We talk a lot in the Disciple Making Course about what a Person of Peace (POP) is, and how to identify one. But, what should you do when you’ve met one? In this article, we’re going to examine four things to do when you’ve found that God-prepared person.
1. Remain and Stay
When Jesus sends out his 72 disciples to find POPs, he doesn’t give much instruction. But what he says is enough.
“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. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.” Luke 10:5-7
When we see the phrase stay there in Christ’s instructions, the Greek word used is menō. Other ways this same word is translated in the New Testament include to remain or abide. It’s a suggestion that we not just physically stay nearby the POP, but that we show up for them, fully present relationally and spiritually. As stated above, the word for stay can also mean to remain or abide. It conjures up memory of John 15, where Jesus tells us to abide in him. The relationship he describes is one of mutual connection (v. 4a “Abide in me, and I in you.”), action (v. 7b “You will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”), and blessing (v. 11b “that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”).
So, get to know this new person as a genuine friend and not just some project. When they ask you for something, try to do it. And ask them for favors as well. In many cultures, friendship is expressed through acts of service. Finally, be a blessing to them. Pray for them, encourage them, and try to serve them.
2. Eat and drink
When my wife was a teenager, she went on a short-term mission trip to Romania. In an attempt to mitigate the inevitable offenses of a group of hormone-filled teenagers, the organization sponsoring the trip had many rules. But the most unexpected of these rules was to eat what’s set in front of you. To this day, my wife recalls having to eat a traditional Romanian breakfast every morning, which includes two of her least favorite foods—tomatoes and eggs. But nowadays, she is thankful to have learned to value the hospitality of others, regardless of personal food preferences. She even adds tomatoes to her salads every now and then!
Simply put, food is a love-language across many cultures of the world, and a quick way to the heart of a POP is to eat the food they give you.
3. Deserve your wages
There was once a man who wanted to keep his children from growing up sheltered from the rest of the world, but he lived in the suburbs of an American city. So, he decided to take his family on a trip to India to serve the poor. While he was there, he met two young pastors who wanted to reach the poor and asked for his help. He agreed, and over the next several years, researched strategies to reach the massive amount of needy people in that region of India. He came across the concept of Disciple Making Movements, which seemed promising, but there was one problem. The Indians he was working with didn’t think they could make disciples. For them, this man was a smart, wealthy, powerful guys from America. Surely, he was the one who needed to accomplish such a great mission.
But this idea completely fell apart one day when that man was diagnosed with cancer. Humbly, he pleaded with the brothers and sisters in India to pray for him. They laid hands on a cloth, prayed over it, and mailed it to him. On the days when he felt the most desperate, he would plunge his hands into his pockets and hold onto those cloths for hope. Through this experience, the Indians realized that in God’s eyes they are no different from the American man. So, when God answered their prayers and healed the American man, they felt empowered to make disciples that multiply. Since then, they’ve started a movement of over 800 house churches among the poor in India!
The moral of the story is this: Be needy! Like a worker who needs his wages in order to provide for his family, try to keep yourself from being on a pedestal.
4: Do not move from house to house
Do you remember being in high school and rolling your eyes at adults who were trying to be cool? Perhaps they tried to use some youthful slang incorrectly, or unnaturally? That’s what it can feel like when an outsider inserts themself into a social circle they are not a part of. So, instead of going around from house to house, getting to know all the POP’s friends, just build relationship with him or her. Your goal is for the POP to be the one to influence their social circle, not you!
Have you found a POP yet? If so, you’ll want to follow these simple principles to help you build a friendship with them and become an encouraging coach. Don’t forget to remain, stay, eat and drink, deserve your wages, and do not move from house to house. We’d also love to be a resource for you and your POP friend through Waha, the app designed to make Discovery Bible Studies so easy your friend will be able to facilitate one without any training. You can download it today at waha.app/download!