There are loads of different opinions on how to best talk to Muslims about faith in Jesus. Those opinions and methods change depending on what part of the world those Muslims are from. One common thread is that it’s best to share through a friendship. If you have a friend who is Muslim, then you already have a great head start! If you don’t have the ‘friendship’ status yet, please don’t let that deter you.
I want to encourage you and I’ve got some good news! You don’t need to have studied anything at all about the Muslim faith before you start talking to someone who is a Muslim. Treat the person you are speaking to as a friend, hear from God, and you can learn as you go. Keep reading, I’ll explain….
1. There are no ‘rules’
I’ve found over the years of teaching and training people in sharing their faith, that many people want to hear a list of do’s and don’ts, however, the reality is;
Everyone is unique, and God will have a unique way of reaching your friend.
That means, taking time to understand, and listening as you go.
2. Be guided by the Holy Spirit
When I talk with anyone about my faith, I’m always looking to the Holy Spirit to guide me. I trust that God will give me the words to say. That doesn’t mean having it all together in my head, or knowing what kind of direction the conversation will take. It means, stepping out in faith, smiling and listening. There are no rules, be guided by the Holy Spirit and then simply obey.
Where you do have a friendship and not just a one-off encounter, I would spend some time praying for your friend and asking God for some ideas on the best approach and what He would like you to do.
3. Ask questions to understand what they believe
While it’s good to have some knowledge of what Muslims believe, I would suggest rather than waiting to research this, take the time to ask your friend what they believe instead. It’s a great way of starting a conversation. It’s important that you listen carefully to what they are saying, rather than trying to counteract with responses. Ask more questions to get more understanding as needed.
I’ve spoken to many Muslims around the world, and just like with any religion, each person has a slightly different understanding or view on what they personally believe. Everyone has a different ‘slant’. God will highlight things to you, where you can ask questions that take the conversation to a deeper level and touch on heart issues, rather than head knowledge.
You don’t need to have any answers, in fact, I find that the more questions you can ask, the more open people become. People want to be heard, and it’s in allowing them to talk that they can start to question what they believe and why. That means asking questions in response to what your friend is sharing, that help to draw this out. Some examples could be things like;
- How does God show his love to you?
- Does God speak to you?
- Have you ever doubted what you believe?
- How do you know God is listening?
4. Have fun and smile
Allow the conversation to be relaxed and fun. If you find yourself loosing joy, or getting intense, then take a breather. I’m serious!
You’ll find that at some stage there will be an opportunity for you to share what you believe. You could start by asking if you could share a story about something that has happened to you. Think through your own relationship with Jesus, what makes your connection unique and special?
Use the advantage of being friends; that means it’s normal for you to share with each other about the things that are important to you, areas of your life where you have struggled, or things that you love. You’ll be able to talk about your relationship with God in everyday life.
5. Friendships take time
Just like any friendships, some take longer to establish, while others can happen very quickly. Be sensitive to the way the conversation is progressing, so that it’s not about either of you pushing your beliefs on to each other. Your personal experience and stories are a great way to share the truth about Jesus. Ask God for the right moments along the way, He will show you.
As you chat to each other, you’ll know when to share another piece of the mystery and wonder of Jesus.
You’ll learn more with every conversation you have. Be bold! Be courageous. God goes before you, and remember He sends you.