What is a Person of Peace?

February 25 2013

What is a Person of Peace?

The teaching on the person of peace described in Luke 10:1-20 and similar gospel instructions of Jesus in Matthew 9 & 10 and Luke 9 form the only explicit New Testament instruction on how to evangelize.  From this passage we can see that a person of peace is:

  1. A person of receptivity.  He gives food and lodging to the evangelists who went ahead of Jesus
  1. A person of referral.  Since the evangelists were instructed not to move from house to house, the most logical way for them to connect with the whole town was through the relationships that the person of peace introduced them to.
  1. A person of reputation. From the Luke 10 instructions and the fulfillment of those instructions in the following passages, it seems clear that a person of peace is a person of reputation, (they have a known reputation, either good or bad).

Review the scriptures cited below to see if Jesus’ pattern of discovering and staying with a person of peace to announce the Kingdom of God in word and deed was played out in the following passages.

    • Zacchaeus – Luke 19:1-10
    • Andrew – John 1:40-42
    • The Samaritan woman – John 4:1-42
    • The lame man at Beautiful Gate – Acts 3:1- 4:4
    • Cornelius – Acts 10
    • Lydia – Acts 16: 11-15
    • The Jailer – Acts 16: 25-34

In Every Community for Christ, we are teaching evangelistic church planters to pray for look for, stick with, and disciple persons of peace.  We then empower persons of peace to reach their family, friends, and other people in his or her network with the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ.  As we talk to people who have given serious attention to sharing the Gospel and planting churches, the vast majority can describe one or more persons of peace who has multiplied the impact of his or her ministry. 

Who will seek Persons of Peace? Who will multiply the local church? Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: evangelism, person of peacetraining

Greater Love

February 18 2013

Greater Love

Three of us sailed to a village called N- to give baptism to 11 people from four families. It took us four hours by boat to travel. We conducted the first worship service at that village. When I asked Yu (55 yrs) why they decided to become Christians, his answer was quite simple. He said, “I was a witchdoctor and village priest. But when I look around my surroundings, I began knowing that it is not good to be animists anymore for my community. Then we all turned to the major religion of the country. But we found difficulties in some of its teachings, like if you can give more (merits), you will get salvation. Since we are poor, we can’t donate enough money to get to heaven. We even struggled to propitiate evil spirits by offering our animals while we were animists. 

When we got sick and needed to be hospitalized, we saw a great difference between believers of other religions and Christians. There is no visiting, no care, no prayer among other believers and animists. But there is in Christians. Even though they don’t know us, they care and love one another as brothers and sisters. They visit and help with whatever they can. I found great love in this religion, which I think is the mark of true religion. Your missionaries told us that there is forgiveness if we repent and believe in Jesus and get salvation which is free, attainable even for the poor like us. That’s why we decided to believe Jesus and become Christians.”

We entered Yu’s house, and we did what they called house cleaning. That is removing all the items relating to animism or other religions. At one corner, we found some bones of animals and leaves that were used for spirit worship. We also found a picture of monks, tracts and flowery leaves that are offered to an idol. After prayer, we did consecration of the house.

After that we held the first service sharing the full account of the Gospel, inviting them to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord and gave baptism.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).

Who will help to fulfill the Great Commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: church planting, evangelism, person of peacevictory over darkness

Two Lives Shared and Multiplied (part 2)

February 14 2013

Two Lives Shared and Multiplied (part 2)

(part 1 is posted February 11, 2013)

Tamara and Endla asked God to open doors for them to begin reaching out to the lost. OMS Missionary, Brent, met Endla at an evangelism seminar which he led. She learned how to pray for the lost, care for the lost and share with the lost. Impacted by the message Endla approached Tamara at the women’s bible study with a plan to do something. They wrote a list of names of people who didn’t yet know Christ and started praying for them. 

The name Tamara in Hebrew means ‘palm tree’ and is symbolic due to the beauty and fruitfulness of the tree. Tamara’s fruitfulness blossomed when she and Endla decided to go and care for old people. In the town there is a home which cares for pensioners, the disabled, people under state care, intellectually handicapped, and people with other special needs.

Endla, who has recently turned 80 and Tamara in her 60’s, knew that visiting others was something they could both do. They could make an impact in that place. They could bake cakes for the residents and celebrate their birthdays. With permission from the institution’s administration, they armed themselves with a cassette player and some Christian music tapes, just to play Christian music. The first time they met, four to five people came just to listen. Some were blind, others couldn’t read. It wasn’t the traditional way to start a Bible study but God was present and just as powerful.

Choir singing is a big thing in this country. Every five years a choir festival attracts approximately 150 thousand people. A specially constructed amphitheatre sets the stage for the choir of 26 thousand people, including children!  

Knowing the importance of music in this segment of Europe, Tamara and Endla played songs and discussed them as a way to interest them in spiritual things. Next they offered to pray for them. Five people now attend regularly. That’s not a huge group, but God doesn’t need huge to accomplish his work. Tamara and Endla don’t know yet if any are believers but they are committed to introducing God to these people who have no family, no visitors and to whom society treats as non-existent.  

Through attention and devotion these ladies are planting the seeds of the love of God, true Christianity. It’s the seed of a little house church. The administration is seeing first hand that it is not just Endla and Tamara who care, but that God their Creator also loves and cares deeply about them and seeks a personal relationship with them.  

You saw with your own eyes how discreet and courteous we were among you, with keen sensitivity to you as fellow believers. (1 Thessalonians 2:10 The Message)

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: evangelism, outreach, dynamic service, missions in Estoniahouse church

Two Lives Shared and Multiplied (part 1)

February 11 2013

Two Lives Shared and Multiplied (part 1)

(part 2 posted February 14, 2013 ~ related post December 10, 2012)

Two ladies, Endla and Tamara, are members of a small historical church in a town in the most secular country in Europe. Though this little church of about 50 members functioned during the soviet years, people in this area often have a distrust of the ‘church’ and religion in general. There is however freedom to register and operate as a church and you can receive a license for public preaching events without difficulty. 

Tamara, who had been a long time member of the church, quit attending services several years ago when things got boring. “The church was stale,” she openly acknowledged, “and wasn’t going anywhere.” 

Sunday worship and loyalty to the Christian community took on a whole new life when both Endla and Tamara visited a women’s small group. This weekly fellowship had something that drew them back week after week. They weren’t bored, didn’t become distracted, but instead found that their interest and desire to study God more and deeper affected the whole rest of their week. 

Piret, a full-time insurance broker and ECC worker led their weekly study. They began to see that God wanted them to serve him rather than just soak up all the blessings for themselves. As Piret quietly and steadily fed into their lives, they saw that God had work for them to do and the Christian life could be one of dynamic service. They were amazed to observe that they had progressed from people who fulfilled what they believed to be their religious duty by going to church each week, to realizing that God had a call on them as believers to look beyond themselves and their own spiritual journey to looking for the needs of others.

You saw with your own eyes how discreet and courteous we were among you, with keen sensitivity to you as fellow believers. (1 Thessalonians 2:10 The Message)

 

Tags: faith multiplied, small group, transformedservant

Caribbean Stories

February 6 2013

Caribbean Stories

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42

On my recent ministry trip to the Caribbean I was accompanied by five Canadian couples. What a blessing it was to have them be a part of the team to encourage and bless our brothers and sisters in Christ! One of the couples gave me a sum of money to give where “I saw a need or where someone could be blessed.”

During our trip we were having dinner with a pastor and his wife. They were in town due to the pastor’s health. He is diabetic and is losing his vision. During our conversation we were discussing Christmas and the meaning of Christmas. The pastor’s wife mentioned that years ago their family had a Christmas tree, but in recent years no trees or nativity scenes were permitted. Now, they wanted a tree for their children but could not afford one. I "saw a need” and felt led to give them some of the money to purchase a tree.  I cannot express the emotion they showed that evening.

The following day we were speaking to a pastor from another town who was giving us an update on his wife’s health. We have been praying for her. She has a broken jaw caused by lack of calcium and is being fed by a feeding tube. The doctor told them, "Until you get a floor in your home, your wife should not be living there because of her health and the danger of falling.” They only had a dirt floor, with some cement. They estimated what it would cost to replace the cement and dirt floor with some tile.  It came to almost the exact amount I had left to be given “where someone could be blessed.”  God is good! They will soon live in their home with a tile floor.     -Willie

Before I knew Christ, I was a very violent person, given to drugs and excessive drinking. I thank God that I met Jesus and accepted Him into my life. My desire is now to live for Him. The training sessions have been a great blessing and teaching for my life and have revolutionized my life. The day after I accepted Christ, I opened my house up for worship services and since then many more have opened their homes.     -Pablo

A young woman in the eastern part of the country was very involved in her work. One day, at five in the afternoon, someone came to her door and shared Jesus. She gave her heart to the Lord that day. She has been attending the local church but had not become involved in the training to plant churches. She attended a workshop last week, and it was reported that she had already brought 11 people to the church. Since the training classes, she has six new believers that have given their hearts to Christ. She is beginning a new house church next week.     -Allison

These are some examples about how God provides through His people as they obey the call to GO, GIVE and PRAY. Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

 

Tags: God's provision, house church, life change, trainingtransformed

A Story of Proof

February 4 2013

A Story of Proof

Jose was the first convert in his family, but he desired to bring his whole family to the Lord. As Jose prayed for the right time for the conversion of his family, an ECC trainer discipled and trained him, using Train and Multiply materials. As a result, he was equipped to stand as a young leader of the church.

Glory be to God, because, today, Jose’s parents and his siblings are now serving the Lord. They have offered their old house, where they have been conducting regular worship gatherings and trainings free of charge, to the church. Jose is leading people to Christ, and he serves as a small group Bible study leader and one of the lay preachers of the church as well.  

May God continue to extend the godly influence of Jose’s family to their community.

Marcos, ECC Country Coordinator

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.”  Acts 16:31

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: train & multiply, person of peace, servant, trainingtransformed