By Allen White
“Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” Matthew 10:9-15
Jesus’ disciples went out with no itinerary. No hotel reservations. (You’d think they would have learned from Mary and Joseph’s experience.) No rental donkey. No key contact that they knew of. But, Jesus knew.
Jesus knew some would help and others definitely would not. His advice: move with the movers. If the person they approached wouldn’t cooperate, move on. If the person was unwilling, unable, distracted or just stubborn, they didn’t need to waste their breath convincing them otherwise. It’s just not the right person.
When my friend, Josh Bradley, decided to plant Element Church in Woodruff, South Carolina, he had no building, no members, but a lot of friends and God who led the way.
On one of his first visits to the town, Josh met a woman who was very interested in a contemporary church starting there. In fact, she offer Josh 2,000 square feet of space for the church office!
Now, Josh wasn’t going door to door on Main Street looking for office space. He was just checking out the town and meeting people along the way. On that day, Josh met a “worthy person” or as some translations say, a “man of peace.” In this case, a woman of peace.
Volunteers from Brookwood Church divided the space with walls, donated the office furniture, and installed much needed air conditioning. Not because Josh twisted their arms, but because God put it on their hearts to follow the vision for that church.
What about you? What are you trying to get started? A new business, ministry, initiative or neighborhood watch? Don’t focus on who doesn’t get on board. Look for an ally – a man or woman of peace.
Whether you’re launching a small group or trying to get co-workers or neighbors to join you in something, ask God for the right partner to get started.
Don’t rely on how you expect things will happen. That will only lead to frustration. Don’t count on who you think should help. That will only lead to disappointment.
Ask God. Let people know what you’re doing. If they say, “yes” then you’re making headway. If they say “no,” be gracious to them. God’s got somebody else in mind.
Who should be “moving” in your life, but isn’t? Who have you not thought to ask? Start by asking God.
More from Allen White: allenwhite.org