Indonesia (MNN) — Have you ever considered what a chair can do in ministry?
Well, an Indonesian congregation found out after inviting Muslim neighbors to church.
“They wanted to have outreach to the community. The wider community being Muslim, they’re like, ‘What can we offer them that they don’t already have? How can we show them the relevancy of Jesus Christ?'” says Bruce Allen with Forgotten Missionaries International.
The church’s pastor threw out the idea to pray for them. After all, everyone has needs.
“Let us as Christians, since we can come boldly before the throne of grace say, ‘We will pray for you in Jesus’s name.’ And let them watch how Jesus responds to those prayers,” says Allen quoting the pastor. After that, the congregation invited their neighbors to come to their midweek prayer service.
Though Muslims pray five times a day, the prayers are recitations of phrases or verses in Arabic.
When the time rolled around for the prayer service to take place, the Christians were outnumbered three to one by their neighbors. 75 Muslims had showed up. But, since the church was small, there weren’t enough chairs to seat everyone.
“And so they just kind of moved all the chairs to the side and said, ‘Okay, everybody sit on the floor,’ which is an acceptable thing to do. I’ve sat on many floors for church services in these countries,” Allen explains.
Some time later, Allen had a chance to meet with the pastor. “He was saying, ‘We’ve been doing this for a few weeks now, and people are seeing answers to prayer: they’re wanting to find out more about who Jesus really is…. But, Brother Bruce, if we could just have more chairs, because to have someone seated in a chair versus sitting on the floors shows that we want to honor them,'” says Allen, quoting the pastor.
Chairs speak a different language in the Muslim culture. Those sitting in chairs represent a status quo. It was a way for this church to show these people they weren’t just praying for them, but they also loved them and esteemed them.
After returning to the United States, through FMI’s tangible resource fund Allen raised the funds for the church’s 75 chairs. Now, on Sunday, those chairs are filled.
It’s amazing how a little thing like a chair can make such an impact in ministry. And during times like these, when the Muslim population is expected to soon outnumber Christians, it’s important to share the Gospel in any way possible.
Please continue to pray for God’s saving grace for Muslims everywhere. Please also pray for strength and boldness for all who share the Gospel.
To donate to FMI’s tangible resources, click here!