“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lost it, and but whoever loses his life for me will find it”. The great commission is one of making disciples. Evangelism is part of the story, but not the whole story.
The focus of much of our work among Muslims has been on reaching them, building bridges through which the message of the gospel can be communicated. Even today, strategies profile the need to finish the task by focusing on peoples who are yet to hear the good news. We need to remember those who are yet to hear, and include strategic initiatives to reach out to them.
At the same time, one of the areas we have invested less resources in has been that of discipleship, helping those who come to faith grow to maturity. The Apostle Paul has a lot to say about growing to maturity. He uses terms like the renewing of the mind, moving on from milk to solid food, the fruit of the Spirit growing in lives, endurance and patience growing as we mature in Christ.
This issue of St Francis Magazine addresses issues of discipleship among Believers from a Muslim Background. Edwards, a Believer from a Muslim Background, asks questions that he believes come first, what are our goals in discipleship, what do we want to grow among those coming to faith. Kim looks at some of the early challenges for those coming to faith and explores ways these challenges could be addresses. Moon explores discipleship as the whole journey to faith and into maturity based on his experience in Central Asia. Miller continues some of his earlier work and reflects on the issues for those coming to faith from a Muslim Background in Israel-Palestine.
In two other articles, Waterman looks at Ramadan, and based on a survey examines the opportunities and challenges of this Muslim celebration to the gospel. Croft’s article looks at the situation of Believers from a Muslim background in the context of the Church in Bangladesh.
We welcome your interactions and learning in this important area of discipleship for those from a Muslim Background.
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