God is the One who opens hearts and converts souls. One of our key roles as cell leaders, pastors, or church planters is to find that person or persons in whom God is working. These Divine appointment are often called persons of peace.
The reason for this name comes from Luke 10:5-7 when Jesus sent out His disciples to ministers, “When you enter a house, first say, â€˜Peace to this house.â€™ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, 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).
Whatâ€™s this all about? It basically means that God is the One going ahead of us and He prepares people to listen to the gospel message. Our job is to look for those who are open to the message. And after finding that person, we need to have the right atmosphere to invite the person to.
The principle is well illustrated by the Conversion of Lydia. The Lord simply opened her heart. In Acts 16:ï»¿13ï»¿ff we read, “On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. ï»¿One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paulâ€™s message. ï»¿ï»¿ When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. â€œIf you consider me a believer in the Lord,â€ she said, â€œcome and stay at my house.â€ And she persuaded us.”
It’s easy to get frustrated when leading a cell group or pastoring a church because of the lack of fruit. One of the key questions we need to be asking is “where is God already working?” Who are the “persons of peace” who God is calling. Then we need to be willing to go with God. I’ll talk more about this concept on Wednesday.