Love, Pray, Share: Welcoming Minnesota’s 200,000 Muslim Neighbors

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Love, Pray, Share
[pullquote style=”right” quote=”dark”]Evangelical is just from the word ‘evangel,’ or the good news.[/pullquote]Transform Minnesota is working to inspire a missionary heart among Christians towards the nearly 200,000 Muslims that call Minnesota home. In spite of some negative reactions by Christians that have received a lot of media attention, we are encouraged by a growing movement of more and more evangelical Christians who are meeting, loving and serving their Muslim neighbors as the Gospel of Jesus would have us do.

St. Cloud Evangelical Group Offers Relational Response
Evangelical Panelists, Courtesy St. Cloud Times

The St. Cloud Times recently ran an article about a group of evangelical churches that is offering a counter response of love in following the Sept. 17 attack at Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud.

“Several months ago, a few evangelical pastors in the St. Cloud area started to get together to pray and talk about all the tensions in the community, said Rev. Matthew Molesky, particularly tensions between Muslims and Christians.”

“We gathered, not with any clear-cut objective, but just started working in conversations, how can we serve our community well,” Molesky said.

Then they started inviting people within their congregations — and evangelical leaders in particular. The group grew.”

Michael Neterer Speaking to Evangelical Crowd, Courtesy St. Cloud Times

The group is made up of nine churches and calls themselves the St. Cloud Evangelical Network for Transformation. They recently held a public event called “Understanding Islam and Loving Our Somali Neighbors,” and in the future the group hopes to foster and grow relationships with members of the Somali-American community and Muslim community.

“Evangelical is just from the word ‘evangel,’ or the good news,” Rev. Matthew Molesky, a senior pastor at Calvary Community Church told the St. Cloud Times. “We want to love our neighbor and we want to do that based on the truths and doctrines that we hold dear, the truth of understanding who Jesus is and what he teaches.”

Loving Muslim’s Sacrificiallyprayer-11

At a recent Transform Minnesota event, Dick Brogden, a missionary in the Arab world and co-founder of Live Dead spoke about the need to love Muslims sacrificially.

[pullquote style=”left” quote=”dark”]love them through my hands, and through my eyes, and through my family, and through my deeds…[/pullquote] “Like Jesus, we must love Muslims so passionately that we will die for them. We must love Muslims enough to get out of our homes and do life with them. We must love Muslims enough to move our children into the Somali neighborhoods of Minneapolis, and to invite Muslims into the sanctuary of our home. We must love Muslims enough to leave our homeland and live and die in theirs,” said Dick Brogden.

Click here to listen to the audio from Dick Brogden’s message in its entirety.

We believe truth must accompany love. As we stand firm in our faith surrounding the differences Muslims and Christians believe about the deity of Jesus, we also believe that love will cost a follower of Jesus their comforts, time, energy and possibly their life.

dick-brogden-1-smaller“Love them by opening our mouths and declaring to them the unsearchable riches of Christ, that Jesus is very God of very God and that he loves them. And that he’s going to love them through my hands, and through my eyes, and through my family, and through my deeds,” said Brogden.

“Yes, you are going to hold strong to the beauty and the majesty of the deity of Jesus, but with equal vigor and zeal, you are going to love that Muslim man or woman and do whatever it takes that they might come into the Kingdom of God, no matter what it costs you,” said Brogden.

Momentum at Transform Minnesota and Beyond

panelThe momentum to love and serve Muslims in the name of Christ is growing within our ministry at Transform Minnesota and beyond. [pullquote style=”right” quote=”dark”]If you really care about somebody, you love them, you take the time to understand them.[/pullquote] This year we provided 10 seminars and opportunities for churches to learn and love our Muslim neighbors. At a recent Twin Cities Area Mission Professionals (TCAMP) meeting panelists discussed their intentional relationships with Muslims.

“If you love somebody, you get to know them. large-group-2If you really care about somebody, you love them, you take the time to understand them, to know what they believe and why they believe it,” Michael Neterer, a panelist and Director of Somali Adult Literacy Training (SALT). SALT started new sites in Marshall, St. Cloud and Mankato, MN.

“As we spend time with a Muslim, the love of Christ in us is going to draw this person to the Christ in us,” said Randy T, a panelist and a cross-cultural worker for over 25 years.

Inspired by Christians with a Missionary-Heart

We are inspired by the Church as we seek to inspire other Christians to have a missionary-heart for Muslims. We are inspired by dozens of Christians who tour Mosques in order to better understand their Muslim brothers and sisters, the 120 Christians who are partnering with new Muslim refugees and providing them with coats, boots, car seats and rides. We are inspired by Christians all across the state who spend time with Muslims teaching English, and show kindness to their entire family.prayer-8

By acting as the convener of churches and ministries, Transform Minnesota strives to use collaborative efforts to effectively educate and resource other Christians to love, pray, and share with our Muslim neighbors.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can minister to Muslims, contact us here. We would be happy to connect with you.