Updated: Aug 5
It’s become an all-too-familiar scenario. I’m out walking my dog, and another neighbor, doing the same thing, is coming head-on in my direction. Like a game of chicken, there is a showdown on who will leave the sidewalk for the street first. Careful to keep our distance, I decide to leave the smooth sidewalk for rougher terrain at just the right time, before the possibility that a minuscule virus could invade either of our spaces.
In this new reality that the whole world finds itself in, where we can no longer gather in person, where we’ve all had a crash course in Zoom, and where moms and dads are learning how to homeschool perhaps for the first time, how can we effectively reach Muslims? Here at Global Initiative, we believe that this can be a strategic time to do just that, and we want to be a resource for you! Though our physical contact with each other is limited during this time, the Holy Spirit is not limited in what He can do in the lives of Muslims throughout the world!
With that in mind, here are some things to consider doing during this season of social distancing:
Pray – This seems obvious, but it may be the most important thing we do! While we can’t travel the world right now, we can touch every nation under Heaven by our intercession. Would you join us on Fridays (and everyday) as we pray for Muslims? Each Friday, as many as 60,000 Christians from all over the world join together in Jumaa Prayer Fellowship (Jumaa means Friday in Arabic) and intercede for Muslims. You can visit Jumaa Prayer Fellowship for current prayer requests. What a powerful thing to know that Christians the world over can unite in prayer on behalf of the people of Islam!
Plant seeds of friendship – Social distancing does not make building relationships easy. But this season will not last forever. One day, we will be able to be in the same room with other people again. So the things that we do now to build relationships, whether by texts, phone calls, or driveway-to-driveway conversations with Muslim neighbors, can pay big dividends down the road when all of these relational restrictions are lifted. We tend to remember those who reached out to us in the midst of a difficult situation. When I was an associate pastor, our lead pastor had us make hospital visits and told us that these visits would “put change in your pocket.” Over a decade later, his words have been found true, as so many of those visits proved to be lasting relational currency.
Will we as Christians plant seeds of friendship with our Muslim neighbors during this difficult time, which may later grow into an abiding relationship? Will our Muslim friends remember the love we shared in reaching out to them during this time? May this season of separation not be wasted. We have a Hope to share. Let’s send that timely text and make that crucial call.
Perpend – To perpend means to read or study. Some, like my wife and I, have less time for leisurely pursuits as we manage working from home and homeschooling our kids. Others, however, may have found that this season affords a greater amount of flexibility concerning time and schedules. If you are in the latter camp, by virtue of reading this post, I assume that you are interested in ministry to Muslims. Why not spend this time learning more and becoming better equipped to reach them? A quick perusal of the Read tab on our website will reveal that there is no shortage of good material that will benefit the believer far more than a Netflix binge. Many of these resources are available for free in a PDF or for a nominal price in the Kindle version. One of our professors in college used to say, “A burden is built on information.” What might you learn as you perpend during this season of social distancing that will propel you into your future of ministering to Muslims?
As we pray, plant, and perpend during this season of social distancing, we will use our time well. Eternity can be impacted, new friendships can flourish, and burdens can morph into callings, all while we stay at home.