As we live our lives, be alert to discover “Persons of Peace.”
READ AND LEARN
Missionaries and church planters talk about finding “persons of peace” in a neighborhood, city, or marketplace. Often the person of peace will have friends and relatives who are open to gospel witness and are welcoming to followers of Jesus. Finding them is but one “tool of the trade” that assists us in locating those in whom God may be at work in a community. Often, these people or “households of peace” are like a gateway relationship into a family, neighborhood, or community. Consider prayerfully seeking them out as you go about living more intentionally.
While we’re not required by Scripture to use this approach, we can see this pattern or principle in the New Testament:
- Luke 7:1–10 (The Centurion)
- John 4:1–30 (The Samaritan Woman)
- Acts 8:26–40 (The Ethiopian Eunuch)
- Acts 10:9–11:1 (Cornelius)
- Acts 16:13–15 (Lydia)
- Acts 16:22–38 (The Philippian Jailer)
We can often recognize the person of peace because they will:
- welcome you
- receive you
- be open to you and your friendship
- be open to what you have to say about Jesus
- be interested in and open to the life you live as a follower of Jesus
- assist or serve you in some ways
Review the passages above and look for these six characteristics.
GO AND DO
As you go about your daily life, learn to pray and be alert to these people of peace. Be intentional; look for them. Calibrate your spiritual radar so you can “catch” the opportunities God provides as you simply pray and look around.
Be intentional about seeking out people of peace, and expect that God will be at work in some. Only the Holy Spirit can open blind eyes and change hearts and grant repentance and faith in Christ. Pray to encounter people of peace, listen to and learn their stories, and then be ready to tell your own story (testimony). Finally, though, be sure to tell them the gospel.
As you meet these potential people of peace, remember to let Jesus be the filter. We go in Jesus’ name, with His authority to be and make disciples, so we need not fear if we meet some people who are NOT people of peace. It’s true that some won’t welcome us or want our friendship. As we identify with Jesus, they may reject us. They may not be open to friendship with us. That’s okay—Jesus is a divisive person. Let Jesus be the filter.
Consider the following ideas for finding persons of peace and becoming a person of peace:
- Bold prayer: Pray and ask for Persons of Peace to be brought across your daily paths.
- Prayer walking: Prayer walk in different kinds of neighborhoods and communities.
- Meet people: Get out and be with people. Spend time in strategic places and areas the Spirit has laid on your heart as you have prayed and talked with others.
- Intentionally sow broadly: Actively go to a number of places and people—as the old adage goes, don’t just fish in one pond.
- Tell them the gospel: In your conversations, use Jesus and the gospel as your filter.
- Use honest questions: Ask questions about their passions, difficulties, and things that are important to them. Ask if they are interested in learning about Jesus. Ask them if they know others who may be interested.
- Urge a response: Invite them to respond to the gospel, and invite them to learn more about Jesus in the Word.
- Reconnecting: Ask for their contact information so you can reconnect and continue the conversation.
- Remember the Spirit: Regardless of how you think it went, expect that God the Spirit is at work bringing conviction and opening hearts—expect the unexpected.