“ who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God.”
The Sergius Paulus would be one of a team of managers who looked after the welfare of the city of Paphos. As soon as they arrive into the city he is sending for the missionaries as he wants to hear the gospel message.
Recently I was able to host a Church Planting Forum, the speakers of which were 3 of our most prolific Church planters in the Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist world. We discussed many things including the man of peace (Luke 10:6).
Sergius Paulus was perhaps the man of peace for Barnabas and Paul. Here is what we discovered at the recent forum and of course there has to be cultural awareness and application for each nation we are in:
- The Person of Peace is the one God has prepared to receive the gospel for the first time into a community. This can be a man or woman who has an influence in the community for example, elder, employer or police officer. They will welcome to you, listen to the evangelist’s message, help with the evangelist’s livelihood and offer hospitality in their home.
- The Person of Peace is found through prayer, good discernment and ministry. The evangelist/missionary will equip this person to be the church planter for their community.
- The Person of Peace who hears the gospel and accepts Jesus Christ as their Saviour will become the focus of attention. The evangelist will focus on this household and will not move around. The person of peace will often make disciples of this household/ family and will often take on the responsibility of reaching their community for Christ. The evangelist will teach the person of peace and their family how to study the word of God.
- The Person of Peace will then look to reach their community and invite people to their home to share the gospel with them. A bible study is then formed, usually with a group of up to 10 people. Emerging leaders are identified and then trained to lead the bible study group and form a ‘house church’
Sergius Paulus was an intelligent, important person in the community. Barnabas and Saul had struck gold.
Who is the influential person in your community? Who is God trying to show you? Are you praying for such an opening? Is this part of the strategy of your discipleship?