From Abu Daoud:
1) He taught them with authority–We have the same Word, the same Spirit and the same authority.
2) He lived with them–he had daily contact. Discipling Muslims demand our daily time and togetherness.
3) He discipled in small groups or 3, 6, or 12. We make a mistake if we look for large numbers. The core men and women of peace need intensive, personal training in order to for them to train others.
4) He knew their capacity to learn. He began simple and only entrusted them with what he could trust them to keep. Security is a major issue for Muslim background believers.
5) He taught them from the beginning how to deal with opposition and persecution. When you call a Muslim to trust Jesus as Savior and Lord, you call him to come and die!
6) He disciplined during teachable moments. Peter was a good example, i.e. The confession at Caesarea Philippi, the Lord’s Supper, before the cock crowed and even after the resurrection beside the Sea of Galilee. We need to know when to be gentle, firm and direct in discipling Muslim background believers.
I dealt with this subject last year. And, our society becomes more secularised, the more relevant this becomes. These points were directed at converts from Islam, but their application is much broader.
To a large extent, American churches have used the “cultural Christianity” as an assumed background to save them a lot of work. But this is no longer a viable game plan. As George Barna recently reported, Christianity is no longer America’s default faith. (To which I would add that heaven has never been eternity’s default!) It’s time for churches to recognise this and plan accordingly.
Three years ago the ministry I work for published LifeBuilders Essentials, which is designed for basic discipleship for men in small groups. (It’s also available in Spanish.) I trust that these are helpful for both you and your church in making true discipleship a reality.