COMMUNITY RESEARCHERS ON ASSIGNMENT
Jesus preached about the Kingdom of God. In his many lessons the Teacher taught the students how to study everything for signs of the emerging Kingdom. We read about how he used his followers to do community research that would reveal where the Kingdom was most welcome.
Jesus sent people who would study in dangerous conditions. Disciples are to go to places before Jesus’ arrives there. They were to look for people who were receptive to peace. If they were welcomed, they should stay with the peace-loving people.
Jesus told them to take their time and stay in these places. Don’t be quick to leave a good place. Embrace the culture of a new place—eat the food, observe the customs, adapt to the surroundings.
We cannot go arrogantly to any place if we want to stay focused on God’s Kingdom. Richard Foster gives good advice for the discipline of a good student. “It soon becomes obvious that study demands humility. Study simply cannot happen until we are willing to be subject to the subject matter. We must submit to the system. We must come as student, not teacher. Not only is study directly dependent upon humility, but it is conducive to it. Arrogance and a teachable spirit are mutually exclusive."
As you study people and discover their dysfunctions, hurts and weakness, pray for sick people and bring healing to them. Tell them that God is in this place; the King has arrived in their house.
There are also places that you will not be welcomed at. In the place that rejects the messenger, don’t let the dust of that town stick to you. Learn to communicate clearly with those who reject you and your Kingdom message. Let them know that God’s love has come near and that is what they are missing in this place.
How are you at studying receptivity to God’s Kingdom? Too many people spend their time in places that do not welcome God’s peace. They co-dependently spend their time feeling rejected and defensive when they should communicate clearly and move on. Every place you go can be studied for its readiness to experience God’s Kingdom. Love the haters and move on.