MBBs face an underappreciated life shift

MBBs need new structures in their lives because of an underappreciated life shift that occurs when they leave Islam. In the Quran and the Hadith, Islam contains over 3,600 commands and traditions that Muslims are to follow. Many commands and traditions govern specific day-to-day activities of Muslims, including how far up their arms they must wash prior to prayer. There is a tremendous shift in their lives when they become Christians.

While the Bible has some specific dos and don’ts, the Law and prophets are summarized in the command to Christians to love God fully and to love our neighbors as ourselves. The New Testament deals much more with principles than with specific actions. MBBs lose specific guidance, and need new structures in their lives, because much of what they used to do automatically is now gone and there is nothing to take its place. The lack of specificity can lead, in some MBBs, to a profound sense of disorientation. Most disciplers do not actively help MBBs develop new structures, partly because many are not aware of just how much the new structures are needed. Some of those that are aware may not know which structures are most useful.

In my MBB discipleship handbook, Discipling Muslim Background Believers (available for sale on the home page), there are descriptions of new structures that are helpful, two of which are spiritual disciplines and the Christian holiday calendar. These two structures give an MBB things to do every day and some meaningful celebrations to plan for, filling to some degree the lack of structure that they might otherwise feel. That sense of structure makes it much easier to deal with the upheaval and suffering that many MBBs face upon their decision to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Keywords: MBB discipleship, structure, spiritual disciplines, Christian holiday calendar

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