Unlikely People

Written by: Chris Galanos

God loves to use “unlikely” people!

Remember John & Peter? They were unlikely. 

Acts 4 records that as Peter & John were preaching to the people after healing a crippled man, they were confronted by the religious leaders because they were preaching about Jesus’ resurrection. This made the religious leaders very upset, so they arrested them & put them in jail. The next day the religious leaders brought them in and started questioning them. You’d think Peter & John would’ve been scared to death because these guys could have them killed. Instead it says Peter was filled with the Spirit & began to boldly challenge these leaders. I love what it says next.

Acts 4:13-14“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.”

Peter & John were just ordinary people. They didn’t go to “seminary” & had no special training in the Scriptures. They were unlikely to be used by God, right? Wrong! They were just the type that God loved to use. And their boldness amazed the religious leaders. 

God loves using unlikely people to do his work because then there’s no way they can boast before him. He gets all the glory. This is how Paul said it.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29“Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.”

I heard a story this morning of God using an unlikely person to do something extraordinary.

Let me share a little back story.

As we’ve been leveraging every area at our church for DMM, our Youth Pastors also made changes in our Youth Ministry. One of the things they’ve done is begin to expose the students to movement principles. They use the DBS process in their small groups. They’ll often spend their corporate gatherings sharing testimonies and praying or going out on prayer walks rather than doing an attractional service like they’ve done in the past. They’ve been casting vision to the students that God can use them to make disciples & plant churches. They’ve been encouraging them to start groups at their schools. They even have what they call a “catalyst group” which is a group of students that they have taken through the DMM training & are deploying in schools. It’s been amazing to watch!

This morning a teacher at one of those schools sent me a message on Facebook. This is what she said:

Hey Chris! I wanted to share with you that one of my 7th grade students who is in the eLife youth group has started a Bible study in my room before school one day a week. He is a quiet young man who doesn’t fit in socially (and seems to be fine with it). I was amazed as I listened to him read a portion of Scripture and say, “We are going to talk about what this says about God, what this says about people, and who we would share this with if we had the opportunity.” He then went on to say that that is what they do in his youth group and that he had been encouraged by his youth leader to start that group. Wanted you to be able to share this with your staff. Good stuff!

Wow! A 7th grader starting groups!

Notice how the teacher described him. “A quiet young man that doesn’t fit in socially.” Sounds like just the type of UNLIKELY person God would use to catalyze a movement! Can you even imagine the kind of boldness it takes for a “quiet” & “socially awkward” person to start a group with friends at school? That only happens if God fills you with his Spirit & you’re ON FIRE for him!

I’ve never seen a movement of God among students, but if I had to guess how it would break out, it would be through a description like that teacher gave above. Probably not a Youth Pastor preaching a great sermon that lots of kids come & listen to. Probably not something in a church building. STUDENTS, not adults, being TRAINED and DEPLOYED to go out among the lost in their schools & start groups. That’s exactly how I would imagine it would happen!
Our Youth Pastors have been casting vision to the students to reach all 40,000 students in this area! DMM is the only strategy we know of that could accomplish that, so it’s what we’re using with students as well. And we know movements often happen through ordinary, unlikely people being filled with the Spirit of God & boldly going out among the lost to make disciples & see churches planted.

This just reminded me again today of what I’ve heard from movement practitioners around the world. They always say not to guess who you think God is going to use to catalyze a movement. It’s often unlikely people you wouldn’t have picked. Therefore, train everyone, and then watch to see who GOD uses! It will often be an unlikely person you wouldn’t have expected. 

And guess what that results in? MORE glory to God!