Fishing Differently

We are bringing together congregations and impact investors, seminaries, HBCUs, local governments and foundations to respond with courage and imagination to the challenges of racial equity, gentrification and other structural inequities. 

Fishing Differently offers an approach that helps these anchor institutions move away from a maintenance mindset into mission and service. Its principles combine strong faith capital with social, human, and intellectual capital to achieve God’s will. 

Fishing Differently invites anchor institutions to explore how they harness the transformative power of their stories, practices, and identities to recalibrate their relationship to the changing communities and ecosystems around them. Institutions that successfully participate in this exploration will be able to better align their identity, vocation, duties, and facilities with a shared mission. 

The purpose of Fishing Differently is to help congregations have a greater social impact. 


Financial Capital is comprised of the money and assets which anchor institutions receive from their traditional revenue sources in support of their ongoing expenses and primary missions. For example, educational institutions derive their financial capital primarily through tuition, grants, and alumni giving, while communities of faith receive their “faith capital,” the term we use in this context, largely through tithes and offerings. 

Intellectual Capital is the individual and collective knowledge, skills, experience, and expertise organized to achieve a specific goal. Each member has gifts and talents which are valuable if they are recognized, utilized, and developed. 

Social Capital is the network of relationships among institutions and people who live and work in a particular community, enabling that community to function effectively. Building Social Capital is an invitation to ask, “Who, outside of our community, should we partner with in executing missions and goals?” 

Human Capital is about the implementation of projects and programs which are relevant and have demonstrable impact on human lives. As the faithful, are we not responsible for assisting? 

While some retreat into a survival-focused mode amid environmental turmoil, Fishing Differently shifts the focus from presumed scarcity to practices that cultivate sense of sufficiency toward mission. This orientation toward missional engagement invites members and community stakeholders to participate in mission and ministry, thereby cultivating social capital.

Drawing on Martin Luther’s notion of conversation and confession in fellowship, Fishing Differently is grounded in theological reflection, service and ministry as communal practices animated by a sense of common purpose and identity.

Visit fishingdifferently.net to get plugged into our growing network!

Purchase a copy of the book here!