3 Tips for Sharing the Gospel with Muslims
I have a bad habit of collecting good books on my shelves, in my attic . . . all around me, really—without ever reading lots of them. I’m always prepared, though, as you never know when one might come in handy.
The Gospel for Muslims by Thabiti Anyabwile is one of those books. It has always intrigued me (and not looked too thick and daunting!), but it took a move to a new city for me to find the motivation to pull it from its cardboard box and prioritize it above other books.
When I moved into our new home, I was thrilled to learn a Muslim woman lives directly across from us on one side . . . and another Muslim family lives directly across from us on the other side. (This is pretty exciting for a girl who grew up surrounded by cornfields!)
We don’t have to conjure boldness up from deep within us. Boldness comes from being filled with the Spirit of God.
So I started digging into Thabiti’s book in earnest, especially because I’ve been praying for an opportunity to connect with the woman in the hijab across the street and that God’s light would penetrate her darkness.
You may not be surrounded by Muslim neighbors, but maybe you go to school with a Muslim or work with one—or will one day. So I want to share three takeaways I’ve gotten from this book so far that I think will help you, too:
1. It’s okay to feel afraid to share the gospel with Muslims.
Even Thabiti, who had experience doing so, shares of a time he was scared to death heading into another public debate with a Muslim. Here’s the thing: We don’t have to conjure boldness up from deep within us. Boldness comes from being filled with the Spirit of God. “In the book of Acts,” Thabiti shares, “the activity most frequently associated with the Spirit’s filling is speaking with boldness.” Here are just a couple examples:
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31).
Don’t keep silent when you are afraid. Pray that the Holy Spirit would fill you and give you the boldness you don’t have in order to be a witness for Him.
2. You have everything you need to share the gospel with Muslims.
You are equipped, even if you don’t feel like you are. The same message that saved you—the gospel—is the message that can profoundly transform your Muslim neighbors and friends. Seriously. Thabiti got me with this zinger on page thirteen: “In my experience, Christians know the gospel. They simply lack confidence in its power.” Ouch.
Share the gospel with Muslims. You don’t have to share it perfectly, without stumbling. You’re not responsible for whether they believe it; it’s simply your job to share with them the good news of Christ’s perfect life, death, and resurrection on their behalf.
3. Don’t try to minimize truths about God that you know your Muslim neighbor or friend won’t like.
For example, Muslims do not believe in the Trinity. The chief confession of Islam is, “There is only one God, and Muhammad is his messenger,” so they have a problem with one God in three persons. But rather than seeking to downplay this truth, Thabiti encourages us to “go there.” Why?
The same message that saved you—the gospel—is the message that can profoundly transform your Muslim neighbors and friends.
For one reason, we don’t get to create a God we understand. God says His “name” (singular) is “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). Also, Thabiti explains, “We must cling to the Trinity because apart from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, there is no possibility of eternal salvation. . . . The Father chose us (Eph. 1:4–6), the Son offered the only sacrifice without blemish that is able to purify us and satisfy the Father (Eph. 1:7), and the Spirit seals us and produces in us new birth” (Eph. 1:14).
Share who God is without feeling the need to apologize or “cover” for Him. God is not an idea; He is a Person—be true to who He is and what He shares to be true.
By Paula Hendricks Marsteller
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