The Sales Representative in your department wears a skull cap to work?
The owner of your favourite bakery faithfully takes a break each Friday afternoon to go to the nearby Mosque?
Looks like you have a Muslim friend you want to share the incredible news of Christ with. But what does the word “Muslim” bring to your mind?
Radical Islam? Cops?
Angry, bearded faces? Extremism?
Recently I shared my experience at the Church Leaders Prayer Fellowship (CLPF) Pune. This group prays for the advancement of the gospel of Christ in Pune through church communities. Last week, CLPF members prayed for Muslims in Pune. A brother spoke from his experience interacting with this community God longs to reach with Christ’ love and His sacrifice for their sins. But how do these people find about Jesus who they regard as a merely a prophet?
God is always at work – even among Muslims
The speaker opened by naming different Muslim communities living in our city. I was astounded to hear of such a variety of communities – Ansaris, Khans, Boras, Sheikhs and more- in Pune. He also shared one story of a Muslim man accepting the gospel and surrendering his life to Jesus, his Saviour, in the face of hostility from his own family.
He went on to speak based from Colossians 1, sharing that –
1) It is only hearing and understanding the grace of God in truth (Col 1:6), the good news of forgiveness and new life through Jesus Christ, that will help our Muslim friends and neighbours follow the living God, just as those in Colossae did.
2) They must hear the good news spoken to them by someone. The Colossians heard it from a Christian called Epaphras (Col 1:7). This needs to be spoken always with love, gentleness and humility.
Must not the Muslims know and love Him?
This is obvious right?
But what would it take for us to bring Jesus to Muslims before they shut their ears?
The Muslim cop, the Muslim engineer and the Muslim house wife have dreams, joys and failures in their lives. Do you feel you don’t know how to start a basic conversation with Muslims? They are just regular folks, as weird and as normal as you and me! Maybe you could begin by saying a greeting they know well- As-salamu alaykum (Peace be upon you) !
Are we Christians called to alienate a community who already feels cornered by the world, whatever be the reason?
Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. Meanwhile, here is J.D. Greear on common misconceptions Muslims may have about the Christian faith.