Seminar equips Christians for Muslim outreach
By Monica deRegt | Monday, July 9, 2012
Photo by FirasMT via Flickr.
HAMILTON, ONChurches, organizations and individuals are partnering together to learn how to bring the message of the gospel to their Muslim neighbours.
"Islam is in some ways the biggest unreached people group," says Brian Lawrence, a leader of the Hamilton chapter of the Canadian Network of Ministry to Muslims (CNMM).
Earlier this spring Lawrence helped facilitate a six-week introductory seminar on how to better understand Muslims, with a goal of equipping Christians with tools for effective evangelism.
The Muslim population in Hamilton is growing rapidly, and is currently estimated to be about 30,000.
Lawrence and his team led the "Truth Unlocked" video-based series, which was hosted by Immanuel Christian Reformed Church and open to the public. Lawrence says CNMM is delighted to offer this opportunity in a local church that is in such a multicultural part of the city.
Karin Kranenburg, a member of Immanuel, says the seminar provided practical tools for evangelizing.
"Through learning how to reach out to our Muslim neighbours, we are also learning valuable practical ways to share our faith with people from all walks of life who do not know Christ," she says.
Greg Sinclair, from Christian Reformed World Missions, says this seminar series, as well as others like it, are "a sign of the growing interest in Islam and the desire to know how to share our faith with those of different religious backgrounds." Sinclair is also the coordinator of the Salaam Project, a ministry similar to CNMM and also seeks to help people understand Islam and love Muslims.
There are some tentative plans to put together a second session of this seminar, possibly in the fall.
The leadership team at Immanuel identified this seminar as part of a broader desire to engage with other Christians and churches in reaching out to the growing Muslim population in Hamilton.