DISCUSS the “Person of Peace” essay using the prompts below:
1. What is a “person of peace?”
2. “Our job is not to convert people—that’s God’s job. Rather, our job is to be aware of those who are already sensitive to God’s stirring.” How does this truth free us in sharing our faith? What responsibilities does it place on us?
3. Think through the last year or so of your life. Who might be a person of peace that God has brought you to? What steps can you take to further discern this?
4. In the story of Philip and the Ethiopian, we noticed four characteristics that brought Philip to the Person of Peace. Which of these steps might be most difficult for you? Would you add any other steps, either from the text or from your own experience?
Philip was sensitive to God’s leading (v. 26, 29)
Philip responded to an invitation (v. 31)
Philip is ready with biblical answers (v. 35)
Philip pointed him to Jesus (v. 35)
5. Identify at least one person of peace in your life, and pray for them together to close this meeting. Pray for eyes to see God-given opportunities, for wisdom, for compassion, and for courage. Remember, we’re practicing hospitality by inviting people into God’s family. Who doesn’t like to be invited?! Who is waiting for you to ask?
ASSIGNMENT: Read the essay, “Making Room,” located below.
By Megan Koch, revised by Jake Thurston
“When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” —Romans 12:13
“Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.” —Hebrews 13:1-3
“That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit. The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.” — 1 Peter 4:6-9
The Gospel is the good news that God’s kingdom has come through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, who now rules over all. Because of Christ’s work, we are now forgiven for our rebellion against God, justified as righteous, granted eternal life, and can grow in holiness. And if that weren’t enough, we are welcomed into the family of God, the fellowship of believers known as the Church. We’re in.
Evangelism happens every time we invite someone into life with Jesus. Because we now experience the fullness of grace and love that comes from being a part of his family, then we get to make room for everybody else to join in, too. We are so flooded with Christ’s goodness, grace, power, majesty, joy, and love, that we want to invite everyone we possibly can to be a part of his Church. When they come to Jesus, they don’t just get a new “religious status” on Facebook or start changing their habits. They’re adopted into the family. God’s family, to be exact. They’re no longer an outsider. They’re in.