On Training Potential MBB Leaders
by Abu Daoud
A few days I hopped on a morning bus for a neighboring city. I had a meeting there and I figured that afterward I would drop in and see a friend of mine as well. This friend is a local guy (not a foreigner) and in his city/area there is a lot more going on in terms of ministry to Muslims than in my city. Anyway, I asked him how the Muslim-background congregation was doing and he said that he was shifting his focus, and would be meeting with some baptized men to focus on leadership training, rather than helping to run the church meetings. Right away he asked me what I would teach them about.
I get this quite a bit actually. After a few years some of the locals came to the conclusion that I was good guy to consult with in making decisions about local ministry, I guess. I thought about the example of the early church and how and I took a piece of paper and drew a triangle, on each side of the triangle I wrote a word (all in Arabic, but I'll give you the English): ethics, sacraments (in Arabic the word is 'secrets' actually), doctrine. Then under ethics I wrote "Commandments" and "Beatitudes", under sacraments I wrote baptism and Communion, and under doctrine I wrote the two creeds.
I said, "My own opinion on this matter is not very important, but here is a picture of how the early Church handled these things. The idea is that once a person knows about each of these three aspects of the Christian faith, they will have the basics down. Also, back then, people would have to memorize all this stuff (10 Commandments, Beatitudes, etc). All your guys are ex-Muslims so memorizing should be easy for them. Since people didn't normally have books back then, it means that each believer knew from memory all the basics of the Christian faith, including how to baptize new believers. They will also easily learn this triangle here so they will know how to disciple new believers or seekers."
He really liked the overall idea. I challenged him to keep a diary and let me know how it was going.
Please pray for him and his six disciples, that they would mature in strong, faithful, wise leaders for the MBB congregation. And pray for me, that I would be able to give good council to local believers when they ask for advice on ministry. Some day we will leave this land and go back to the West, but most of these local believers will stay here through thick and thin. Until then, thank you for making our ministry possible and investing in the local church through us.