In restrictive countries, mission work must be approached with caution in order to avoid betrayal and retaliation. Nik explains that it’s safer and more effective for young mission teams to evangelize to the elders rather than to the children of Islamic communities. Join Nik as he explores effective witnessing strategies for growing the church in persecuted communities.
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Guiding Questions for Young Teams
Evangelizing is an important aspect of Christianity and can be a daunting task for many. Knowing how to communicate the gospel effectively to others can be difficult. Nik presents two important questions to help guide the process:
- What do I say?
- Who do I say it to?
These two questions are essential for understanding how best to express our faith and share it with others. He encourages us to think critically about what we want to say. We should carefully decide which outlets are best suited for this kind of dialogue.
Effective Witnessing in Restrictive Countries
In today’s world, it can be a difficult task to bring Christianity into restrictive places where Islam prevails. Unfortunately, the consequences of this can be severe. Those who try to share the Christian faith without proper caution in such places may face violent threats and death.
If you’re going into a very restrictive place… you reach children in Islam and you won’t survive it. You’ll have guns cocked and put in your face like my own team did when I warned them not to do it. […] They did something like… “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”… teaching first graders and kindergarteners, and our guards came down off the wall, stuck AK-47s cocked in the faces of our young women workers and said, “You’re teaching our children a new way to pray. If you don’t stop it right now, you’re dead. You will not steal our children into Christianity.”
While it can be tempting to target children with the gospel message, Nik explains why this approach may not be the best option. Instead, Nik argues that it is safer and more effective for young mission teams to evangelize to the elders. Culturally, religious upbringing in Islamic communities starts at home under the careful watch of the mother. Therefore, change begins at home within the family.
Build Teams that Mirror the Target Audience
When it comes to witnessing, those who are being witnessed to should feel understood and accepted. This is why Nik advises building a diverse missionary team so that everyone witnessed to can relate to the message. Diversity not only allows people of different backgrounds to be represented, but it also helps the message resonate with as many people as possible.
Now we know how to build our teams. We know to have singles on them… we’re going to have young couples with brand new babies, those with teenagers, those with children out of the home…. We’re going to build a team where the witnessing mirror is as wide as possible so that everyone witnessed to can see themselves in that witnessing mirror. If they don’t see themselves in that story, gender-wise and age-wise from the very youngest to the very oldest, they’ll say to you explicitly, “We thought that Jesus was just for young people.”
Nik tells stories of various misconceptions in other nations, such as the false belief that only young people can be saved or that Christians are unable to have children as a result of following Christ. Through his journey, Nik has been able to correct these misunderstandings and gain insight into the cultures of other nations.