Why do we have to reach Muslims?
By Ray Mensah
I was recently asked to teach a course on “Christianity and other World Religions” at a theological institution. As I prepared my lectures, I came across an article by a mission leader who reaches Muslims. He estimated that 99 per cent of Christians do not know how to share the gospel with people of other faiths. That staggering statistic got me thinking. The World Christian Encyclopedia states that 81 per cent of non-Christians do not know a Christ-follower. This mission leader might not be far from the truth then, I concluded.
Some churches, mission agencies, training centres and missionaries specialize in reaching Muslims, and they are doing a good job. We highly commend them and their gallant evangelists and missionaries.
There are also excellent training courses as well as many books. (See many of these mentioned in our article You can reach out to Muslims.) These resources should be made more accessible to the Body of Christ to equip millions of believers to effectively reach Muslims. This is a matter of urgency, a clarion call.
Two of the top reasons why believers don’t reach Muslims are fear and lack of knowledge on how to effectively share the gospel with them. The average Christian shares his or her faith with nominal Christians, then skips the Muslim. A large percentage of believers also think we are serving the same God and, as such, there is no need to evangelize Muslims. This needs to be corrected in our churches by our pastors.
Our Lord Jesus Christ stated categorically in Matthew 9:38 that the “harvest is plenty, but the harvesters are few”. This applies to Muslims too. The Muslim harvest is plenty but the harvesters to reach them are few.
Over the years, I have found that, contrary to people’s perceptions, many Muslims are open to the gospel, and many are ready to know the truth. Just yesterday, I was on a university campus and shared the gospel with Muslim students. They were open and, wanting to continue the conversation, furnished us with their phone numbers. I pray that by the grace of God, these interactions will result in acceptance of Christ as their Lord and personal Saviour.
We need to passionately pray for the Lord of the Harvest to raise more missionaries to reach Muslims and for the salvation of Muslims across Africa and the world.
Some Muslims are encountering the Lord through dreams and visions and are getting saved because someone shared the gospel and prayed fervently for them.
Among the several reasons why we must urgently reach Muslims, I will highlight two. Firstly, Christ gave the Church the Great Commission. We must make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20) and we must “go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone” (Mark 16:15). Surely, “everyone” includes Muslims.
Secondly, Muslims make up the largest unreached group in the world. According to Joshua Project, 1.8 billion Muslims live today and there are 3,467 unreached Muslim people groups. We cannot over-emphasize the urgency to re-focus our efforts in praying and intentionally sending more workers to reach Muslims; equipping all Christians in all our churches and allocating more missions giving to reaching Muslims.
Ray Mensa Mensah serves as Director of OneWay Africa and President of the Ghana Evangelical Missions Association (GEMA). He is also the Editor of the Voice of Missions magazine and oversees the Livingstone School of Missions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.