Muslims read that and their eyes get big as saucers. "That's the guy. That's the guy in my dreams. Who is this? And how do I know more about him?"
Here's the combination: their worldview, the conviction the Holy Spirit promised they would be under, and a missionary knowing how to respond to it. Not reading to them or preaching to them or trying to tell them. Self-discovery is a big part of these movements. Hand them a New Testament. Let them read it for themselves.
A Muslim's direct encounter with the Bible seems crucial.
We've got to see how Muslims think. We need to orchestrate opportunities for discovery and to be there as a sounding board, but not a hammer, hammering the truth into them.
Muslims are like Baptists. I'm a Baptist. You can always tell a Baptist, but you can't tell him much. It's that way with Muslims. They don't like to be told they're wrong. They don't like to be told what the truth is, because they think they know it. But when they discover it themselves, just like a Baptist, they own it and they will die for it. When Muslims actually discover the truth, when they find Jesus, it just grips them and holds them.
Do Muslims who become Christ-followers in general see Islam as illegitimate?
There is a range. Some Muslims who come to Christ and seem on the surface to be the most Islamic, hate Islam. They hate Mohammad. They would tell me: "We will wipe this virus out from our people. It's just destroyed our people."
And yet if you were an outsider, and you met them, you'd never even know they were a Christian, because they continue to live in the culture. And some of them are even imams and sheiks who stayed in their culture.
For many Muslims, Islam is central to the way their people function. It was their mother. It was their family. It was their community. And they had no beef with Islam. What they want to do is to follow Jesus and to love their parents better and to draw them into faith. I found very few people who wanted to take on Islam. They just felt like that was a secondary battle. The real battle was to follow Jesus and to spread Jesus.
In my experience, very few local churches say, "We're doing outreach to Muslims." Why do you think that is?
What we as the body of Christ have been trying to do for 13 centuries has been remarkably unfruitful. Even people who have given their lives to mission to Muslims they'll tell you this is a tough field.
My sincere desire is that the body of Christ in the West would learn from the body of Christ in other parts of the world that has been effective. Even some of our godliest people have not had results because they don't know how to fish for Muslims, but they can learn.
Timothy C. Morgan is CT senior editor, global journalism. You can follow him on Twitter @tmorgan815