In my book, Help! I Am a Pastor, I have included eighty core values for church leaders which will increase intentionality and proactivity in building a healthy culture and in responding well to challenges that appear in ministry. Some of these core values are:
Core value #44 – I seek to listen and understand before I seek to be heard and understood
Core value #52 – I am God pleaser, not a people pleaser
Core value #64 – I am careful in the words I use regarding those I am having difficulty with
Today’s blog is about core value #18 in the book: In any people group my ministry wants to influence, I look for the “son of peace” (or “daughter of peace”) to work through – Jesus told his disciples to do this in Luke 10:6. When they went to a new city, they were to find a person to primarily work through in order to reach the people there. I embrace this profound strategy in reaching people, whether in another nation or in a group in our area such as youth, seniors, young adults, business people, or others.
This truth comes from Luke 10 when Jesus sent His disciples out to minister.
“After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go . . . But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house” Luke 10:1-8).
It is interesting that Jesus said, “Do not go from house to house.” He told them to look for someone who is responding and stay there. They were to make that relationship a priority investment in reaching an entire city.
Missionaries who have traveled to other nations have implemented the finding a “son of peace” principle to win over a whole group of people, but this practice is something we are to apply to different cultures in the environments we live in (whether it be single mothers, the homeless, millionaires, those who have had abortions, millenials, etc.). God does not just call us to influence people just like us. As we connect with “a son or daughter of peace,” we not only find a primary person to partner with to accomplish a mission, but we also have someone who will help us understand and love the people in that culture (which are the foundations for positive influence).
Finally, let me talk about a broader truth from this teaching. Jesus sent them out two by two, and then said to look for the “son of peace.” We are not to do our callings and assignments alone, but we are to partner with someone else to fulfil our purposes. As we realize this, our eyes will be opened to who God has placed in our lives to help us advance God’s Kingdom in our families, workplaces, neighborhoods, church ministries, social groups, schools, and in other places.
Here are some questions to consider:
Who are you called to influence?
Who is to partner with you in this calling?
If it is another culture, what “son of peace” do you see to mainly invest in?
What do you need to cut back in your life to be able to have time for your most important relationships?
When we find our “person of peace”, we will see significant increase in our ability to change the world in positive ways.
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Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.