We love to hear stories of people striking up conversations with a Muslim neighbor or a Muslim they just met in a store, offering them a Bible to read and telling them about Jesus. Sometimes we get to hear the end result of that interaction, other times all we know is that a seed is planted. However, many Christians today ask themselves:
“How can I share the gospel with someone I just met?”
In our current age of social media and fast-paced living, we are used to interacting with another person for a few seconds on social media and then swiping away. If we take the time to write a comment, that takes 20 seconds. In public, we’re lucky if our conversation lasts more than a minute with the grocery store clerk after asking each other the typical questions: “How’s your day going?” “I’m good, how are you?” “Any plans for the rest of your day?”
This fast-paced and impersonal way of living limits our ability to recognize another person’s deeper needs. We are so accustomed to seeing others and “swiping by them” in order to find the next thing to do, whether in-person or online.
For this reason, people don’t even think of sharing the gospel with someone until they have been friends with them for some time. When the early church began, this was not the case. The Apostles were preaching the gospel to everyone they could in the synagogues and streets, and the church was exploding.
Why was it “easier” for the early church to share the gospel with strangers?
It is easy to blame our technology for shaping our social interactions differently, or to say that we are not used to in-person interactions as much anymore, so it can be more awkward to strike up a conversation.
But the true answer to this question runs much deeper, it lies within our hearts and convictions. The apostles and early believers felt a sense of urgency to share the good news with everyone they could, but how many of us feel this today?
Reignite your passion for sharing the gospel
Have you become comfortable in your faith and lost the awe of the grace that saved you? When was the last time you had a hunger to share Christ’s love with someone who does not know Him?
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
The best way we can make sure our light never dims is by reading the Word and spending time with the Lord. Reflect on the ways you have seen the Lord work in your life and save you from your wretchedness and sinful ways, then express your gratitude to Him and His work on the cross to redeem you. This will fill you with passion and joy to share the Lord’s goodness with others!
So what do you do once you re-ignite this urgency to share the gospel and you meet a Muslim in public?
Start with getting to know them
People are often surprised by how much information they can learn about someone in ten minutes. There are questions you can ask that will give you insights into their religious experiences and where you might be able to speak truth into their life:
- Did you choose to be a Muslim or did you inherit this from your parents?
- Are you originally from the United States or did you move here?
- What is something difficult that you’re going through right now that I can pray for?
It is key to try to get to know them the same way you would with anyone else you just met! View them as a whole person, not just an evangelism opportunity. You can ask them about their family, career, and hobbies to learn more about them and find things in common.
Don’t forget to take context into account. Don’t try to have a long conversation with a Muslim grocery clerk with a line of people behind you. Instead you can simply say, “I will be praying for you today and I want you to know that God loves you so much through Jesus Christ!” But if you see a Muslim in a coffee shop who is engaging with people around them, try to sit next to them and ask them questions! Always be prepared to share a Bible reading app, and to offer to provide them with a hard copy of the New Testament.
How you can share the Gospel with a Muslim you just met
Yes, it might be awkward your first few tries sharing the gospel with a Muslim you just met. Or it might be a Spirit-filled, life changing conversation that sticks with you and this Muslim for the rest of their life.
Ask yourself which is more important: your comfort level or a person’s salvation? Making sure you don’t come off too forward or making sure everyone has an opportunity to accept the gift Jesus has offered them?
You don’t know where they are on their journey. You might be the tenth Christian who has shared the Gospel with them, the final conversation that could lead them to salvation in Christ. Or you could be the first person who shares the truth about Christ with them! Either way, be open to what the Spirit is telling you to say.
There are ways you can prepare yourself to make the longest lasting impact you can on a Muslim you just met. You can carry around a small Bible with you to hand out if you strike up a conversation and they seem interested. You can come up with a few core questions you feel comfortable asking:
- Why have you chosen to be a Muslim versus any other religion?
- I heard that Muslims think Jesus is a prophet. I believe He is much more than a prophet, the Son of God. Have you read what the Bible tells us about Him?
- It is interesting to hear about your experience with Islam. Could I share my faith story with you?
Even if you don’t get to share the whole Gospel from start to finish, try to leave contact information with them so they can reach out if they have more questions. This conversation might be a one-and-done situation, or it might be an opportunity to grow a friendship with this Muslim and become an influence for Christ in their life. But neither of these will happen unless you are brave and step out of your comfort zone.