Recommended Reading: “Miraculous Movements,” by Jerry Trousdale

(adapted from Amazon’s review of this book)

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 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.

Author Jerry Trousdale explains that “counter-intuitive disciple-making” is the biblical approach that makes such dramatic transformation possible.

WIM missionary Chad Pennington describes this as …
Sticking to simple principles that are found in the Bible, instead of using clever marketing techniques. Focusing on making disciples, not converts. Going slowly at first to be more fruitful. Focusing on a few people to win many, instead of trying to get mass conversions. Engaging an entire family, not just one person at a time. Sharing only when and where people are ready to hear. Starting with Creation and moving to Christ, instead of starting with Christ. Making the focus on discovering God’s will and obeying what God tells us to do, instead of teaching lots of Bible knowledge. We should aim to ‘disciple people to conversion’, not the other way around […] encouraging and coaching lost people, from the beginning, to obey biblical truth.

It seems that we could avoid many problems in discipleship, if we teach people to obey God from the beginning of their relationship with Him. … I liked how this book presented practical advice that can be reproduced all over the world. The emphasis placed on prayer was also refreshing. The idea of finding a person of peace to be a gateway into cities, communities, and even nations is […] is definitely something to pray for, in reaching a region with the gospel.

WIM missionary Jon Looney explains further:
Sometimes, we assume people already know about God and Creation, and we think they are ready to skip straight to Christ; when we should really start right where God started—at Creation.

Many times, as missionaries, we go where God has called us and start preaching or sharing [the Gospel] and do not notice whether they are ready to hear what we are sharing. Then, many times, we do not see the results we had hoped for and [find] ourselves feeling defeated and burned out. The basic idea is to make disciples like Jesus did, and that is not through mass evangelism, but through connecting with a few people on a deeper level, and teaching them to do the same. [We should do] it like Jesus did—discipling and sharing with an individual or family and, then, teaching them how to share; so they can do the same process with another individual or family. That is how the Gospel was spread back in the time after Jesus; and it still works today.

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