People of Peace - 1
Bob & Mary Hopkins
Welcome to the first in a four-part series from some of the wisest people that we know! Bob & Mary come with many years of experience in mission, evangelism and church-planting, as well as a wealth of research into what works where and with who.
We're privileged that they gave us so much of their knowledge and time, and we think you'll love these sessions.
Firstly, read the two passages of scripture below. They form the basis of all of the teaching for the next four sessions. While reading, allow the Holy Spirit to highlight things to you. What would this look like where you live?
Matthew 10:5-15 (The Message)
Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:
“Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.
“Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.
“When you enter a town or village, don’t insist on staying in a luxury inn. Get a modest place with some modest people, and be content there until you leave.
“When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don’t welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way. You can be sure that on Judgment Day they’ll be mighty sorry—but it’s no concern of yours now."
Luke 10:1-12 (NIV)
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
‘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.
‘When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal those there who are ill and tell them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, “Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God has come near.” I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
Now watch the first session from Bob. Also provided is the powerpoint he refers to across all four of the sessions, if you want to scroll through as you watch.
Questions for you/your group
How do we prepare the soil before/as we sow seed in mission and evangelism?
What is your experience of sowing? Would you agree that it is the harder work?
Do you agree with Bob's motivation and inspiration for mission? Are you sometimes motivated by different things?
Think of a person you are currently praying for/sharing Jesus with. Is the Engel scale/metro map helpful in terms of thinking of their journey of faith?
In this session Bob mentions some research done by John Finney into how people have come to faith. This research was published in 1996.
For some exciting up-to-date research into perception of Christianity and evangelism today, check out Talking Jesus.