“There’s a family at church who is originally from the middle east…. The husband frequently goes back in what I think is some form of unofficial mission work. One time we heard that he went back to baptize some new converts but before he got there some of them were killed for their new faith. His life is often in danger too. Last week we heard he had just come back here and said that Muslims are coming to Christ in unprecedented numbers…it’s like they’re running to Jesus. The Christian workers there can’t keep enough Bibles and literature in stock to give them! Just wanted to tell you that.”
This was part of an email I received from a family member this week. How encouraging of a note, right? Big stuff is going on around the world with the unreached, probably most of which we here in North America have no idea about!
And that was one of the points of the book “Miraculous Movements” by Jerry Trousdale. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims around the world are falling in love with Jesus! And these movements of entire villages coming to Christ are not being instigated by well trained American missionaries. Instead, we see numerous examples of “simple” people reading the Word of God, engaging in passionate prayer for their lost brothers and sisters and then boldly going into places in spite of danger.
Don’t do mass evangelism, just focus on one family!
Disciple people toward salvation?
How do you react to those statements? Do they make sense? But when we look at the practices of Jesus when He was with us, the statements agree with His practices. Like the book says, these practices are counter-intuitive. Traditionally we want large numbers of salvations because that shows we know what we’re doing.
But Jesus taught us in Luke 10 to enter a town, find a family and stay with them. We call this the Person of Peace principle. They will be the one that takes the message you’ve brought into their family and friends. Jesus also showed us that the most fruitful way to lead people into His kingdom is to walk beside them. We cannot arrive in a location, preach the Gospel and see people saved and then leave. Instead, true salvation comes when we slowly introduce people to the truths of the Bible and teach them to discover them on their own. Only then will that new disciple embrace Jesus and even more importantly go out and teach others to do so.
Prayer is an absolute must.
Personally, I give mental consent to this statement, but I still find my actions in disagreement. Every great movement into the Kingdom is born out of prayer. And the many stories in the book once again confirmed this truth. There is a mystery in prayer, but every mature Christian will agree that the very act of petitioning the Lord to do the very actions He wants to do, works! But yet, we engage in best practice seminars, vision casting conferences and endless years of seminary training. All of which are not bad, but end up building our confidence in ourselves to do the job instead of depending on God to break through.
Finally, I want to key in on the point in the book about the hardest people yielding the greatest results. This mirrors a thought brought up in “Organic Church” by Neal Cole. Do you want to find the soil most ready for the seeds of the Gospel to grow? Then go to where the most “fertilizer” is. Jesus’ actions mirror this as well. (Hmmm, let’s change that to the actions mirror Jesus.) Christ was always with the dirtiest people because He knew that they were ready for rescue. We need to remember to ignore our fears when we are directed by the Holy Spirit to go to someone or to someplace that seems impossible for a church to be planted. Because we simply don’t and can’t know what God is up to.
And doesn’t that describe working with Muslims perfectly? Our media tells us that we should fear Islam and its followers. The devil tells us we should never bring the Gospel to them because they will never listen. The soil looks absolutely rocky, infertile and mostly dangerous to us. But as we see in Miraculous Movements, these conditions are a lie and God is doing something amazing among our Muslim cousins. Read this book and begin to engage in prayer for our Muslim cousins to meet Jesus.