Days, weeks and months go by. For some teams, it can even be years. You have prayed, fasted and have been doing evangelism. But you still haven’t found the man of peace in your village or city. Frustration and hopelessness build inside.
The temptation to give up on Disciple Making Movement (DMM) principles is growing.
“Maybe this doesn’t work and I should just try a more traditional method of evangelism,” you think. Or perhaps anger toward God is also there. “If the harvest truly is ripe as Jesus said it was, why doesn’t God bring them to me?”
I have been writing a series about common DMM obstacles. Not finding a man of peace (or woman either!) can feel like an immovable barrier.
In the early stages of pioneering a Disciple Making Movement, the battle is intense. This is true both inside of you and in the spiritual realm. Faith is tested and tried.
The bigger the coming breakthrough, the more obstacles you will face. Don’t lose heart. The man of peace is there. Who they are will be revealed. Continue to walk forward in faith and follow best practices in this area.
Movement Leaders On Hold
Last year I was working with a group of South Asians who were pioneering in new places. They were national missionaries who already spoke the language. Good evangelists, they were very solid guys.
They had already seen churches planted in other areas. Those churches had multiplied and grown. Raising up elders, they handed the work over and moved on to new locations.
Suddenly, they went from leading growing movements with hundreds of believers to zero. The locations they were in were new territory for the gospel. There were no churches and no believers.
It was a hard change for them. Because they were already successful DMM practitioners, they expected quick results! They knew how to start movements, but were still discouraged.
Prayer, fasting, and faithfully sharing their testimony yielded little. Actually, it was nothing. No response. “Why can’t we find the man of peace?” They asked.
Doubts filled their minds. Insecurities surfaced. Maybe we aren’t as successful and wise as we thought we were! Are we just wasting our time here?
God Worked Deeply
During that first year (for some they are still in that place of waiting), God worked in their hearts. He was preparing the man of peace for them. But there were things that needed to come into place before that person was revealed.
“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.” Luke 10:5-6 NIV
The teams persevered in prayer, faith, and evangelism. Recently, they have been in touch with me, sending pictures of baptisms. The shift has come and the man of peace (in most of their locations) has been revealed. It wasn’t easy to wait for that to happen, but God was working through that process, both in them and in their area.
3 Things To Consider When You Don’t Quickly Find The Man Of Peace
1. The Spiritual Battle- You are facing unknown forces. (Eph. 6:12)
When we pioneer in a new place, we can not underestimate the forces that will try to hinder Kingdom growth. Remember, while you have been there a few months or years, darkness has held that place for centuries.
Those powers do not easily let go of their territory. This does not mean that God is not at work. It does not mean that the harvest is not ripe or that there is no man of peace prepared. You just haven’t found them yet.
Continue to pray in faith. One day you will meet them. God is at work. It is impossible for us to pray and God not respond. His power is so much greater than the forces you are up against.
2. Your Own Character Growth- God is preparing you
We should not underestimate spiritual warfare. Nor should we blame everything on that. God is also using this waiting period to grow humility and faith inside of you.
Surrender to His pruning process. It’s a lot easier than fighting it.
3. Best Practices to Follow- Prayer, Faith and Abundant Seed Sowing
Not sure if you are doing what is needed to find the man of peace? Check to see if you are adequately doing these three vital activities.
When discouragement grows, sometimes we stop praying. Or we decrease our prayer efforts.
What could you do to intentionally increase your own prayer for the village, area or people you are focusing? What could be done to mobilize increased prayer from others?
– Continuing in Faith.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” Heb. 11:1 NIV.
By very definition, faith shows itself when we don’t yet see what we are believing for. Once you see it, it doesn’t require faith!
Ask God to use this time to strengthen your faith muscles. Faith is required for a breakthrough. (Click here to see other blogs I’ve written about persevering in faith.)
Maybe the breakthrough you are about to see is bigger than anything you’ve seen before. In that case, God might be wanting to develop greater faith within you through this process.
– Abundant Seed Sowing.
Are you faithfully and daily sharing the good news?
Again, think and pray about how you could increase gospel sowing in your area. The absolute best way to find the Man of Peace is to abundantly sow the gospel. The Person of Peace will be revealed when someone shares the gospel with them. Their peace falls upon them and sticks.
Sometimes this requires a lot of sowing.
I love Ying Kai’s question, “How many people in my city will hear the gospel today?”
Give your time and energy to changing the answer to that question. A week or month from now, will more people regularly be hearing the gospel than are hearing it today where you are?
They Will Show Up
I want to leave you with hope and encouragement. The man of peace will be found. God has prepared them. The harvest is ripe where you are! As you pray, continue in faith and follow the 3 best practices. God will reveal the people through whom He will launch the movement.
Just don’t give up. Press forward until what your faith is hoping for becomes a person standing in front of you.
What do you plan to apply from what you’ve just read? I’d love to hear about it in the comments or on our DMM Frontier Missions Facebook page!