Day 12: Mobilizing to reach the Muslim world
By Gary Fallesen, president, Climbing For Christ
A Sunda man with whom we were blessed to share the Gospel, deliver a New Testament (which he is reading in his own language), and pray for during Mission: Indonesia 2007. The Sunda are one of the largest unreached Muslim people groups in the world. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
I sat in a hotel outside Istanbul with a young couple and their precious baby, humbled by their devotion to Jesus. They were full-time kingdom workers serving in Afghanistan. The husband was checking his email for news on a Taliban offensive that might have made it impossible for them to return “home” after the network assembly we were attending.
Two other brothers in Christ from my generation sat with us as well. They had spent many years of their lives in Afghanistan and Pakistan, seeking to deliver the Gospel to the Muslim populations in those countries. Again, I was humbled to sit at their feet and learn about ministry among Muslims.
Climbing For Christ is part of a network of ministries seeking to reproduce churches of “reproducing disciples growing in faith and truth among all Muslim peoples. Our mission is to expedite and accelerate engagement of all Muslim people groups through effective disciple-making and church-planting efforts. By the grace of God, we strive to see this become a reality by the year 2025.”
Imagine a church among each of the 1,100 Muslim unreached people groups (MUPGs) by 2025. This is our prayer!
It’s also part of our role in finishing the task that Jesus left us with. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14, ESV).
What will it take? “The whole church must be mobilized to reach the whole Muslim world,” says John Becker, a Climbing For Christ member who leads this incredible network of ministries.
John, who I am honored to call my friend, wrote a story in Mission Frontiers magazine (“What Must Be Done? The Birth of a Vision and Its Network,” March-April 2017). In the story he tells how a handful of organizations began to discuss the need for collaboration to reach MUPGs in 2001. The network was born the following year.
I’d been invited to several gatherings over the years, but always had a conflict – usually I was on a mission trip. Then in 2015, God’s perfect timing blessed me with an opportunity to attend both a North American meeting and the international assembly in Turkey. I caught the vision John and others were casting.
“We believe in kingdom breakthroughs in the Muslim world, but for this to happen we need collaboration because the work is too great for any one church, agency, or denomination,” John wrote in Mission Frontiers. “For this, we need a healthy and effective network of people.”
Since that day in Istanbul, where I jumped in – over my head – with a small group discussing ministry in Afghanistan and Pakistan, I have been trying to discern the role Climbing For Christ plays. Like the other 175 (or so) organizations, we have been uniquely called to reach MUPGs (as well as Hindus, Buddhists, and animists). There are people to whom and places where only Climbing For Christ can GO.
We need members to recognize this and support it. We ask you to pray, give and GO.
We also know we cannot do it alone. We must walk with other ministries and organizations. We have much to learn.
When I asked John the importance – in his view – of networking, he quoted The Stanford Institute of Social Innovation Journal (Spring 2012): “There is no other way society will achieve large-scale progress against urgent and complex problems, unless a collective impact approach becomes the accepted way of doing business.”
We call it: team ministry. Jesus picked His 12 and then the 72. “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,” Paul wrote in his letter to Christians in Rome, “so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
May we continue to add to this number daily.
Let us pray:
- We humbly ask to be used by You, Father, to reach MUPGs wherever you have prepared work for us to walk in.
- We lift the other ministries in this growing network, many (like ours) known only to You, Father. We ask for Your blessing on those who are boldly saying, “Here am I! Send me.”
- LORD, have your way with the Oct. 12-17 network gathering, “Abide and Bear Fruit: Global Consultation on Ministry to Muslims.” Specifically, we lift seven strategic initiatives: focused engagement, mobilizing the whole church, learning communities, family, major networks, global events, and prayer. Your will be done!
“You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood purchased for God members of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” – Revelation 5:9 (TNIV)