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Miraculous Movements: How Hundreds of Thousands of Muslims Are Falling in Love with Jesus (英語) ペーパーバック – 2012/3/6
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How do the people most resistant to the transformative power of the gospel come to be its most devoted followers? Miraculous Movement recounts an amazing change taking place within Muslim communities where the truth of Jesus Christ is turning around the lives of many thousands of Muslims from more than twenty people groups. Discover through the sometimes humorous, often sobering, but always enlightening and encouraging true stories how imams, sheikhs, and entire mosques are forsaking Islam and embracing Christ. This close look at what the Lord is doing to spread the gospel highlights the key scriptural principles that help Christians reach out in love to share the gospel in their own community. The authors outline the principle of service to others that open doors of opportunity to the work of the gospel. Author Jerry Trousdale works with CityTeam Ministries, an organization dedicated to helping disciples make disciples through CityTeam's own ministry and through training other ministries in more than thirty countries. Features includes: * Outlines important principles on how to share the gospel with non-Christians * Explains how ordinary people can lead neighbors to Christ in love and humility * Tells many exciting and encouraging stories of Muslims who have accepted Jesus * Describes CityTeam's unique program focused on God's work through disciple-making movements, a strategy that harnesses the power of disciples making disciples and churches planting churches
Jerry Trousdale is Director of International Ministries for CityTeam Ministries, an organization he joined in 2005. Jerry co-founded Final Command Ministries, an organization dedicated to establishing church planting movements among Muslim people groups. Over the years Jerry has served as a church planter among Muslims in West Africa, in Christian publishing, and as a pastor in California and Tennessee.
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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.
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.
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!
The bulk of the book is carefully reported stories of rapid multiplication of churches (mostly underground) throughout Islamic Africa. The author attempts to analyze the reasons for this surprising expansion of Christianity and find a pattern that other Christians can follow. Some of the principles he describes have been circulating in missiology for some time: chronological Bible storying, finding a "person of peace" in the community, making disciples and not just converts, targeting groups and not just individuals. Other ideas were new to me: Bible studies which require no teachers (called "Discovery Bible Studies") and discipling people to conversion (e.g., beginning to disciple people before they become Christians).
The weakness of the book seems to be an inadvertent tendency towards pragmatism. Rather than taking time to start from Scripture to build a theology and methodology for evangelism, the author starts from "what's working in Islamic Africa" and then finds Bible verses to fit. Although I'm sure this wasn't the author's intent, the message seems to be, "These principles are working in Africa. Here are some Bible verses to support these principles. Therefore, you should use these principles too."
This tends to make the principles taught in Miraculous Movements surprisingly lacking in nuance. For example:
The challenge in making obedient disciples is to teach obedience. In the context of Disciple Making Movements, we have seen that the best tool to teach obedience is Discovery Bible Study (DBS). Do not teach or preach; instead, facilitate discovery and obedience. (Kindle Locations 1515-1517).
The Islamic cultures are cultures of shame and guilt. Talking about sin will not touch them. But talking about what causes shame or guilt will have an effect. So try to find out the things in the community that are bringing shame and guilt and that are also seen as sin in the Bible. (Kindle Locations 2778-2780).
This leads to some of the stories describing what I would regard as poorly-founded conversions. For example, in this story from a Christian donkey cart driver, we are left wondering what exactly this woman asked Jesus to save her from:
A lady told me that her husband beats her. He gives cattle as a sacrifice for an evil spirit, and they are getting poor. She asked me what to do. I told her that there is a solution. I told her about Jesus, and she said, "If he is going to be a solution, I am willing to follow him." She accepted the Lord as her Savior. Now she is a Christian and she has peace and joy in the Lord. (Kindle Locations 2558-2561).
Miraculous Movements, a bit like the book of Acts, awakens a hunger to see God convert sinners and exalt Jesus. Read it and be encouraged that God is still at work in our world. Thank Him that He even works in spite of our occasionally misguided techniques. And look to the Bible, not this book, for your methods.