Abu Da'ud


Discipleship materials specifically for MBBs needed

Christian evangelism and discipleship are necessarily intertwined.  However, while there are many types of materials for evangelizing Muslims, there are too few discipleship materials specifically written for MBBs.  Those materials that do exist are not easily referenced.  Many MBBs need questions answered in a hurry because of their extreme circumstances.  They need easily referenced, practical, biblically-based materials.

Keywords: MBB, discipleship, materials, MBB-specific

Discipleship minimum standards increase for a Christian in a Muslim context

In a previous post, I discussed some discipleship minimum standards – the level of discipleship that a Christian must attain to learn, grow and be fruitful in their context.  Those minimums need to be increased in a Muslim context because of circumstances.  Muslim background believers (“MBBs”) face ostracism and isolation in ways that many Christians do not.  Because of this isolation, they need easily-referenced materials that can be directed by others or also allow self-directed study that provides guidance so that the MBB will cover necessary topics.  They also need teaching about dealing with intense persecution, the possibility of being a secret believer for a period, spiritual warfare and forming their own fellowship. 

Forming their own fellowship means they must learn to effectively share the gospel with Muslims using methods that are successful with Muslims, as well as learn how to form small groups and even churches.  They must also be provided with materials that will guide them through this process.

The materials described in this post will, Lord willing, be available from me in 2019.

Keywords: discipleship, minimums, MBB, increase, minimum standards, Muslim context

What is discipleship?

One of the very last things that Jesus did was to tell His disciples to make more disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).  What is discipleship?  Discipleship is teaching someone to follow a person or a belief system.

In Christianity, Christian disciples follow the teaching and ways of Jesus Christ the Messiah, who is God.  He became a man, being born of a virgin, and died on the cross and was resurrected three days later.  Those who turn away from sin and turn to God, believing in their heart that Jesus was raised from the dead and follow Him as their Lord and Savior become Christians, disciples of Jesus Christ.

Being a disciple of Christ certainly means that the disciple must learn the teachings in the Bible.  At minimum, the disciple should be taught: the foundational teachings in Hebrews 6:1-2; righteousness, prayer and communication with God; and how to read and study the Bible.  The disciple should also be baptized, be in fellowship with other Christians in a small group or church, learn to minister and be ministered to in the power of the Holy Spirit, and learn to share their faith with others.

The main focus of a disciple’s life should not be on what they do.  The focus should primarily be on knowing and loving God and others, as well as growing in character.  That character development should reflect the fruit of the Spirit which are listed in Galatians 5:22-23.  One of the attributes in the passage that should be present and growing in a Christian’s life is love, which is more fully described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  Other good character traits are also included in Jesus’ sermon on the mount in Matthew 5-7. 

A Christian should also be able to teach others how to follow Jesus as a disciple.  There are many evangelism methods available to Christians, who can learn as many as they think they need.  With these methods, knowing and understanding the verses above, and growing in the character described above, a Christian is well equipped to make other disciples. They can then teach those disciples how to properly follow God and to make even more disciples.

The process of successful discipleship should not be viewed simply as making a disciple, but rather as making a disciple that makes disciples.  If the initial Christian is considered generation one, and their disciple is considered generation two, then the production of generation three is essentially a confirmation that much of the teaching is being properly transmitted and received, especially if the character of generation three is conforming more and more closely to the verses describing character above.

Keywords: discipleship, relationship, God, fruitful, minimum standards, sustainable

God wants, but does not need, a relationship with mankind

Love chooses to give the best it can to another, without regard for its own pleasure or benefit.  God is love (1 John 4:8).  He, by nature, seeks our benefit without looking for or needing anything from us.

Both the Old and New Testaments state that God needs nothing from man.  An example from the Old Testament:

I don’t rebuke you for your sacrifices.
    Your burnt offerings are continually before me.
I have no need for a bull from your stall,
    nor male goats from your pens.
10 For every animal of the forest is mine,
    and the livestock on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the mountains.
    The wild animals of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls,
    or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving.
    Pay your vows to the Most High.
15 Call on me in the day of trouble.
    I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”  Psalm 50:8-15 WEB

An example from the New Testament:

25 neither is he served by men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself gives to all life and breath, and all things.  Acts 17:25 WEB

It is important to know that He wants us rather than needs us because it makes the nature of the relationship even clearer – He chose us because He wants to be with us.

God is good (Psalm 119:68).  He does good things for us not because He needs to, but because He wants to.  He wants a relationship with each of us, to be good to us for our benefit.

Keywords: God, love, want, need