Making Jesus Accessible

Practical Ways to Reach Out to Muslims (or Anyone Else). Tip #1: Have Fun

It always amazes me how often those of us from Christian backgrounds (especially the more conservative types) don’t know how to party. In fact, that very word makes some nervous. Part of our excuse is that we’re dealing with a life-and-death topic…our relationship to God. Fair enough.

Sometimes I’ve wondered if I’ve replaced being a vibrant witness of Jesus with cheap, lifeless imitations. A bumper sticker or fish on my car. A large King James Bible on the mantle. A picture of Jesus over the fireplace. And several pretty paintings with verses on them hung in strategic locations around the house so everyone will “know”.

What if your house was known on your street (and by your Muslim neighbors) as a party house? If you want to have FUN, go to the Medearis’ house. They really know how to throw a bash. Great music. Fine food and beverages. Games in the basement. Big backyard with a volleyball net, a fire pit, and a killer barbecue.

The one thing we do have to be careful of is not having alcohol around if there are conservative Muslims. Other than that, the sky’s the limit.

I remember New Year’s Eve 2000. We were at our closest friend’s house in downtown Beirut bringing in the New Year. About one hundred of our best Muslim friends were there. Loud music by a live band was rocking the chandelier. People danced. Almost every guy had a large Cuban cigar in his mouth and plenty to drink–some of which was normally forbidden. At midnight it was so loud I couldn’t hear myself think, but when the noise died down a bit later, my first thought was, Wow. Who would believe this? If someone had told me fifteen years ago thatI was going to Beirut to be a witness of the Good News to Muslims, I would not have pictured this!

And, right in the middle of that atmosphere, Jesus was being lifted up. In the corners around the room, I saw people talking and praying. Later in the night we “prayed in” the New Year. There was love. Community. Friendship Stuff of the Kingdom. All in the midst of an otherwise fairly wild party (not in inappropriate ways).

Learning point: If you don’t know how to party, get help from someone who does. My friend Samir (the host) has often told me that I brought him an understanding of Jesus and that he brought me an understanding of how to have fun. I’d say that’s true! But you also must know and understand needful boundaries and cultural norms so you don’t offend more people than you win.

So, in short: Loosen Up. Have Fun. Talk about Jesus. Let Him take it from there.

Stay tuned for Tip #2, coming next week.

(This content taken from the book Muslims, Christians, and Jesus)