Peer to Peer Network Evangelism
One of Our Inspirational Devotions
Start with your peer to peer network
I believe most followers of Jesus are open to learning how to make disciples. A question I often hear is, "Where should I begin?" My answer is, "Start with your own peer to peer network. These are your natural networks."
Matthew, one of Jesus' 12 disciples, gives us an excellent example of this principle. "Follow me," Jesus said, and Levi (Matthew) got up and left everything and followed him. Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with him (Luke 5:27-29). Matthew used his own peer to peer network to introduce others to Jesus. We can do the same thing.
Jesus' disciple-making pattern
In the Kingdom of God, success is succession. Jesus wants you to see yourself a disciple-maker. To spread his DNA from one life to another, Jesus practiced and taught a disciple-making pattern that is simple and reproducible at the grassroots level. This universal pattern is initiated through natural social networks. It was modeled by Christ and imitated by the early church.
Household = network
The biblical concept of a peer to peer network is found in the word household. One's household describes their network. Related words are family, home and house. In the first century, this basic social web included many people: family members, relatives, neighbors, employers and employees, co-workers and friends. The gospel flows through hearts. A household is a peer to peer network of people whose hearts are already connected. Therefore, one person can easily influence many. The gospel multiplies naturally within networks and from network to network.
photo courtesy of sjcockell
How many acquaintances?
Veteran small group expert Neil Cole notes that the average person has fifteen hundred acquaintances in life, with older and wealthier people tending to exceed that number. Are you looking for someone to disciple? Begin with your family, social, and professional networks. Right now God is preparing someone in your network that you already know. Ask Jesus to guide you to the person who is ready to welcome you and receive your message.
At my company we have a weekly Bible study. Years ago, two marketing divisions were merged together. Immediately there were many new work associates I didn't know. I informed one of my new co-workers about our Bible study and extended an invitation. Her response was one I will never forget. She said, "Thank you for the invitation -- it was truly an answer to prayer."
Beginning Christian discipleship
provide a natural entry point for God's grace and wisdom. Where do you live, work and play? Who are in your networks? If you are available to God, he will lead you to someone who is ready to receive his love.
Author: Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
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Discussion questions for your Sunday School class or small group:
1. Where are your natural networks?
2. What inspires you to become a disciple-maker? How do you define a disciple-maker?
3. Would you commit to praying for natural opportunities to share God's grace?
We'd love to
hear from you.
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