Lead Muslims to Christ Now!
Any-3 is a five-step process which starts with getting acquainted and leads to discovering whether the Holy Spirit is at work in that person’s life to convict them of sin and prepare them for salvation.
Mike Shipman and his team experienced years of fruitless ministry in a “resistant” Muslim field. In desperation they decided to simply present the Gospel to everyone as a way to discover who the Spirit was already drawing to follow Jesus. Those who were responsive would then receive discipleship toward faith in Jesus.
“The First and Last Sacrifice Story” is the simple gospel presentation they developed.
To their amazement, Mike’s team found that the Holy Spirit has prepared some Muslims to accept Christ within minutes or hours of hearing the gospel, even without an investment of months or years to build relationships.
They suddenly found the people among whom they were working to be highly receptive. And from this experience they identified various false perceptions which had been crippling their ministry, which they dubbed Be-e Stings.
Seven years after their first new believer, Shipman and his team report the following fruit:
More than 5,000 Muslims … have professed faith in Jesus Christ through Any-3 style evangelism. … Of the more than 450 groups that have formed among our people group, one-third of them are fourth generation and beyond. …
We are doing today what very few people dreamed possible among Muslims—sharing the gospel and often hearing them say, “Thank you.”
- Simple: A person can learn Any-3 in an hour, practice it with a friend that afternoon, and have fruitful interaction with Muslims that evening!
- Natural: “It feels spontaneous and free, helping Christians live an evangelizing lifestyle.” Yet Any-3 provides a simple and natural path for moving from casual conversation to a gospel presentation and inviting a positive response.
- Adaptable: “Because its principles derive from the evangelism pattern modeled by Jesus in John 4, Any-3 can be adapted to virtually any culture or worldview.”
God is using Any-3 to awaken and empower His people to eagerly share the gospel once again. Those who do are experiencing for themselves the gospel’s power and joy.
As he walked through a secluded area of a conservative Muslim suburb, Derek prayed for the Lord to connect him with someone with whom he could share the gospel.
Hasan was sitting at a small food stall drinking juice as Derek passed by. Hasan was waiting for his wife, who was in a salon. Seeing Hasan, Derek purchased a drink as well, and sat down near him.
The two began making small talk as they passed the time. Quite naturally Derek asked Hasan about his religion. The conversation maintained a relaxed tone, but Derek knew where he wanted it to go. With a few casual questions, Derek suggested that mankind shared a common sin problem. Hasan agreed, “Yes, we’re all sinners.”
Derek asked Hasan what he was doing to get his sins forgiven. Hasan mentioned three of the five activities his religion requires to please God. Then Hasan admitted, “My sins aren’t forgiven yet. I don’t know when they’ll be forgiven. On the judgment day, I can only hope my sins will be forgiven.” Derek was expecting this answer, knowing that Muslims rarely have any assurance of their own salvation.
Derek then politely, yet confidently, told Hasan that he knew his own sins were forgiven. He then explained how he knew, by telling Hasan a story identifying Christ as God’s sacrificial Lamb, who died for our sins and was raised from the dead. Derek concluded by telling Hasan that anyone who surrenders himself to Jesus, with repentance of sin and belief in the gospel, will have his sins forgiven.
Hasan responded by agreeing. It made sense to him that his good works could never cancel out all of his sins, but that God had made a way for forgiveness through Jesus. When Derek asked Hasan if he believed the gospel, Hasan replied with words of sincere conviction and openness. He was convinced that what Derek had shared was true, even though this was the first time he had heard the good news about Jesus’ sacrifice for him.
Derek then quoted Romans 10:9, explaining the need for repentance and surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord. That night, Hasan believed that God was calling him to salvation, and prayed to surrender himself to Jesus. And Derek’s evangelist zeal was renewed.
Step One: Get Connected
You can accomplish this with anyone by using two kinds of connecting questions:
“How are you?”
“Who are you?”
Take time to get acquainted with them
and their family. Be friendly and open.
Transition #1: “Are you Hindu, Muslim,
Buddhist, or Christian?”
Step Two: Get to God
Step Two is accomplished with a question and an observation. The step two question is: “Most religions
are alike, aren’t they?” Then make the observation: “We are all trying to please God, so we can go to heaven some day, and we are all trying to pay off our sin debt. We all sin, don’t we? Even good people sin. Sinning is easy, but paying off our sin debt to God is much more difficult, isn’t it?”
Transition #2: “In your religion, what are you doing to get your sins forgiven?”
Step Three: Get to Lostness
After asking the person what are some of the things they are doing in their religion to please God and get their sins forgiven, let them tell you two or three things they are doing. Listen attentively and don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way.
Wrap up by asking them three questions:
“Are your sins paid off yet?”
“When do you think your sins will be paid off?”
“On Judgment Day, do you know that your sin debt will be paid?”
Transition #3: “What I believe is different; I know that my sins are forgiven. It is not because I am a good person, although I do try. I know my sins are forgiven, because God himself has made a way for our sins to be forgiven.”
Step Four: Get to the Gospel
Tell The First and Last Sacrifice Story. Finish by saying, “And that is why I know my sins are forgiven.”
Transition #4: “According to the Bible, if we surrender our life to Jesus as Lord and believe that He has paid for our sins through His sacrifice and that God has raised Him from the dead, our sins will be forgiven.”
Step Five: Get to a Decision
To bring your conversation to a decision, ask two questions:
“This makes sense, doesn’t it? Although we cannot pay off our own sin debt, God has made a way for our sins to be forgiven through Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection.”
“Do you believe what I have told you: that Jesus died for our sins and was raised again?”
The First And Last Sacrifice
Part One: Jesus
Jesus, the Word of God,1 was in Heaven with God from the beginning. He was born into this world through the Virgin Mary. Both the Bible and the Qur‘an teach this. Jesus never sinned, even though He was tempted in every way imaginable. Jesus overcame the desires of His flesh. He never married; never killed anyone; never gathered riches for Himself.2 Jesus once fasted 40 days and 40 nights while being tempted by the devil, yet he never sinned.
Jesus performed great miracles. He cast out demons; healed the sick and blind; Jesus even raised the dead.
It is interesting that, though Jesus was not yet old, He began prophesying about His death. To his followers He said, “I must die, but I will rise again.” Do you know why Jesus said, “I must die?”3
Part Two: Why did Jesus have to die?
The Adam and Eve Story
The answer is found in the Taurat (what Muslims call the five books of Moses). The Taurat tells us about the first persons God created, Adam and Eve. God put them in a perfect paradise, called the Garden of Eden. They were given great freedom to eat fruit from any tree in the garden except for the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God warned them that if they ate of that fruit they would die.
A Covering for Sin
One day, Satan visited Eve in the form of a serpent and tempted her to eat the fruit that God had forbidden. She ate the fruit, and gave it to Adam, who also ate it. Immediately, they were afraid, so they hid from God. But because God knows everything, he found them and punished Adam and Eve for their disobedience.
As punishment for their disobedience, God cast Adam and Eve out of the garden paradise, and eventually they did die. God’s desire had been for them to live forever, but because of their sins, they lost paradise and died.
It is interesting that the Taurat says Adam and Eve committed just one sin and it resulted in their judgment and death. Adam and Eve seemed like good people, probably better than us. Perhaps they had already done hundreds of good works. They hadn’t killed anyone, committed adultery, or stolen anything. But they disobeyed just once and it resulted in death. Some think that if our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds our sins will be forgiven, but that is not what the Bible says.
Promised Savior and New Clothes
Yet God still loved Adam and Eve. So He did something very interesting. God made a way for their sins to be forgiven. He changed Adam and Eve’s clothes. God replaced the clothes made of leaves that Adam and Eve had made with new clothes made from animal skins. Of course, to make these clothes, an animal had to die. The death of an innocent animal was the price that God paid to cover the sins of Adam and Eve. Because He loved Adam and Eve, God himself offered the first sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sins. The Bible teaches us that apart from the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9:22) Since that first sacrifice, all of our forefathers have offered sacrifices to have their sins forgiven: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and others.
After pronouncing His judgment on Adam and Eve, God also judged the serpent (Satan) who had deceived them. God promised that from among the woman’s descendents a Savior would come who would crush Satan’s head, although Satan would also injure Him. Over the centuries that followed, many prophets of God foretold the coming of a Savior who would take away the sins of the world.
Part Three: “That is why Jesus
had to die!”
And then Jesus came, born of a virgin, the descendent of the woman. Jesus lived a sinless life and performed great miracles. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, a prophet named John looked to Jesus and said, “Look, the Lamb
of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
That is interesting, isn’t it? Jesus was called “the Lamb of God.” Why? Because a lamb is an animal used for sacrifice. Do you remember my question: “Do you know why Jesus said, ‘I must die?’” That is why Jesus said, “I must die.”
Jesus came to be God’s sacrifice to pay for our sins. This is why He surrendered Himself to the Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers to be crucified. He was God’s sacrifice for your sins and mine.
As He was dying, Jesus cried out, “It is finished,” meaning that our sin debt had now been paid.
Then Jesus bowed His head and died. But on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead, just as He had promised.
For the next 40 days, Jesus appeared to more than 500
of His followers, and then was taken up into heaven.
We know that one day, Jesus will return to earth as judge over all mankind.
Conclusion: “That is why I know my sins
The Bible tells us that if we surrender our life to Jesus as Lord and believe that He has paid for our sins through
his sacrifice and that God has raised Him from the dead, our sins will be forgiven. And that is why I know my sins are forgiven.
ANY-3 STORY FEATURES
That is Interesting
Notice that in “The First and Last Sacrifice Story” we periodically use the phrase “That is interesting.” In Any-3, this phrase calls the hearer’s attention to important points we don’t want him to miss:4
- Jesus prophesied his own death.
- Adam and Eve were given the death penalty even though they only committed one sin.
- God changed their clothes (introducing the theme of sacrifice in Scripture).
- Jesus was called “The Lamb of God.”
Two questions help us get to a decision:
- That makes sense, doesn’t it? Although we cannot pay off our own sin debt, God has made a way for our sins to be forgiven through Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection.
- Do you believe what I have told you: that Jesus died for our sins and was raised again?
Be-e Stings That Poison Evangelistic Effectiveness
“Lift up your eyes, look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” (Jn 4:35) This has never been more true, but Satan uses a number of be-es to reduce the harvest.
Be-e Really Careful!
Some missionaries entering countries hostile to the gospel are told: “Your goal is to be there a long time. Don’t be too aggressive in sharing the gospel or you may be deported. Worse yet, you might get us all kicked out!”
The turning point for us came when we decided to share the gospel with anyone, anywhere, anytime. We put the results and consequences in God’s hands and obeyed. As a result, the new believers caught this same attitude, and shared the gospel unbound by chains of fear.
Be-e Sting: Bad things may happen, so I must be really careful about witnessing.
Antidote: Realistically evaluate security concerns, count the cost, then share the gospel more freely. God is sovereign over all things.
Be-e Really Smart!
Some Christian workers are taught to master the culture and religion before they share the gospel.
We find being a bit “dumb” better than being too smart, as expertise in the local culture can provoke defensiveness. Asking questions lays a foundation of respect.
Ask locals what they believe and share the gospel with them. As you listen and learn, you will become more effective in sharing the gospel.
Ali, a gifted evangelist, says, “I used to use the Qur’an as a bridge, but with Any-3 I no longer have to guess who is going to be open to the gospel.” Ali regularly leads conservative Muslims to faith, and streams from Ali’s work are now multigenerational.
Be-e Sting: I must understand the culture and religion before sharing the gospel.
Antidote: The gospel is relevant in every context. Learn all you can about your community while you share the gospel.
Be-e a Friend Maker!
My friend Bill said: “I have known my Muslim friend for six months now. When should I share the gospel with him?”
A lost person shouldn’t have to become my personal friend to hear about Jesus from me. Everyone deserves to hear the gospel even if I never see them again.
If we share the gospel immediately, we can be certain that those who become our friends will know the gospel and know our commitment to it. Otherwise, we might spend years developing a friendship before sharing the gospel, only to discover that our friend is not interested.
When we share the gospel immediately with lost persons, they more often come to faith than when we delay or only share with them step by step over a period of time.
Be-e Sting: Delay sharing the gospel until a solid friendship has been developed.
Antidote: Share the gospel early in every relationship.
Be-e A Quiet Example!
Another stinger confuses good Christian behavior with sharing the gospel. But waiting for others to ask the reason for our behavior places the responsibility on the lost rather than on us.
Others should see Christ-like character in us, but they will see our glaring flaws as well.
People get saved by hearing the gospel (Romans 10:14-17). Your good life is no substitute for a gospel presentation.
Be-e Sting: Living a godly life is as good as sharing
Antidote: Live a godly life while joyfully sharing the gospel with anyone, anywhere, and anytime.
Be-e Really Generous!
When we link sharing the gospel with meeting physical needs we risk confusing the two. Physical needs are here today, and gone tomorrow; eternal salvation is forever. We should not delay sharing the gospel until physical needs are met.
Luke had mastered the language and used community development as a platform to share the gospel. Yet he saw very little obvious evangelistic fruit. After adopting Any-3, Luke began proclaiming the gospel more quickly. Within six months, dozens had professed faith and seven new groups were formed.
The best disciples are those who respond to the gospel out of hunger for righteousness. They submit to Christ as Lord.
Using Any-3, we are finding hundreds who are “selling all” to follow Christ without any hope of payment from us. God becomes their treasure, and they minister to one another’s personal needs as the body of Christ.
Be-e Sting: Give employment or benefits and meet physical needs so others will be open to a gospel witness.
Antidote: Share the gospel without condition while lovingly yet discretely helping those in need.
Be-e Really Incarnational!
Often missionaries seek to become part of the community by adopting the local culture and language. This is well and good, but can also become an endless pursuit of acceptance as a prerequisite to gospel witness.
Jesus lived incarnationally, but He accomplished His mission relationally and exponentially. Jesus went beyond his community to reach disciples and accomplish His mission. He trained first-generation believers to reach their oikos (household). The first generation must do second-generation evangelism and so forth until multiplying generations are reached.
Be-e Sting: The incarnational life becomes the goal; sharing the gospel becomes secondary.
Antidote: Witness broadly inside and outside your community to find persons of peace, then train them to reach their own oikos and communities with the gospel.
Be-e Really Busy!
Lazy people aren’t likely to lead many to faith. But neither are extremely busy people unless they set aside time to share the gospel.
General busyness can take time and energy away from doing the best things. Because witnessing doesn’t come naturally for most of us, we must prioritize and schedule times to be where people are and share the gospel.
For many, busyness is “a way out” of evangelism. We make time for things we enjoy and procrastinate on those we dread. We fill our time in our strengths and perceived giftedness, while neglecting what is perhaps Christ’s most urgent command for all believers, “You shall be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8b).
Be-e Sting: Doing good things crowds out doing the “main thing” (evangelism).
Antidote: Replace less important activity with practicing and training others in Any-3.
BURN DOWN THE BE-E HIVE
In nature, once a bee stings a person, the bee dies. In missions, these be-e stings can go on for years. The solution is to burn down the hive! The following tips
will help you get over your bee stings and move on.
The Hearing Has Been Earned
Each of the be-e stings assumes Christians must earn a hearing for the gospel. Christ has already earned that right, and has given us authority to “proclaim the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15).
The gospel saves, not because of perfect messengers, but because of the worthy Lord who accomplished it.
Why They’re Professing Faith
We surveyed Muslim-background believers, asking them, “What did God use to bring you to faith in Christ?”
We expected to hear a variety of reasons. But the most common answer was that, for the first time, someone had told them the gospel message that Jesus died as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sins. These Muslims gave their lives to Christ because they heard the gospel and were invited to surrender themselves to Him.
People come to faith because they hear the gospel and are invited to respond to it. There is no substitute for direct mouth-to-ear evangelism.
The Gospel Is the Filter
The only way to know who is open to the gospel is to share it and see who responds. Then you will know within minutes, rather than days or months, who is open and responsive.
After we share the gospel using “The First and Last Sacrifice Story,” we ask two questions: “Does this make sense?” and “Do you believe it?” You will never really know if someone believes the gospel until you ask them.
Do Evangelism, Not Pre-Evangelism
We try to share the gospel with a Muslim in our first meeting with them. We have found them much more likely to say yes to Jesus than when we used to wait to share later in the relationship.
Before coming to faith in Christ, Jamaal was a jihadi militant. A recently baptized believer set aside his fears to approach Jamaal with the gospel, and Jamaal surrendered himself to Christ. These two men plus another friend formed a team that led 200 people to faith and started 12 new house churches in six months.
Jesus and His apostles routinely did evangelism in their first meeting with someone, and so can we. The first three steps of Any-3 set the stage for the gospel, but within 10-15 minutes after saying “Hello,” you can be sharing the gospel.