Why We Are Called NETAFIRM

He [Jesus] called out to them [His disciples], “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. [John 21:5-6]

NETAFIRM is based upon John 21:5-6. This story is told in the context of the resurrected Christ going back to His disciples after they lost heart, abandoned their preaching of the Gospel, and no longer believed there was anything they could do to disciple others for Christ. You see, Satan may have been defeated at the cross, but he knew he could still do damage to the Gospel message by influencing Jesus’ disciples to give up and go back to their own plans. However, when the disciples obeyed Jesus and cast their net on the right side of the boat, they witnessed a miraculous catch of fish and their restoration as disciples, particularly Peter, followed. In other words, when the disciples obeyed Jesus’ instructions, they witnessed what happened when they did things God’s way.

The church today needs to take note of John 21:5-6 because Satan is at it again. It seems surreal that once again, Jesus finds His church in crisis because our leaders have also lost heart, abandoned their preaching of the Gospel, and decided discipleship was not as important as their own plans and programs. Christ’s simple message to “throw your net on the right side of the boat” had profound results for the kingdom of God. If the church today wants to see a revival among Christians, remember the lesson of John 21:5-6: Disciple God’s people His way, not man’s way. Teach them to know who they are in Christ and how to live in the kingdom of God now.

What We Do

NETAFIRM is a non-profit organization made up of evangelical pastors, educators, and writers. We present the truth about the kingdom of God, the Gospel, and your identity in Christ. We are committed to discipling believers God’s way, both individual Christians and churches. The goal of NETAFIRM is to provide believers and church leadership with the needed strategies and resources necessary to focus on discipleship. This includes helping local churches become fellowships of believers where people connect and grow in their personal relationships with Jesus Christ. The result is obedience to the Great Commission where Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).


James T. Darnell, Jr.James T. Darnell, Jr. is Lead Pastor at NETAFIRM and co-author of Saving the Saved. Prior to his work at NETAFIRM, he pastored for over thirty years, authored two other books, worked as an adjunct professor in Religion and Philosophy, and was co-founder and President of the American Biblical Institute, a church consultant firm. James’ variety of experiences makes him uniquely qualified to provide professing Christians with the truth about church movements and ministry trends that rob Christians from knowing the full impact of the Gospel on their lives. James is a great listener of both pastors and congregants. His passion is directed toward teaching Christians about the kingdom of God and thoroughly explaining who they are in Christ so they can serve Jesus Christ while living in our current culture. James also encourages pastors to make spiritual growth and discipleship the primary focus of their ministries.

James earned a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion from Elizabethtown College, a M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary, and a M.Ed. from Indiana University. He is also a certified group leader through the Bureau of Studies in Adult Education at Indiana University.

Jessica ThielenJessica L. Thielen is a researcher and writer for NETAFIRM and serves on its board of directors. She is co-author of Saving the Saved. Prior to her work at NETAFIRM, Jessica worked as a researcher and writer for The Matt633 Group. She has previous experience in children’s ministry as a Good News Club® teacher, a ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship®. Jessica is an objective observer of people and culture. She has a way of explaining how certain church movements and ministry trends have deprived Christians of the relationship Jesus intended to have with His people. Her passion is to teach believers about the awesome details of what happened to them when they put their faith in Jesus Christ.

Jessica earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Christian Ministry from Southern California Seminary.