Were you ever lost in the woods and couldn’t find your way out? Maybe you’ve played a video game and were stuck in a room (in the game). You couldn’t find the door to get to the next passageway or level. That is a difficult place to be! You wander around not making progress, getting more frustrated each moment; searching, searching, searching. Disciple making among the unreached can feel similar! “Where is that key person?” we wonder. Finding the Person of Peace is important to starting a Disciple Making Movement. It takes you to the next level.
A Person of Peace acts much like a doorway. They open the community to you and your message. They are a key influencers God has chosen. You work through them to reach the area. There are important points to remember when trying to find a Person of Peace.
The Person Of Peace Isn’t Always Who You Think They Will Be
We were working in a slum community. We wanted to find people of influence there. The head of the municipality was the natural one to approach. We asked him who the various leaders were in his area. He specifically directed us to a woman who was in charge of the women’s committee.
I immediately liked her. She was smart, about my age, and had obvious leadership giftings. She was very happy to meet us. Right away, she invited us into her home for tea. A few days later, she welcomed us for a delicious curry meal. She even called some of the other leaders to come and join us for food as well.
“She must be a woman of peace!” I thought to myself.
Over the following months, our friendship developed. I continued to visit her often. We discussed the needs of the community and various possible projects. I shared the gospel and began to share Bible stories with her. She was open, always willing to listen. As the months went by, she heard many stories. She liked Jesus but was not willing to commit to following Him.
I knew that though she was a good friend and a helpful person to know there, she was not the Woman of Peace I was looking for. I had to keep sharing with others until I found that person. Key principles were learned through that process.
“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.” Luke 10:5-7 NIV
3 Keys To Finding A Person Of Peace
1. A Person of Peace welcomes both you and your message.
There is a common mistake we make in trying to find the Person of Peace. We think if someone receives us and welcomes us into their home, they are the Person of Peace. This is sometimes true, but like in my example above, it is not always the case. They are only a Person of Peace if they also welcome your message. A Person of Peace accepts Christ as Lord and invites others to hear about Him.
They may enjoy your company and extend hospitality. They may even be an influencer in the community. Be careful of investing lots of time in someone who doesn’t show interest in and acceptance of the gospel. Keep looking for those who after hearing the message, receive it with joy. Watch for those who immediately begin to invite others to hear the story of Jesus.
When you see this happening, you know that they are who Jesus was referring to as “someone who promotes peace.” Focus your efforts on them and begin to work through them to reach the community.
2. Abundant seed sowing leads you to the Person of Peace.
Daily, regular evangelism is the best way to find the Person of Peace in your community. Teams are sometimes discouraged when they haven’t yet found the Person of Peace. They have been praying and making relationships in the community. Key leaders have befriended them and they’ve started community development projects. Children’s ministries and programs have begun.
“Why can’t we find a Person of Peace?” they say.
The answer is clear to me. They simply don’t do enough “seed sowing.” They are not “casting the net wide” when it comes to broad evangelism efforts. If you want to find someone who will receive your message, you have to share that message very often.
You must ask a key question if you haven’t yet found the Person of Peace. “How many people have heard the gospel in our community this past month?” If that number is small, start making changes to increase that. Do abundant seed sowing (emphasis on the word abundant!)
3. Be open to the unexpected.
In the story of the Woman at the Well, found in John 4, the Person of Peace was not who we would have expected. Jesus shared the truth with an immoral woman. She received His message and called the whole town to come and listen.
We often think the Person of Peace will be a community leader or person who is well-respected. Sometimes they are. Sometimes not.
Invest time in relationships with those who are key influencers in the community. You certainly want to share the gospel with them! But don’t think they are the only possible people who God could use to unlock the doors of hearts and lives. It could be a woman, even one without a good reputation. Though most influencers are older, the Person of Peace could be a child or young person.
Go Find Them- God Has Prepared Them!
Your Person of Peace may be someone in government like Cornelius. They may be part of a system that persecutes you like the Philippian jailer was. Maybe they are a housewife or a businesswoman like Lydia was. They might even be a servant girl like the one who worked for Naaman. Just by looking at someone, you can rarely tell whether they will respond to the gospel. You only know what they will do with the good news after you have shared it! Similarly, you do not know who will call their neighbors and invite others to hear. Evangelize the lost and watch the response. As you do that, you will discover the Person of Peace.
God has chosen people He plans to work through in your target community. So, keep sharing the gospel, praying, and watching for the Person of Peace until you find them!