Seven Marks of Disciple Making Churches in the Muslim World

Note: This article is from Joel News International

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West-Africa: Seven marks of new churches in the Muslim world

For more than seven years Jerry Trousdale studied disciple making movements in the Muslim world, especially in West-Africa. In that period more than 6,000 new Muslim-background churches were started in 18 countries, comprising 70 different Muslim people groups. Trousdale found that ‘church’ is being done in a specific way:

1. Groups are kept small. The average church size is 31.2 Christians per church. In extremely high-risk areas this is approximately 15 Christians per church. Church buildings are uncommon as they only increase the risk of persecution.

2. Every member is expected to participate in ongoing ‘discovery Bible studies’ in which people together learn how to obey God and help one another grow in faithfulness to Him.

3. The leadership of the church is somewhat collective, but typically includes a facilitator who is receiving ongoing biblical training and mentoring. This is done two to four times a year, without extracting them to other regions. The facilitators support themselves financially.

4. Many churches set aside special times every week for prayer and fasting.

5. Between 60 and 70 percent of the churches report a dramatic healing or deliverance that usually causes the church to suddenly accelerate in growth.

6. More than half of the Muslim-background churches are planted among people who are considered totally unengaged by the gospel. About one quarter of the churches are in Muslim-dominant regions where persecution is very common. In some areas, the sheer number of churches that are planted changes the spiritual environment, which in turn gives Christians much greater freedom.

7. Disciples reproduce disciples, and churches reproduce churches in ways that are biblically informed and culturally appropriate. There are not many programs, but quite of lot of genuine transformation of individuals, families and whole communities.

Source: Jerry Trousdale