We live in a critical time where Jesus is calling us to go to the ends of the earth with the gospel, but as we look around at our universities and neighborhoods we see the ends of the earth have come to us. And with that we see there are many people with an Islamic background in our neighborhoods and on our campuses.
With anyone, and specifically Muslims, I encourage people to take a relational model of evangelism.
The first thing to do is to start praying for them. Nothing will motivate your heart more than you praying. Through prayer, God will reveal needs in that person’s life that he will call you to meet.
Second, we must serve them. For me, a lady poured into me by teaching me the English language when I first moved to America. She gave me a Bible that eventually led to my faith in Christ. Some Muslims are brand new to our country and simply need help with setting up a bank account or buying groceries for the first time.
Next, we must ask good questions. A lot of evangelism is asking questions. A great example is Philip who asked the Ethiopian in Acts 8, “Do you understand what you are reading?” He replys, “How can I unless someone guides me?” So starting with a question like, “What do you believe about God?” or , “What really is the goal of life for you?” Another great question that seems so basic is “How can I pray for you?” This is a great way to get Muslim men and women to open up and share whate their needs may be.
As God opens the door for you to share the gospel, a Muslim needs to hear the message of grace. They need to know we are saved not by our own efforts or works but by the finished work of Christ. When a Muslim hears that, they may object saying, “what is the motive to live for God if we are saved by grace?” We need to communicate very clearly that grace transforms. We live for God, but not as a way of earning his approval. We lieve for God because we have first been loved. We do not live out of fear as if he were going to reject us and send us to hell. We know he has already approved us and love is a much more powerful motivator than fear.
As Muslims see the love in our lives, especially in a season where many expect to be ostracized in our culture, it will be a very powerful way for us to demonstrate the gospel.
Afshin Ziafat is the Pastor of Providence Church in Frisco, TX, and guest instructor at the Kanakuk Institute.