Witnessing to Muslims wisely
By Jared Oginga
- Fear and ignorance: Seek to understand Islam as a system, and Muslims as a people loved by God, but trapped by the system. Ignorance and fear from Christians hinder witnessing. A Muslim will understand the Gospel in proportion to how you understand his faith, and him as a person.
- Build meaningful relationships and love sincerely (Rom. 12:9): Muslim evangelism is primarily about building genuine relationships and friendships. Get to know the person’s job, family, friends, etc, and go deeper. Find out his fears, joys, daily struggles and hopes. This relationship must come from love, and he should feel the love of Christ through you.
- Build trust: Christians are not superhuman beings; we have our failings. Share your reality and God’s grace that sustains you. If a Muslim doesn’t trust you as a person, chances are that he won’t believe your message; you are the message.
- It takes time: Everything you tell a Muslim, he must compare with what he has been taught in his own faith. The Gospel message should not only make sense to a Muslim, he should also find it more appealing than what he already has.
- Take questions seriously: All biblical truth must be explained and understood; no truth is trivial or unimportant. To convert is the most crucial decision he will ever make in his life, and he will want to be sure.
- Walk in their journey of faith: Accompany him step by step. His fears and concerns are not just religious; some are personal. He needs assurance, guidance and assistance.
- Confrontation or accommodation? The Gospel is a contra-version of what Islam offers, so there will be some controversial areas. Don’t evade difficult questions. Try to answer them as biblically and logically as you can. If you don’t have an answer, don’t invent one. Be honest. No one Christian is the absolute yardstick for Christianity.
- Take the initiative: One may spend a lot of time with a Muslim only to discover that no one topic was discussed conclusively. Introduce topics, don’t just respond to unrelated questions.
- Share sparingly: As the saying goes, “a good teacher does not teach everything he knows; instead, he knows what to teach.” Share bits at a time; a Muslim needs time to think through what you discuss with him.
- Make prayer your main weapon: This is a battle between life and death, light and darkness, God and Satan. It is not our arguments but the Holy Spirit who will convince Muslims of the need for a Saviour. Therefore, don’t tell a Muslim about God without first telling God about that Muslim.