And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” (John 12:32)
More Muslims have come to Christ since 9/11 than in the previous 14 centuries combined. The Wind of the Holy Spirit is truly blowing through the house of Islam, drawing Muslims to Jesus. Every day Muslims are coming to Christ. What is your part in this great end-times harvest?
We recently gathered a group of missionaries with combined decades of experience working in the Muslim world to provide some pointers on outreach among Muslim peoples. "Reaching Muslims: an Open Door" was a wonderful time of equipping and encouraging. Following is a brief summary of some of the points that came from that gathering:
Hospitality is Key
Caleb Camp reminded us that the "open door" to reaching Muslims may be our own front door, as hospitality is a core value in many areas of the Muslim world. It is a form of a love language, and as we invite people to our tables, it opens up opportunities to develop relationships and to sow seeds that will bear kingdom fruit.
Hospitality is an outward expression of an inward work that God has done in us. It is also a key Biblical value that is too often missing in Western contexts. The early church thrived "breaking bread from house to house" (Acts 2:46). The first missionaries were instructed to live on the hospitality of others (Luke 10). It is also fascinating to notice how much of Jesus' earthly ministry involved a meal. Hospitality is a spiritual discipline that must be cultivated. Prepare your house to receive guests.
Lydia Camp exhorted us to educate ourselves on cultural norms, so as to not inadvertently dishonor our guests or create uncomfortable situations. At the same time, don't allow a lack of cultural training to hold us back. When people can tell that we are making efforts to honor them and to respect their culture, much can be forgiven! Moreover, we must be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and be willing to cross those cultural barriers when necessary.
Particularly when interacting with refugees, it can be important to honor those cultural norms to help them feel comfortable. These are typically people whose lives were uprooted suddenly and, in many cases, violently. This can be compounded with extreme cultural shock upon arriving in their host nation. Simple efforts at making them feel comfortable by trying to honor their culture can go a long way towards building trust and developing relationships.
Proclaim the Gospel
"Brother Matt" reminded us that the "Word of God is living and active" (Hebrews 4:12) and works powerfully in peoples' lives. Moreover, it is the work of the Holy Spirit to "convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:8). We don't need clever approaches or sophisticated apologetic arguments to introduce Muslims to Christ. Instead, we need to be genuine in our outreach, inviting them into our lives and being willing to become a part of theirs. Be prepared to respectfully share the reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15).
Prayer is one the most powerful tools at our disposal, so continue to pray for your Muslim friends. Any fruit that we have seen among Muslim people has always been the product of prayer. Pray for God to send dreams and visions that will draw Muslims to Jesus and confirm the truth to them.
Be a Friend
God loves Muslims. He is working among them, drawing them to Jesus, and He invites us to be a part of this work. John Weaver encouraged us to step boldly into this mission. We are not simply trying to "make converts" however. If we are to be effective in this mission, we must be willing to play a "long game," and develop long-term relationships with our Muslim friends. In the process, you will find that you develop life-long friendships.
Practice hospitality and be open to the hospitality of others. Be a friend. Definitely proclaim the Gospel when opportunities present themselves, but if they sense they are simply a "project" to you, they will feel dishonored and disrespected, and a door that had been opened will be firmly shut. Respect that it can be a long process for Muslims to come to faith in Christ. Many Muslims are open to prayer. If we offer to pray with them in the Name of Jesus, many will accept and appreciate that offer. Pray with reverence, and genuinely be prepared for God to answer your prayer!
In the following weeks we will be publishing a series of posts on outreach among Muslims. If you have specific questions, or there are particular topics that you would like to see covered, please reach out to us at email@example.com . You can subscribe to the blog on our website here: p28global.com