There are a host of risks that a Muslim seeker considers prior to becoming a Christian. There are also associated questions to answer. Some of the risks and questions are below, from the perspective of a seeker:
Losing God and heaven: The way I believe says that becoming a Christian means hell for me. Am I sure about Christianity?
Losing nation, culture, community and family: If my family and community reject me, I may have to leave my family, community, culture and country. Will I even fit in anywhere? Will people value me for who I am rather than treating me only as a convert? How will I properly pass on the heritage that I still love without family and community support?
Losing status in life: I value the status that I have because of my family name and my own status, but could lose all of that if my family and community follow Sharia law. What will become of my life? Will I also be disinherited?
Losing friends: If my friends reject me, I will be very lonely, especially if my family does and I also have to leave. How will I be able to cope?
Losing financial security: Because of community reaction, I may lose my job if I stay and will almost certainly lose it if I must leave. How will I survive? Also, if I have to leave in a hurry, I may lose all of my possessions. Again, how will I survive?
Losing my life: If I become a Christian, those around me, and perhaps even a stranger, may use Sharia law or the country’s apostasy law to kill me or have me killed. Is it worth dying to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?
A Muslim seeker faces losing his or her identity, relationships, possessions, future and even his or her life if he or she follows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Muslim seekers face an immediate hurdle of laying down their entire lives to follow Him. From talking to hundreds of Muslim background believers — former Muslims who now follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior — the answer is clearly, “It’s worth it!” God provides help, mercy and grace, and meets needs. The road is rarely smooth, and is often difficult, but I can tell you from experience that knowing God in Christ is worth paying any cost.
Keywords: Muslim seeker, cost of conversion, worth it
Some estimates say that there are about 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. While some of them are decidedly against outsiders, most of them are loving, hospitable people, even to outsiders. Yet, they are mainly unreached by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Being devoted to Christ (see previous post) means doing what He says and becoming more like Him. Part of that means loving those whom He loves. There are more than 2 billion Christians in the world, but only about 4,200 missionaries to the entire Muslim world. Thanks to their sacrificial efforts, there are currently about 10 million Muslim background believers in the world. That means that less than 1% of Muslims have become Christians. As stunning as that number is, consider that surveys estimate that 80% of Muslims do not even know a Christian.
I have heard many reasons given for not reaching out to Muslims. Among them are that Muslims are strangers or that they are considered enemies. For Christians, those are not really excuses because we are called to love the stranger and our enemies.
I write these things not to bring up guilt or shame. Those are poor motivations to reach out to people. Christians have the privilege of responding to the love of God that moves out of their spirits and reaches out to invite others to know the blessings that we have received. We get to invite others into the blessing that we know every day.
Some people feel the tug of the Holy Spirit to reach out to Muslims, but do not know what to do. They may even feel unprepared, especially when they consider that missionaries usually prepare for 2 to 4 years before entering the Muslim world. Many could not spend that long to prepare even if they wanted to.
The task involves at least two things: 1) equipping Muslim background believers to grow in faith so that they can extend God’s kingdom; and 2) evangelizing Muslims. Among the many problems encountered while trying to complete this task is the Muslim community’s reaction to a Muslim becoming a Muslim background believer (“MBB”) – it isolates and persecutes the MBB. MBBs need easily accessible biblical teaching in a format that can show them how to progressively grow in their new faith.
My books give MBBs the opportunity to progressively grow in their faith even in isolation. The books also help Christians accomplish the task described above by giving insights into Islam and Muslims. They further provide practical steps for reaching Muslims and then discipling them.
To disciple an MBB, Christians can use Discipling Muslim Background Believers. It’s in an handbook format and contains a discipleship reading path that guides the reader through various short sections that will: help an MBB grow in faith; correct misconceptions about God; help an MBB deal with spiritual and physical problems that MBBs commonly face; and help them start and grow small groups and even churches.
The discipleship pathway also deals with evangelizing Muslims, another part of reaching out in Christian love to the Muslim world. The Muslim seeker pathway helps a Christian understand how to reach out to a Muslim and provides several ways that I have found useful in reaching out to Muslims.
There are Bible studies that correspond to the discipleship and seeker pathways, providing those reaching out to the Muslim world readily available materials for starting small groups.
You don’t have to be a missionary to use my books, though they would be useful for missionaries. The books neither follow nor prevent the use of any specific outreach methodology because the handbook, to which the other four relate, is a reference book. It can be used effectively in a variety of ways. The handbook can be useful to Christians who are just beginning to minister to Muslims and to those who have been ministering to Muslims successfully for decades. Christian ministers that have looked at them have remarked that they are clear, easy to use, and don’t require lots of reading in order to be useful.
My books can help equip Christians to effectively reach out to Muslims and disciple Muslim background believers.
Salvation and church growth are God’s work, and He invites Christians to join with Him in that work. He is calling some of us to reach out to Muslims. If you feel that tug in your heart, respond to God’s call and get yourself equipped for the work. The extent of Muslim response, in some ways, depends on how Christians respond to that call of the Holy Spirit.
Imagine what would happen if even a slightly larger portion of 2 billion Christians would effectively reach out to the Muslim world with God’s invitation to join His family and to grow in discipleship.
Keywords: Christian, evangelism, gospel, MBB, MBB discipleship, Discipling Muslim Background Believers