“When we first arrived on the field, there were no Muslim-background followers of Jesus,” says Joshua, a Frontiers field worker in Southeast Asia. “We did evangelism work for a few years with no visible fruit.”
Joshua and his team recognized that they needed to try something different, so they started working with local Christians who had hearts to reach their Muslim neighbours. “We both learned from and trained local Christians and sent them out as teams to different areas among our Muslim people group.”
Over time, the local teams started to see fruit—usually after four or more years of ministry. It even grew into a network of house churches that involved over 600 active Muslim-background believers. But the numbers of new fellowships plateaued as they faced struggles in developing leaders among the new believers.
Four years ago, Joshua and his teammates attended a Frontiers conference where they discovered practices that lead to movements of faith in Jesus Christ. They learned about finding men and women who open doors into communities, teaching people obedience to the Word, and the importance of prayer. When they returned to Southeast Asia, they introduced their local teams to these movement-oriented principles and trained them to start reproducing Bible-centered fellowships.
“Since implementation [of movement principles],” says Joshua, “the ministry has almost tripled, our leaders and workers are more focused, and Muslim-background believers are more active in leading the majority of our groups.”
The number of Muslim-background believers has now surpassed 1,800, with fellowships continuing to grow and multiply. Joshua reports that this is largely because “movement training gave our leaders and workers concrete direction and a renewed vision of what God can do.”
It is a new day in ministry as Joshua’s team coaches and trains the leaders of this blossoming work!
Despite tremendous responsiveness to the message of Jesus in some locations, over 1,000 Muslim people groups still have no Gospel witness among them. To reach these unengaged people groups, Frontiers provides field workers with critical training in planting reproducing fellowships that transform whole communities and nations.
Sowing the Gospel into groups leads to more resilient, reproducing churches that are less likely to be snuffed out. A Frontiers leader supervising teams in one Muslim region says that “movement training encourages people to think in terms of a community being the smallest unit in which to plant the seed of the Gospel.”
Since 2011, Frontiers has hosted several dozen global training events, webinars, and conferences on movement principles. Field workers receive ongoing coaching through peer groups, regional networks, and skilled mentors. New workers also benefit from critical pre-field training that prepares them to put key strategies into practice as soon as they arrive.
The tools they discover are both practical and adaptable. Workers learn creative ways to identify people who are interested in studying the Word, as well as ways to encourage reproduction of Bible studies. This organization-wide training has given Frontiers teams renewed vision and growing expectation to see reproducing churches planted in Muslim communities.
The initial results are impressive. Many teams—even in the hardest corners of the Muslim world—are seeing growth and multiplication of churches as they apply movement principles to their ministries.
In part of South Asia, well over a hundred Bible study groups have been established, leading to numerous reproducing church plants. One team in the region reports that they’ve seen a Bible study group multiply and start two new groups in just a few weeks.
In another region, a team leader writes, “Our team has been greatly impacted by movement training in everything we do. We know how to spend our time, we have a clearer focus, we have expanded our network and are thinking [in terms of reaching the whole nation], and on and on.”
Field workers agree that this training has strengthened their witness and helped them engage Muslims with the Word on a daily basis. Teams are discovering new opportunities to catalyze reproducing church movements, and Muslims are studying the Bible in areas where there was previously no spiritual response.
A new wind is blowing in the Muslim world, and teams are more focused than ever as they invite many to follow and serve Jesus Christ. Pray with us for more movements to Christ that result in churches planted firmly on God’s Word.
** Names and places have been changed for security.**