If you have not already done so, read Read This First before going on. Fast Facts
One in four people in the world identify themselves as Muslim.
There are more Muslims coming to Christ now that at any time in the previous 13 centuries.
Muslim peoples reside in the following regions;
East Asia; there are 50 million Muslims in China. The largest Mosque in Asia is in China.
Pacific Asia; there are almost 300 million Muslims in Indonesia and Malaysia.
South Asia; there are 25 million Muslims in India.
Central Asia; the “Stans” (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan)
North Africa and the Middle East; the Arab world
Sub-Saharan Africa; Tribal muslims
Read verses 11,12
Paul often traveled to major cities to do ministry. Global urban centers are still strategic locations for those desiring to bring the gospel to the unreached Muslims. Before reading on, list several reasons why you think this might be so.
First, people are migrating towards the cities in numbers never seen in human history. To give you an idea of the scale, consider these facts. In 2000 there was only one city numbering over 20 million (called a Meta City). That was Tokyo. By 2050 there will TWENTY THREE Meta Cities! The largest will be Lagos, Nigeria topping out at 64 million! Tokyo will have fallen to number ten on the list. Six of the top eight will be located in Asia. And then there’s this startling fact. The total of urbanites in 2050 will exceed the total world population in 2008. If you want to go where people are, go to the cities. Source; The Future of the Global Church, by Patrick Johnstone.
Second, urban dwellers are uniquely freed up to discuss personal and spiritual matters that would otherwise remain taboo or be dangerous if they were still ensconced in their home community or tightly controlled family units. Gospel discussions become free game in the urban setting.
Third, urban centers are truly places where the world gathers. It is not uncommon to interact with people from several countries in a relatively small geographic area. This presents the opportunity for the gospel to head out from urban centers in 360 degrees to the rest of the world. They are the center of the hub. This is not true of rural settings.
Finally, there is the disillusionment of discovering that the urban setting isn’t all it was hoped it would become. Unemployment, crime, the hopelessness of feeling stranded, and cross cultural stress, all contribute towards an openness to the love, hope and joy of the gospel.
With all this in mind, how should this shape our attitude about urban centers as a strategy for brining the gospel to unreached Muslims?
Read verses 13-15
You never know who you’re going to meet on a mission trip. Hiding out in the “mission compound” prevents these key relationships from developing. Don’t be surprised as you engage people, you meet some who are open to a more complete understanding of the gospel. Some people are surviving on a theological fragment of the gospel. They need others to come along and supply the missing pieces of the gospel puzzle. What gospel fragments might exist in an unreached Muslim people group?
What verses of Scripture are guaranteed to bring any Muslim, who has migrated to an urban setting, to lasting genuine faith in Jesus Christ? Before reading on, come up with some answers as a group.
The answer is, whatever verses the Holy Spirit sovereignly chooses to bring that particular Muslim migrant from unbelief to belief. In other words, there are no magic bullet verses. My personal observation of Muslim background believers (MMB) is that God uses multiple places in Scripture to cause true conversion. In one case, God even used verses from the book of Matthew (written for a Jewish audience) to bring a Pakistani Muslim to faith in Christ. What does this say about the strategy to bring the gospel to Muslim migrants in urban settings?
It’s a challenge to live here. But a lot of the easier places to get to already are reached with the gospel. And it’s the forgotten places like this that haven’t ben touched with God’s word yet.
How should this shape our mission to unreached Muslims?
Their heart language is a totally oral language.
How does this change our traditional approach to informing people about the gospel?
What place do stories take in this context?
If you had to pick three stories from the gospel to share orally, what would they be? Explain.
People have been Muslim for hundreds of years and even don’t consider an alternative to being that.
How might you introduce the gospel to people with this engrained mindset?
A lot of what we do is meet people, get to know them, go out to the market to start spiritual conversations. To discover people of peace who want to study the Bible with us.
How might this approach create spiritual momentum among unreached Muslims?
There are several wonderful biographies of people who have ventured out to bring the gospel to unreached peoples in East Asia. Decide as a group if you’re going to read one together or many separately. The following discussion quotes are lifted from the recommended readings below.
“God asks us to give up the good for the best. Benge, Janet; Benge, Geoff (2013-04-24). Samuel Zwemer: The Burden of Arabia (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) (Kindle Location 285). YWAM Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Are we doing this? Explain.
“John Wesley once said, ‘Give me a hundred men who fear nothing but God, hate nothing but sin, and are determined to know nothing among men but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and I will set the world on fire with them.’ Benge, Janet; Benge, Geoff (2013-04-24). Samuel Zwemer: The Burden of Arabia (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) (Kindle Locations 290-292). YWAM Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Are you becoming part of the 100? Explain.
When Sam heard him sing it for the first time, it brought tears to his eyes. “There’s a land long since neglected, There is a people still rejected, But of truth and grace elected, In His love for them. Softer than their night winds fleeting, Richer than their starry tenting, Stronger than their sands protecting, Is His love for them.” Benge, Janet; Benge, Geoff (2013-04-24). Samuel Zwemer: The Burden of Arabia (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) (Kindle Location 421). YWAM Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Summarize this song.
Read Global Starting Point 21
Explore the mission agencies listed on this site and decide if you are to Support Others by adding people to your World Team or if you are supposed to become a Goer Yourself.