One of our workers writes about using text messaging apps to develop gospel conversations.
Just today I met a Muslim man in a park in the East End and for about half an hour we discussed whether Jesus died on the cross.
We are hosting a comparative study of the Bible and the Qur’an at Husk, so before we departed, I asked him to send me a WhatsApp message there and then. This way, I can invite him myself to come along. Even if he doesn’t make it, we are able to continue to share views and have a deeper understanding of each other’s thoughts over time.
When you ask a Muslim-background believer how they converted to Christianity, you normally find two significant ingredients in their journey:
— they developed a long-term friendship with a Christian
— they had read the Bible for themselves close to conversion.
It can take years to get to the point of accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Muslims need time to become open to new views and to understand and digest new ways of thinking. They often need time and space to learn about what Christians believe. There is blindness in Islam that is often left unchallenged by Christians.
Making first contact with the least reached is essential. But it is the continuing relationships combined with healthy challenges that provide opportunity to unwrap alternative spiritual world views.
One simple method for encouraging exploration with someone who is open is to invite them to send you a WhatsApp message as a way of staying in touch. As the conversation develops, YouTube videos can be shared, scriptures read, and ideas discussed. There’s then time to reflect in between messages and get their personal views, outside the pressure of having other people around.
I stay in touch with a few contacts this way, and we’re progressing in our conversations. I’m finding it an essential method for sharing Jesus over time.