This web site documents materials used to reach people for His Kingdom for more than 35 years. The material has been updated and contains fresh approaches to outreach, evangelism and church growth based on proven techniques employing the latest understanding of human behavioral characteristics of people at all stages of seeking spiritual advancement. All of the material is intended to be introductory in nature. Browse as you desire. When you find a subject that is needed by your church, your personal ministry or yourself, contact us for a seminar, training session or personal consulting. God will bless and multiply your time far greater than you can imagine.
Fishers of Men Ministries (Fishers) was founded by Dr. David F. Felsburg in the early 1990's to document work performed and training presented to help people better understand outreach, evangelism and church growth. There was, and continues to be, a huge need for a down-to-Earth approach for telling people what an experiential relationship with Jesus Christ could mean for their personal sense of peace. Our ICON is the combination of an empty cross and a full hook. It means our evangelistic hooks are full because Jesus is no longer on the cross.
The materials presented here summarize the work of more than 40 years of ministry for Jesus Christ and His efforts to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). The beginning of the ministries for evangelism was a year spent at Temple Baptist Church in Los Cruces, New Mexico in March of 1974. This was followed by six months in Biloxi, Mississippi; and three years in Ogden, Utah. The work the First Baptist Church (FBC) in Clearfield, Utah was the launching pad for Associational work in the Utah-Idaho Baptist Association working with over a hundred churches in outreach, evangelism and church growth planning and execution.
The work in Utah was followed by ten years in Colorado Springs, Colorado where most of those years were spent at the First Southern Baptist Church. This began the writing and testing of original evangelism training material. The first book, Talkin' about Christ - Over the Back Fence, was written during this ministry period. The humble beginning of a single class for evangelism training expanded rapidly into four classes in that church and others in smaller churches. Dr. Felsburg was ordained into the Gospel Ministry at this church and served for 5 years as the Minister of Outreach and Evangelism. The church grew from 350 people to over 1,500 and received five successive awards of the annual Southern Baptist Convention Eagles in recognition as one of the fastest growing churches in the world.
Dr. Felsburg's secular work resulted in a reassignment to the Boston area where he served several churches including Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts. This work included support of the Minister of Evangelism to start a new small group emphasis in neighboring churches regardless of denomination and starting new churches in communities with no evangelical work. One church started a small group effort that involved ninety percent of its membership in weekly small group meetings. This church, Faith Church in Melrose, Massachusetts later asked Dr. Felsburg to serve as Interim Pastor. During this period the church established new single-church records for salvations, new commitments, baptisms, and new or recommitted marriages.
The secular work forced relocation to Northern Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. Dr. Felsburg was asked to be the interim pastor for the Bon Air Baptist Church and later became their Pastor. The evangelism training continued and work in the Northstar Association of Churches followed. The local church prospered and the Associational work moved into support for emotional and psychological health and welfare for the 174 pastors and as many other ministers and support staff across that area. The evangelistic struggles of many of these highly educated and experienced ministers resulted in the idea for a Doctoral Dissertation on the frustration and attrition of Christian evangelists.
Dr. Felsburg designed and administered an original instrument to survey the felt experiences of hundreds of evangelical pastors. The results fortified the need for new contributions to the body of knowledge available for understanding the process of recognizing God's work in bringing people to Himself and our role in that work. The key concept was to support His work rather than taking the leadership away from Him. The survey and its results are published in the dissertation entitled The Business of Evangelism: A Phenomenological Study of Frustration and Attrition among Christian Evangelists. The reporting of findings requiring further study drove a need for four more studies and resulting books on the mechanics of outreach, evangelism and church growth. These five books are described herein.
Now, the CEO, President and Founder of Fishers of Men Ministries, Dr. Felsburg offers seminars and training for churches of any denomination. The fresh approaches to understanding the hearts and minds of the target populations for church growth provide new insight into the needs of the unchurched and new ways to help them find a path to peace in their personal, business and church lives.
Dr. David F. Felsburg (pictured left), founder of Fishers of Men Ministries, was born into a very formal faith and attended a parochial grammar school. At age thirteen, in the violent era of the Viet Nam War and racial unrest, he began to question how a caring God could allow so many bad things to happen to apparently innocent people. Surely there must be someway God could intervene to rescue them. So, Dr. Felsburg decided to reject the concept of God and deny His existence.
After fifteen years of atheism, he was invited to attend a voluntary crucifixion in the Philippine Islands where he was stationed with the Air Force. The innocence of the man involved seemed to make no difference to the crowd as they hurled insults, stones and other things at him. The newspapers said the man was a reformed criminal who had paid all of his debt to society, but he felt he had to show society just how sincere he was in his sorrow for his crimes. So, he pledged to allow himself to be crucified on Good Friday for each of five years. This was a common spectacle in that part of the world. Three or four other men committed to the same actions in other parts of the islands. Frequently, the person being crucified would walk for miles carrying a heavy cross and be accompanied by twenty or more flagellants. These men would whip themselves with wooden cats-of-nine-tails as they marched along. The fact that this was an annual spectacle made it no less impressive.
Shortly thereafter Dr. Felsburg won an academic scholarship for a Bachelor's Degree in Electronics Engineering and was allowed to return to the United States. The Air Force selected New Mexico State University for Dr. Felsburg's academic work. While he was already having considerable trouble putting the memory of that crucifixion scene behind, he realized the name of the city to which he was being assigned was Las Cruces; i.e., the city of the crosses. He was greeted at the entry of the city with a memorial of the three crosses of Calvary.
It wasn't long before the absence of the two maids Dr. Felsburg afforded in the Philippines became very obvious. The care they had provided for his five preschool children allowed great flexibility in his schedule. A man from a local church made an unsolicited visit and offered to take the children to church every Sunday morning for six hours, free of charge!
The next ten months were filled with weekly meetings with that man to study the Bible and learn more about what motivated the local church to commit to the children. Dr. Felsburg challenged the man with intellectual discussions on geography, science, engineering, astronomy, anthropology, archeology and history. Nevertheless, the truth of the Scriptures prevailed as he committed to discover their truth for himself. He became a full believer in the Messiah of the Old Testament and the Christ of the New and publically committed to Him on March 24, 1974.
In short, Dr. Felsburg discovered the truth that many will eventually come to. The idea of running one's own life will always result in frustration, sorrow and disappointment. Recognizing that and resulting lack of peace is God's way of reaching out for us and is the beginning of finding eternal peace for one's self. God established and provided peace that transcends all imagination and makes it available to all who will recognize Him and respond to His call. One philosopher says that life without God is no life at all. He continues that living without God is the purest definition of natural frustration and dissatisfaction. The human soul YEARNS for completion and that can only be found in a surrendered relationship with Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Our mission follows the Scriptural mandate to "go and teach (make disciples) of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:18-20).
Jesus said it even more simply to the first four Apostles, all of whom were professional fishermen. He said, "Come after me and I will make you to become fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:17). As Jesus said it, it has become our mission.
Our teachers and seminar leaders do not major on denominational differences, although they are all trained to know the important distinctions of each Christian denomination. Instead, they present important materials on the basics of a fundamental faith in Jesus Christ.
They use the Bible (version of your choice) to study the history of faith and its importance to growth in your local Christian movement.
Fishers maintains active offices and training staff in Dalton, OH and Lakeland, FL. The link entitled Contacts shows how we can be contacted to develop presentations for your church, association of churches or state and national denominational headquarters.
So, our community is large and flexible to meet your needs for a fresh training approach after just a few days notice.