Discipling a new Muslim background believer

June 4, 2018

Hopefully you have been following this series from the beginning (insert link here). If so, then you have been praying for Muslims, found a way to intentionally build redemptive relationships, and hopefully have seen someone come to faith in Christ. Now what? Even if you are just getting started in this ministry, it is not too early to start preparing for making a disciple.

Honestly, when I first thought of writing in 800 words how to disciple a new believer from a different world view and possibly speaking a completely different language, I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry. Then I thought about writing the word “time” 800 times. Just spend time with them. Let them see your family in action. Pray with them. Allow them to walk with you as you forgive others for hurting you and as you ask the Lord for forgiveness. Take them along as you do an act of kindness, share the gospel with a lost person, or worship Jesus with others. Discipleship is not an event, it is a lifestyle.

But, with that said, there are some “events” that you can use to help a new believer grow in Christ. Here are a few for you to consider: 

Start making a disciple even before they make a decision
.
The discipleship process begins the moment you begin introducing someone to God and his Word. In the last blog post, we talked about opening the Bible with a friend. Showing that the basis of your faith is the Word of God is an essential first step in making a good disciple. (By the way, if you are having trouble finding one in the language your Muslim friend is most comfortable using, the Gideon Bible app has Bibles in many of the languages Muslims speak, including Arabic, Urdu, Turkish and English—and it is free.)

Other aspects of disciple-making will be demonstrated by your obedience to share and pray, as Christ commanded. As you answer questions and share stories, you are making a disciple. After your friend becomes a follower of Christ, be sure to refer back to these important disciplines.

Teach them the basics
.
Some people like to create their own material. My suggestion for you would be to make a list of what you think a new believer needs to know. Many such lists are out there, usually based on Acts 2:37-47, and they generally include: Bible study, fellowship, worship, ministry and evangelism. Other lists include stewardship, missions, prayer, preparing for persecution, and the ordinances of the church (baptism and Lord’s supper.) Once you know what you want to cover, develop Bible studies that cover the basics of what it means to follow Jesus.

For those who prefer not to reinvent the wheel, a great tool is the Seven Commands of Christ, developed by George Patterson. This will take you to videos presented at Southeastern.

With your studies ready, ask the new believer if they know anyone else who would like to hear about following Jesus. If possible, let them pick a time and a place where their friends and family can come and hear stories from God’s Word. This way, you are helping them learn to share and make disciples at the same time. This is a good step to take even before they believe—hearing the gospel in groups can make it easier to form a group of new believers once people start following Jesus.

Get them involved in a local church
.
We often assume that the church that is a good fit for us would be a good fit for everyone. At least consider the possibility that your church might not be the right place to begin. Language is one factor to consider. Another is acceptance–how will your congregation react to a former Muslim? My prayer is that they would be warm and accepting, but if you already know that they will not be, consider finding a congregation that will. Also, if you are able to help them start a new congregation based on the group that is gathering together for discipleship lessons, you could be helping to plan church multiplication into their spiritual DNA right from the beginning!

Be available when they encounter difficulties.

Accepting Christ does not make all of our problems go away, but it does introduce us to the One who can help us face our difficulties. But knowing how to apply God’s grace to a given situation does not always come naturally. Being there for your friend when they are kicked out of their home or face persecution, or are simply confused about the meaning of a word in the Bible or don’t know the right way to share the gospel with their children, will be a tremendous blessing for them as they grow in Christ. And you will also be blessed!

Obviously, these few blog posts are just a start. Keep learning and, more importantly, keep listening to the Lord as he leads you to walk with and guide your Muslim friends into a right relationship with Himself.


by Brad Roderick  
/  Chairman of Missions Department  /  Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary

The lost community you may not see

About one-third of North Carolina’s population live in multifamily housing communities, such as apartments, townhomes, condominiums and mobile home parks. Nationally, approximately 95 percent of individuals living in multifamily housing communities are unchurched. However, many...

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering: Week of prayer

Lottie Moon invested nearly 40 years of her life as a missionary in China. She focused on making disciples, and set a tremendous example for all Southern Baptists by dedicating herself to the expansion of God’s kingdom. Since 1888, the Southern Baptist Convention has been honoring...

How to reach the nations among us through ESL

Teaching English as a second language (ESL) to adult immigrants and refugees can be a great way to share the gospel with internationals. However, simply inserting devotions and praying during ESL classes often doesn’t bear fruit because most students don’t come from a Christian...

Challenges families face when ministering to the unreached

Pursuing unreached peoples with the gospel as a family requires simple obedience that leads to a life of kingdom service.As we commit to “become all things” to unreached peoples living near us, we expose virtually every aspect of our lives.Marital peace, behavioral expectations,...

Seeing life through the eyes of a refugee

We live in a day when global migrations are occurring at a dizzying pace. According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, more than 44,000 people per day are forced to flee their homes due to violent conflict or persecution. Let that number sink in — 44,000 people per day. Many countries...

Why students and retirees are critical to reaching the unreached

The Bible calls our journey as Christians a race. Once you trust Christ as your Savior, your race begins. As you move through different seasons of your life, God has a plan for you. Your desire should be to finish strong. Students and retirees are two diverse groups who are at...

How a couples’ care for refugees opens doors to share Jesus

As believers, we reach the nations because Jesus is worthy of the praise of the nations. Also, according to Acts 17, the Lord has moved the nations to us that they may know and worship Him. Personally, we reach the nations as a married couple because the Lord currently has us in...

Reaching them here as a single

Growing up, family Scripture memory revolved around reminders of our identity as ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), our commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20) and passages that highlighted what it means to live between eternal security and being a...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news and event information by signing up for the N.C. Baptist newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!