Six Tips for Ministering the Gospel to Muslims
Many thousands of international students come to America each year from countries in North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. Students from these countries might initially be wary of Christians’ attempts to reach out to them, but lifelong friendships often result. By ministering to these students in America, we avoid many common hurdles that we would face in going to their nations-language barriers, restrictions on religious freedoms, time constraints for ministry and the financial costs involved in going overseas.
If we are faithful, we will eventually see individuals who grew up in Islam returning to their home nations as Spirit-filled, well-trained followers of Jesus. They will serve as key members of the next generation of church leaders.
Here are some time-tested ways to reach Muslims:
1. Unless one is well versed in the Quran and can read Arabic well, it is best not to make the Quran the basis for interaction with Muslims.
- Muslims view the Arabic text as the only authoritative version of the Quran.
- If questions are raised about Islam based on an English translation of the Quran (or other language), a Muslim will typically base his answer on the Arabic “original” or refer to the Arabic in deflecting the question.
- Therefore, if you are from a non-Muslim, non-Arabic language background, it is best to focus on what you know well in your interactions with Muslims.
2. In general, Muslims are religious people and do not hesitate to talk about religion with others. You will find that questions based in religion will generally lead to significant conversations. Here are some examples:
- “How do you worship God?”
- “What do you think will happen to you when you die?”
- Or, more directly, “What do you think about Jesus Christ?”
3. Regardless of how you open the conversation, you will find that your personal testimony is quite valuable, especially as you emphasize your assurance of salvation and your personal relationship with God.
4. As the conversation continues, either then or during future sessions, try to expose your friend to the Bible as much as possible. Be sure to answer some of your friend’s questions–if they are sincere questions–but do not get sidetracked from the main point of showing what the Bible says about for eternal life.
5. If your friend asks your opinion about Muhammad or the Quran, it is fine to say that you really don’t know very much but that you are willing to mention what you do know.
6. Be patient. Muslims are coming from a culture with a very different worldview and concept of God. It will take time to build trust and communicate the truth of Jesus. Love, commitment, prayer, and the Word of God are essential for Muslim evangelism.