Miraculous Movements is the best book on disciplemaking that I have read in some time.
This book is the fruit of a process of self-examination by two experienced Muslim-area church planters and the COO of a chain of disciplemaking Rescue Missions as they discussed what was working in their respective mission fields. Based on this discussion, they extracted and made explicit a methodology for making disciples in Muslim areas.
This book describes that methodology and illustrates it with actual cases of church planting in Muslim communities.
The book is well-organized and outlined for people who want to read it to learn how to be a missionary and church planter. Topics are presented as lists with examples from the mission field after each numbered point. Here are some of the lists.
As the authors thought about what was working, they decided they had been focusing on the "wrong" biblical principles. The ones they should have been focusing on were:
1. Go slow at first in order to go faster
2. Focus on a few to win many
3. Engage an entire family or group, not just the individual
4. Share only when people are ready to hear
5. Start with creation, not with Christ
6. It's about discovering and obeying, not teaching and knowledge
7. Disciple people to conversion, not vice versa
8. Coach people from the beginning to discover and obey biblical truth
9. Prepare to spend a long time making strong disciples, but anticipate miraculous accelerations
10. Expect the hardest places to yield the greatest results
And some "paradigm shifts" were necessary to support the new methodology.
1. Make intercessory prayer the highest priority
2. Make disciples who make disciples
3. Invest time in the right person
4. Don't tell people what to believe and do
5. Never settle for revealing just one dimension of Jesus' life
6. Never substitute knowledge about God for an obedience-based relationship with God
7. Understand that Jesus does impossible things through the most ordinary people
And, here is the methodology for disciple making:
1. Pray abundantly
2. Gain access to the community through service and prayer
3. Wait for the Lord to lead you to the person of peace
4. Start a Discovery Bible Study with the person of peace and the members of his network
5. Coach the leaders who emerge in the group
6. Help them to focus on engaging other families and networks, not individuals
7. Coach and mentor leaders as they baptize new believers and organize them into a simple church
8. Encourage leaders to repeat the process among another family or community
6. Develop leaders
The Discovery Bible Study in point number four is described in detail. The difference between it and some other outlines for inductive bible studies is that it has questions on obedience. "What is there in this passage that I am planning on obeying?"
Why are Muslims attracted to Christianity? Because of the transformation that takes place in their lives. Here are the most common changes seen among Muslim individuals and communities who accept Christ.
1. Healed families
2. A spirit of freedom
3. A spirit of love
4. Diminished violence
5. Less addition
6. Redemption and hope
7. Evidences of divine favor
8. Grace in persecution
9. Freedom from demonic oppression
10.The power of individual prayer.
Each of these biblical principles and methodology points is illustrated with a story from the Muslim mission field in Africa, Asia or the Middle East.
The author says, "This way of making disciples results in:
1. rooting the gospel in any context,
2. developing disciples who are obedient to Jesus, and
3. creating disciples who make disciples, leaders who reproduce leaders, and churches that plant churches."
These lists of principles do not hint at the power of this book, which comes from the many stories of Muslims coming to Jesus. This book is an inspiring read even if you are not interested in learning how to evangelize.
If this were just a book about great successes in Muslim evangelization, it would be worth reading. But it is more than that. The principles described in this book for evangelizing Muslims in Africa should work in evangelizing secular Americans as well. I plan to take this book into a pastors' discussion group and we are going to look for ways to adapt this book for use in our churches and our communities.
I originally chose the book Miraculous Movements How Hundreds of Thousands of Muslims are Falling in Love with Jesus by Jerry Trousdale because I have been very intimidated and fearful about the spread of Islam. I felt hopeless. This, in spite of the fact that for the past five years my family and I have worshipped at a church side by side with several people who have come out of Islam into a living relationship with Jesus Christ. I've seen the proof, yet, the continued reports about the spread of Islam in Europe has, frankly, scared me. I needed this book.
City Team International trains people in a deceptively simple discipleship technique that is very effective among the people of Islam. Based on a deep and committed prayer life, City Team teaches new converts to approach the Bible with a holy simplicity, to obey God's commands and to raise up new believers. Many of these believers very quickly share the gospel with others and, soon, a "church" has been born, often in very hostile regions. By "church" they mean a church that may be small and may be underground but converts are taught, discipled, baptized and sent out. It is a church in every sense of the word.
The stories in Miraculous Movements are sobering. Many of the new converts suffer for their faith, indeed, they are taught (from God's word) that they can expect persecution. There are many encouraging stories of the seed that is sown in hard places in Africa and the Middle East that takes root in spite of very difficult circumstances. The stories remind us that the earth is teaming with people who are in darkness and they are longing for the light.They are a spiritually hungry people.
The book is practical, applicable and encouraging but, most of all, it is inspiring. After reading the many accounts of what God is doing in places of great darkness, I was convicted of my lack of prayer and my shallow faith. I was brought to my knees in wonder and awe at what our Great God is accomplishing for His glory.
It took me several months to get my review of this book written because I kept rereading parts of it. I highly recommend this book.
Jerry Trousdale shares some terrific stories of how God is working to bring Muslims into His Kingdom. For those who believe God is not working among Muslims, this may come as a shock. For those who believe that God loves all people from all ethnic groups, this book is a great encouragement. God is using the same methods that Jesus introduced to His first followers in the 1st Century to reach people many would consider unreachable in he 21st Century. This is not a book about what Jerry or his ministry partners are doing. It is a book about God using ordinary people working in partnership with Him to take the Kingdom of God to some really difficult places. Although the stories in this book take place in sub-Saharan Africa, the concepts are universal. God can use His people to spread His Word and His glory anywhere. What happens when God's people obey God is amazing - the church goes viral and lives, tribes, and nations are transformed. If you are interested in seeing what God can do through His people and their obedience, this is a must read. I was privileged to read the book prior to publication. Since then I have bought 75 copies to give to others!
Miraculous Movements reveals that God has set many Muslims on fire, they have been set on fire with the love of Jesus!
What an amazing book! The stories sound like they came from the Book of Acts!
As a former missionary to Muslims in Southeast Asia I have traveled in some of the countries where this is happening and I can testify to the truth of these kinds of reports.
If you want to read one book that will change your perspective of the entire world, including today's news, this is it! My only criticism is that it needs to be longer. It left me wanting to hear more of what God is doing in the Muslim world!
These stories are TRUE! I have personally visited some of the people described in this amazing book. I grew up in Africa - this is astounding! Through dreams, visions, miracles and bold witness, Jesus is calling many hundreds of thousands of Muslims to Himself. Though some convert and become "Christians," many others chose to remain as Muslims. But they are wonderfully transformed Muslims, changed by the Spirit of God. Tens of thousands of Muslims, who may never identify themselves as "Christians" per se, have come to treasure and trust Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life. This is more than amazing - one almost wonders if Jesus is not getting ready to return! Muslims, by the hundreds of thousands, are coming to embrace Jesus as the Kalimatuallah, the Eternal Word of God Who came to redeem the World by His death and resurrection. Trousdale has done us a great service - he's telling us the rest of the story, about the wonderful Muslims in our world. My hunch is, for every terrorist minded Muslim who wants to blow up another plane, there are now a hundred Muslim followers of Jesus who have been radically transformed by the powerful presence of al Masi Isa (Jesus the Messiah). And, as Trousdale explains, these Muslims are beginning to change their world, and ours.