The person of peace is a concept that relates to the world beyond our ongoing network of relationships. This is the second lens that we want to equip everyone to look through, to see, to keep in mind all people of every people group, tribe, tongue, and nation and you use different filters.
There are different tactics, different approaches for dealing with this part of the world.
In this part of the world, the person of peace is a key concept. The term person of peace or man of peace or house of peace comes from Matthew 10 and Luke 10. In Matthew 10, Jesus is giving instructions to his 12 disciples as they’re getting ready to go out and do ministry. In Luke 10, he’s giving instruction to the 72 before they go out and do ministry. There are a lot of parallels in the two passages and there are also some differences. But we won’t worry about those right now.
One of the things that’s the same in both of these settings is that Jesus is instructing his followers to go look for these households of peace. They are to locate these by whoever shows them hospitality.
So he tells them to go out without resources, you know to in a sense, go out needy and whoever meets their needs, whoever will provide for them, whoever will take them into their homes, they’re to proceed on the assumption that these are households of peace — of persons of peace.
Then they are to stay in that house, not move from the house, eat what’s set before them, and in a sense minister the Kingdom. And if it does prove to be a household of peace, then Jesus says your peace will remain on it, because you’re here to bless that house. And this person of peace is in a sense a Stackpole. It’s a cornerstone for establishing a new spiritual community — a new church in this place.
His disciples were not going to be living in these places, they weren’t going to be going there regularly, they were going out to seek to establish the kingdom in these villages where Jesus was about to come. These households of peace were the cornerstone of what God wanted to build in that place.
So how do we find these houses of peace or these persons of peace, one thing is that we can do something very similar to what Jesus commanded his disciples to do.
Sometimes I’ll go to a place and I’ll ask them, is there anyone in this place that is a good person who has the welfare of others as their primary concern. They’re not always selfish, they’re not all seeking their own gain, their own benefit, but they’re seeking to bless others, and if the same name comes up two or three times I’ll seek to find that person and get to meet them.
Once in a while you’ll be in a place, I’ll ask this and people will say what have you been smoking, you know look around you, do you think there’s anybody here like that. There’s nobody here like that. Well in that case, rather than looking for a person of peace, I might look for a gathering demoniac or a Samaritan woman at the well, you know somebody who’s just so bad that when they turn to Christ, it’ll draw others.
But that’s not what we’re talking about here, we’re talking about people who are thoughtful for others and have the welfare of others in their hearts.
Another way that I can find these people sometimes is that I’ll start a spiritual conversation with someone out prayer walking or something like that and if they demonstrate some openness spiritually I’ll ask them would you be willing to gather some friends and family together and we could talk about this further, and if they’re willing to do that, that’s a good sign that they may be a person of peace. They’re willing not only to find something good for themselves but think of others, their friends, and family that they would want to share this with.
We talked about the greatest blessing, so sometimes if I lead someone to faith, I’ll go through that whole greatest blessing process and if they are faithful in sharing with others what they have just you know come to believe then I will proceed on the assumption that they are likely a person of peace.
Now this seems in some sense it’s counterintuitive to us especially in the West. We have this very egalitarian view. And we have this attitude like, “Oh, I want to go to every door or make sure every person has a chance to hear the gospel.”
But, if you think about it, Jesus’s way actually makes a lot more sense. If this is not our community that we’re ministering in — because if everybody hears the gospel and some believe, but then we have to leave — how are they going to be brought to maturity? How will they be coached in a way that they will in turn multiply other disciples?
If we invest deeply into the few, then we can equip them to the point where they can be the testimony. They can spread the gospel. They can take responsibility for their community. And so our time is actually better invested because we’re aiming for multiplication. We’re aiming for disciples, not converts.
So this idea finding this person of peace is critical to multiplying disciples especially among every people, tribe, tongue, and nation — those beyond my normal network of relationships.
More Multiplication Concepts
This concept is part of the “Multiplication Concepts” series by Curtis Sergeant. Consider working through the entire series and challenging someone you know to do it with you. See an entire list of the concepts in the article titled “Multiplication Concepts”.
This same concept is taught in the Zúme Training course using video animation and is translated into 40 languages. This concept is taught in Zúme Training session 5 called “A Person of Peace and How to Find One”.
Zúme Training is an on-line and in-life learning experience designed for small groups who follow Jesus to learn how to obey His Great Commission and make disciples who multiply.