International (EFCA/MNN) — You may have heard that the Muslim world is growing. What you may not know is how fast it's growing.
According to the "Guinness Book of World Records," Islam is the world's fastest-growing religion by number of conversions each year. The books states, "Although the religion began in Arabia, by 2002 80% of all Muslims lived outside the Arab world."
There are stereotypes and assumptions about Muslims, underscored by images and stories all over the media. As Christ-followers, people are intimidated many times by perceived hostility and don't really understand this growing religion of Islam.
All people often need is the "how" to conquer fear. The Evangelical Free Church is offering "Ministering in a Muslim Context (MMC)," an online course designed to provide an accurate understanding of the worldview and practices of Muslims around the globe.
The 5-week training provides a framework to help Christians confidently, effectively, and lovingly share the story of Christ with Muslims. Registration is now open: the next course runs March 4 through April 14, 2013.
Gospel workers designed the course for anyone working with Muslim people, either in a Muslim majority context or in a place like the U.K. or the U.S. where Muslims are a minority. The curriculum covers topics like: Introduction to Islam, Approaches to Muslims, Islamic Spirituality, and Cultural Barriers for Muslims.
You don't have to leave home to take the course because it's online. Never taken an online course? No problem there: the first week is all about online learning. From there, the course requires about 4-6 hours of work per week. Class materials are a mix of text, audio, and video. A main element of the course is the interaction between participants and the facilitator through forums.
You can even take the class on your own schedule. The assignments have due dates, but since MMC is an asynchronous course, there are not specific times you need to be online. Participants will be in several different time zones around the world, so there is not one set time when everyone is online at the same time.
"Ministering in a Muslim Context" costs $75 per participant, but taking the mystery out of sharing the hope of Christ with the Muslim world is priceless.