/ Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." -Matthew 28:18-20
Jesus’ command for those who choose to follow Him is very clear. Christians are to go and make disciples of all nations (baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit), and to teach them to obey all the commands that Jesus has given us.
Statistics Canada has just released the CENSUS 2021 data on population and reported that “millions of people from all over the world have chosen, and continue to choose, Canada as their new home. In 2021, more than 8.3 million people, or almost one-quarter (23.0%) of the population, were, or had ever been, a landed immigrant or permanent resident in Canada.”
We are reminded in the Scriptures that it is God who determines where people live, and that His desire is that they seek Him and come to know Him.
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. -Acts 17:26-27
It is clear to me that God has created a huge opportunity for Christians to share the gospel with the world in Canada; the nations of the world are in our neighbourhoods.
The Gospel and our Canadian Muslim Neighbours
According to the CENSUS 2021, “While small, the proportion of Canada's population who reported being Muslim, Hindu or Sikh has more than doubled in 20 years. From 2001 to 2021, these shares rose from 2.0% to 4.9% for Muslims, from 1.0% to 2.3% for Hindus and from 0.9% to 2.1% for Sikhs.” That means that in 2021, there were 1.8 million Muslims living in Canada.
Have you ever considered that those of Muslim faith who live among us might have been sent by God to Canada in order to find Him?
Muslims, who in years past would never have had an opportunity to meet a Christian, to receive a Bible to read, or to hear the truth about Jesus Christ, have become our neighbours, our co-workers, our children’s classmates, our doctors, our local store and restaurant owners.
However, Muslims in Canada have limited experiences with Christian friends, with a local church, and with Bibles in their heart language. All of these have been identified as key common factors that were fruitful in the journey of former Muslims to faith in Christ.
5 Ways to be Intentional about Making Disciples in your Neighborhood among those of Muslim faith
- Ask God to open your heart for those who are different than you. Take the initiative to approach and befriend newcomers in your community. Let Me Be Your Neighbor (by Crescent Project) “is a fun, four-part video series to help you and your friends connect with neighbors in our increasingly diverse communities. Grab a few friends and try this free course together!”
- Pray for the Lord to bring your way a ‘person of peace’ - a Muslim whom God is drawing to Jesus. The Find a Person of Peace podcast and the Person of Peace workshop offered by iHope Ministries are great resources to help you learn to identify a person of peace and start a friendship with Muslims in your community.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to ‘see’ Muslims around you. I recently hosted a Bridges course at my house and one of the ladies who took the course suddenly started to realize there were Muslims the Lord had placed in her life. Before this experience, she hadn’t thought to befriend or pray for Muslims in her life (e.g. her daughter’s roommate, a co-worker from her own country of origin, students at her son’s high school).
- Equip yourself with tools to help you know how to approach, befriend and love Muslims around you. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”. The Loving Muslims Together Network offers many resources to help you on this journey.
Loving Muslims Together (LMT) is about Canadian Christians having meaningful connections with their Muslim neighbours; learning to see God’s heart for them and experiencing the joys of cross-cultural friendship. LMT seeks to equip Canadian Christians for healthy interfaith relations, including openness about the way of discipleship to Jesus; making disciples of all who are open. Discover more ways to connect with the LMT Network on the Loving Muslims Together website.
As the National Coordinator for Loving Muslims Together, Cristina serves as the administrative hub for the Canadian Leadership Team and the larger Canada-wide network. She has experience in office administration, newcomers settlement and international students admission. Cristina’s caring and enthusiastic personality, cross-cultural experiences and evangelistic heart for unreached Muslims are great assets to the Outreach Canada team.