Mon, 04/14/2008 – 18:56 — David Watson
Gaining access to a community is the first step. Finding the Person of Peace is the next step. Actually, if we do things right, the Person of Peace will find us. Learning how to be found is the key to the Second Transition Point.
The most common mistake I see in finding the Person of Peace is a misunderstanding of who the Person of Peace is. The Person of Peace is not simply a good person, or hospitable person, or friendly person. There are many people in every culture who are good, hospitable, or friendly, but are not Persons of Peace.
The Person of Peace is the one God has prepared to receive the Gospel into a community for the first time. There are two major categories of Persons of Peace – some are Persons of Peace by nature and some become Persons of Peace as a result of God’s direct intervention in their families or communities. There are numerous examples of both categories in the Bible. Cornelius and Lydia are representatives of the “Person of Peace by nature” category. The Philippian Jailer and the Samaritan Woman at the Well are examples of those who became Persons of Peace through the direct intervention of God.
In all these examples, however, the evangelists were conspicuously spiritual people who lived out their faith without apology. And this is the secret to finding the Person of Peace. We must live out our faith as conspicuously as possible. This is not about being religious. It’s about being spiritual.
God condemns being religious. Simply look at how Jesus related and spoke to the Religious leaders of His day. Or, take a look at how God spoke through His prophets in the Old Testament. Religion was not well thought of or supported by Scripture.
God has a tremendous amount to say to us about being spiritual – rightly relating to God and His creation through a personal relationship with Him. This is about faith. This is about living out our faith in all circumstances and situations regardless of consequences. This is about loving God and loving people. This is about obedient thinking and living. This kind of life draws people who are interested in spiritual matters and opens the door to communities for establishing obedient bodies of believers who’s Head is the Lord Jesus Christ. We have to unconditionally live out a spiritual life to make evangelism and church planting happen.
So, in reality, finding the Person of Peace is more about us and our lives than it is about finding the Person of Peace. If we are the people we should be, those who will want to start churches will come to us. This is more than just living a good life. It’s living an obedient life that demonstrates the love of God and shares the Word of God in such a way that the lost become saved, the saved become obedient, and the obedient make more Disciples for the Lord Jesus Christ, resulting in self-replicating Disciples and churches of Jesus Christ.