Abu Da'ud


Really love rather than hear, “Love? Really?”

While the desire to see Muslims come to Christ is an indication of love, treating people simply as potential converts makes them feel like projects. Our love for them has to be for them as individuals or they will likely reject our message.

Most Muslims know that Christianity is based on love, and are looking to see the love written in the Bible displayed in our lives. I was looking for it in my Christian friends, and saw little of it at first. They only related to me at that time in order to convert me, showing little care about me otherwise.

I listened patiently to them for quite some time, but then decided to tell them how I felt. I told them that if I had to become like them in order to be a Christian, then I never wanted to be a Christian. I felt that they lacked love for me, denying the validity of their message. When they heard it, they, to their credit, went and prayed long prayers of repentance before God, asking for another chance to share the love of Christ with me properly (I found out about this after I became a Christian). They changed. They began treating me like a person rather than a target, and some of them even became friends. That was much more convincing to me than them trying to make me convert. Their change was certainly not the most important part of me becoming a Christian (divine intervention was), but it did help.

What I am writing is not limited to Muslim ministry. I think that all people want to be treated with love. Non-Christians measure us by our love for them and for other Christians. We probably should ask ourselves how we’re doing in that area. Let’s really love rather than have those we’re ministering to and interacting with say, “Love? Really?”

Keywords: Muslim ministry, real love

Some reasons to prepare to minister to Muslims, even if doing so is not part of your main calling

Why should I care about Muslim ministry, especially if I’m not called to it: 

  • More than one in five people in the world are Muslim. It is likely that you will meet eventually meet a Muslim if you have not already.
  • We’re told by God to love everyone.
  • God’s purpose is to reach the lost and we should be about His purposes and love the way He does.
  • There’s an unprecedented move of God among Muslims, with more Muslims coming to Christ in the last 60 years than in the previous 1,350.
  • The world is becoming and ever smaller place, and it is likely that you will encounter a Muslim and have an opportunity to minister to them.
  • It’s best to be prepared to love your neighbor. A part of loving and entertaining strangers is to be prepared, if led by the Holy Spirit, to invite them into the family.

Keywords: Muslims, prepare, love, learn

MBBs often struggle with the pessimism discount

MBBs face an inordinate amount of disappointment, not the least of which comes from rejection from family, friends and community. The pessimism discount involves discounting what people say, hopes, expectations and faith because of past experience – and not limited to people and things that have let them down.

The result is a sense of constant disappointment because they are believing that bad will happen, and are essentially experiencing the feelings of bad circumstances even if the bad does not happen. This expectation can corrupt relationships, especially with God.

To help MBBs avoid this negative stance, please show them in the Bible who they are in Christ, how much God loves them, and that He has good plans for them. It is likely that they will need reminders over time as they learn how to transform their thinking guided by your teaching and led by the Holy Spirit.

Please note I’m not talking about a lack of wisdom. Some situations and people need to be avoided.

Keywords: Discipeship, MBB, pessimism discount

A way to understand MBBs: combine two analogies

Christians ministering to MBBs often ask me how MBBs feel when they become Christians. I think one way is to consider and combine two analogies.

The first analogy is someone who suffered a devastating back injury, had surgery yesterday, and must now relearn how to do almost everything. Please think through the pain, much of which cannot be understood by casual observation because the debilitating wounds are mainly internal and the scars are hidden. The injuries force the injured to have to focus intensely on relearning even the simplest tasks, all while dealing with constant, terrible pain.

The second analogy is a person who has moved to a new continent with little or no preparation, doesn’t speak the language and has few or no friends nearby to offer advice or help.

An MBB has to relearn much of what they know about life because they have entered a new kingdom. They must do so while experiencing the terrible pain of rejection and loss, and perhaps even abuse and torture. The people around them may not know how to help, and the MBB may be isolated by their community. The MBB does not know the culture of the new kingdom, and will make many mistakes – often painful ones. MBBs will have umpteen questions, many of which won’t get answered, leaving them frustrated. They might even feel hopeless, thinking that things will always be this way, leading them to leave Christianity.

The above offers a small taste of the life of an MBB.

Keywords: MBB discipleship, two analogies

What God, our Healer, often prescribes for deepest pain

God often does things in ways that surprise us. He did so with my deepest pain, which came from being rejected by my family. It’s the kind of pain that many MBBs face. It plunges the depths of a soul, ripping and stabbing. It’s not just debilitating, it’s way deeper than that.

The first few times it happened to me it felt existential, not because I wanted to take my life (I didn’t), but I thought that I would die from the pain – I could not take it. I’m a very rational person, and could usually handle pain quite well. This was different – it was far beyond my ability to control.

I noticed two things about my reaction to the pain. I wanted to shut my heart, and I wanted to not be around people. Both of these reactions I now know to be completely counterproductive. I wanted to protect myself from feelings and relationships. God did not allow me to go in those directions. He had a prescription for me, one that may be useful to others.

God’s prescription for my pain surprised me. I say prescription because it happened so often that I’m sure that it was not a coincidence. He gave me opportunities to serve someone else. Now, I’m not talking about giving to get. In fact, I often did not realize that there was an opportunity to serve – it just came. Sometimes a friend who needed help would call. They told me of their circumstances, and compassion and scriptures would rise up in me and I would talk with my friend. Or, I would see a need and simply reach out to help.

My unplanned responses came from deep within. I know now that it was coming from my spirit, the one God gave me. The Holy Spirit was making sure that my heart would stay open that I would stay in touch with people. After reaching out, I noticed that I felt better. There was less pain, and it usually stayed away.

I had only been a Christian for a few months or years during this period, but I knew that I could not get into the trap of serving people in order to be healed. I knew that would not be real.

I began to ask God to lead and guide me in that area and to protect me from loving other people for my benefit – which is not love because love does things for others for their benefit. Years later, I woke up one day expecting that same old pain to be deep in my soul. I looked for it, and could not find it anywhere. While there are times that the memory of rejection still hurts, it is easily dealt with by remembering God‘s love for me. The pain of rejection no longer holds sway in my life. God’s prescription worked.

For MBB’s who are hurting, please ask God to heal your hurts, as well as to make you sensitive to opportunities to serve others, especially in the midst of the deepest pain. While that may seem counterintuitive, I believe it will help you. I’m sure I’m not the only person that this has worked for, because it has worked for other MBBs. I also hear it from people that I know that are going through other types of deep pain. I would also ask that you make sure that you are not giving to get, which only adds to pain.

For those who are friends of MBB’s and are working with them, please be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit regarding helping MBBs serve others. Of course, you will need to use wisdom regarding timing and opportunity, but I trust that God will lead you. You will likely find that as they reach out, they will feel better and become more fruitful than if they had not reached out.

Keywords: MBB, dealing with rejection, discipleship