just as he did with “Average Pete.”
Rod Tacklebox is a gruff but loveable fisherman. He loves fish, the ocean, and working hard. But even more than those things, he loves God. He’s very wise and always has a story to tell about how God is working in his life, but every once in a while his stories of a life at sea seem a little too strange to be true. May talk a little bit like Popeye.
Rod enters, wearing a raincoat, rubber boots, and carrying a fishing rod
Rod: Ahoy there, boys and girls!
Leader: Whoa there, who are you and what are you doing here at church?
Rod: Calm yourself, ya silly little seahorse! The name is Tacklebox, Rod Tacklebox!
Leader: Rod Tacklebox?? What kind of name is that?
Rod: Why, it’s my name, ya goofy guppy!
Leader: What’s a guppy?
Rod: “What’s a guppy?” It’s a fish!
Leader: How would you know?
Rod: Because I know fish better than anybody! I’m a fisherman!
Leader: Ohhhh, okay! I guess that explains the fishing Rod you have in your hand.
Rod: Well it sure ain’t for playin’ golf! Anywho, I heard you land-lubbers out here talkin’ about one of my heroes!
Leader: Who’s that?
Rod: Why, Peter, of course! He was a great fisherman back in his day, almost as good as ME! Then, one day, quicker than a star fish does a cartwheel, he just DROPS it all and follows Jesus! Reminds me a lot of my big brother…
Leader: You have a brother?
Rod: Aye, his name is Reel!
Leader: (laughs) Hold on a second…your names are “Rod” and “Reel” Tacklebox?
Rod: Why, sure! That name’s a lot better than what my parents were gonna call him at first.
Leader: What were they going to call him?
Rod: Susan. ANYWAY, growing up, my brother Reel dreamed of being a Sea Captain. He worked his whole life at it. I remember when he was five he made a boat out of nothin’ but a bunch of pieces of toast and a roll of toilet paper. He called it the “S.S. T.P!” It clogged up our bathtub for weeks! But he grew up to know everything there was to know about boats and sailing, and he was on his way to becoming a great captain when one day—he gave his life to God.
Rod: Yep, and he felt God tellin’ him that he was needed elsewhere, that he had to drop EVERYTHING to follow the Lord. So that’s what he did! He left the navy and everything to follow God, and now he’s a preacher.
Leader: Wow! That’s such a wild story. And today we’re talking about being willing to give up everything for God, just like Peter did in the bible, and just like your brother, Reel, did.
Rod: Peter was always a hero of ours growing up. He was willing to give it all to serve God, and that’s how my brother Reel and I want to live. Now, Reel is a preacher, and I’m still living for God as a fisherman, but I’m still willing to give it all to follow Jesus. Whatever He asks me to do, that’s what I’m a-gonna do!
Leader: I’m glad you came by to talk to us today, Rod! Will we see you again sometime?
Rod: I think I may just hang around for a while during this “Average Pete” series! I’ll see ya later kids! (points out to the great beyond) THERE SHE BLOWS, AND HERE I GO!
Bible characters sometimes seem like superheroes, don’t they? When we think of Bible characters they seem bigger than life, never discouraged, always on top, faith that can move a mountain, men and women of God. That’s the picture we have. We have that picture because our favorite stories are of great victories and amazing miracles! We talk about David and Goliath, Daniel and the Lion’s Den, and Paul and Silas being delivered from prison by an earthquake in the middle of the night. I love those stories.
But, the truth is that the famous characters in the Bible weren’t superheroes. They made mistakes, they said dumb things, they had problems. In other words, they were average ordinary people, like you and me. They had the same difficulties, the same temptations, and the same problems that we have.
That’s the case with the Bible character we are learning about in this series—Peter. Peter was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples – a fairly famous follower of Jesus Christ. Peter is the guy who we read about in Acts 2 who preached an amazing sermon – the very first sermon of the early church. When he was done, three thousand people decided to follow Jesus. Pretty good first sermon!
But, years before Peter preached that message, no one would have ever predicted he would be the guy standing, speaking and leading a group of people to faith. Today, I want to take you back to the very beginning, our first introduction to this guy. You’ll discover, he was not a superhero at all, but simply an average, ordinary guy who was willing to follow Jesus.
In Luke chapter 5 we find Peter—actually his real name is Simon, but Jesus called him Peter, so that is what we will call him in this series—standing on the side of a lake about to get into his boat to go fishing (pick up the fishing pole). Fishing was not considered a job for people who were smart and special. As a matter of fact, it was a very common job. Fisherman were not considered “important people.” They were just average, ordinary people. This is why we are calling Peter “Average Pete.”
Peter and his friends were coming in from a long night of fishing—they had not caught a single thing. As he was getting out of the boat, Peter noticed Jesus standing there. Jesus asked Peter if he wouldn’t mind letting Jesus teach the crowds of people from his boat. Peter didn’t mind, so he put his boat out in the water and let Jesus teach the crowds from it.
When Jesus was through teaching, he told Peter to head out to deeper water and to let down his nets and see if he catches any fish. Peter was a professional fisherman. He knew WAY more about fishing than most people. Peter answered Jesus, “We have already been working hard at fishing all night right here in this spot. We didn’t catch anything at all. So, I am sure there is no reason to let down our nets. But, because you said so, we will.”
Peter made a good choice. Even though he didn’t realize that Jesus was the Son of God, he decided to do as He asked. They went out to the deep water, let down their nets in the same spot as before, and suddenly their nets were filled with so many fish they could hardly pull them into the boat.
Peter was so amazed. He fell at Jesus’ feet and said, “Master, please go away from me. I am too much of a sinner to be around you.” Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid. Follow me. From now on you will be fishing for people.” So, as soon as they reached the shore, Peter left his boat and his nets right there and followed Jesus. He never looked back. He was willing to give up everything to follow Jesus.
This story teaches us several lessons that are important…
There was nothing special about Peter. He was a normal “average” guy with a normal “average” job. What made him special was the fact that he chose to obey and follow Jesus. He became special when he decided to follow Jesus and obey Him.
You might feel like you are “just a regular kid.” Well, Peter was just a regular guy, too. But, when an “average” person chooses to obey God and give Him everything, they become a hero that God can use. They may not be able to fly, or melt steel with their eyeballs, or stop a train with their bare hands, but they become a hero that is filled with God’s power. God uses “normal” people to do BIG things for Him. The final lesson we learn from Peter’s story is…
When Peter chose to follow Jesus, he left behind his old life. He left his fishing business and everything he had just to follow Jesus. We must be willing to do the same. We must leave behind our old sinful habits, OUR plans, and OUR dreams. We must be willing to follow God’s plans and follow His dreams for our lives. If we truly want to do BIG things for God, then we must be willing to give Him everything!
play soft music
Pray for the children who have felt like they have been holding things back from God. Pray that God will help them to obey Him and give Him everything so they can become a “hero” that does BIG things for God.
What was today’s Big Idea? Answer: “If I’m Gonna Follow Jesus, I Have To Give Him My All!”
What is the name of the disciple we are learning about? Answer: Peter
Was Peter a superhuman guy? Answer: No, just an “average” guy
What was the name of the guy who owned the restaurant in our video? Answer: Pete
Who is the crazy musician who taught us the Power Verse? Answer: "The King"
What kind of job did Peter have? Answer: Fisherman
According to our lesson today, can God use “average” people? Answer: Yes
How much do I need to be willing to give to God in order for Him to use me? Answer: Everything
What happened when Peter and his fisherman let their nets out after Jesus told them to? Answer: They caught so many fish they could hardly hold the nets
Where was our Power Verse found? Answer: Luke 14:33