How do we find people who are spiritually open and are willing to hear more about Jesus?
When Jesus sent his followers to spread the news about him, he gave some specific instructions, including how to identify people who are open to hearing his news.
Read the following story and note down what stands out to you.
Luke 10:1-12 (Jesus sends out the 72)
What did Jesus tell his followers to do?
What instructions seem a bit odd or don’t fit our culture? What would some modern-day equivalents be?
Whilst out caring for our neighbourhood one day we asked a lady who lives near us if there was anything we could ask God to help her with. She was very lonely and really appreciated the care and she was happy for us to pray for her. Upon asking her if she was up for us visiting again and sharing a story with her, she said she was happy to. She welcomed us back the following week and we had a great time looking at a Jesus story together. When we asked her if there was anyone else she knew who would like to join us, she said she’d ask some people she knew. Over the following weeks a few of her friends joined us, and sometimes a family member would be visiting and would join in hearing and discussing the story. Here is a definite Person of Peace who was open to the messengers, open to the message and open to the mission.
How did the people in this story identify People of Peace?
How do you feel about finding People of Peace?
The diagram belows summarises who a Person of Peace is and how we can identify them.
Receives the Messenger
A Person of Peace is open to relationship with you as a follower of Jesus Christ.This is not just that they like you (who wouldn’t – you’re lovely!), but that they are interested in and welcome the spiritual aspect of your life.
A great way to see if someone receives you in this way is to see what response you get to the question: ‘Is there anything I can ask God to help you with?’
Receives the Message
A Person of Peace is also open to hearing about Jesus. This could be that they ask you questions, like hearing stories about your walk with God, or are willing to engage with the stories and teachings of Jesus.
A great way to see if someone is willing to receive the message is to see what response you get to you saying, ‘I have a story in mind that I’d love to share with you. Would you be willing for me to share this with you at some point?’
Receives the Mission
A Person of Peace is also someone who is wlling to open up their own relational network to you and the message that you carry. They are not just interested for themselves personally, but for their family and friends. In that sense they receive your mission to spread the news about Jesus to a wider group of people.
A great way to see if someone receives the mission is to see what response you get to the question:,‘Who else do you know who might be willing to join us as we discuss stories about Jesus?’
[The 3 Ms are taken from www.everywhere2everywhere.org]
As a whole Missional Community, start to map out on a large piece of paper all the different people you are connected with who could potentially be people of peace. Encourage people to write down their immediate family, friends, work colleagues, fellow sports-club members, etc.
In groups of 2-3, role-play a typical conversation with a potential person of peace and practice asking the three questions below. This may initially feel a bit odd, but doing this really helps prepare you for asking these questions in real life.
- ‘Is there anything I can ask God to help you with?’
- ‘I have a story in mind that I’d love to share with you. Would you be willing for me to share this with you at some point?’
- ‘Who else do you know who might be willing to join us?’
Take some time to pray in your groups for God to lead you to People of Peace and to give you the opportunity and confidence to ask these questions.
“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.”
Other Bible passages:
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