Missions and the Arab Spring: 5 Steps to Take Now

Historic Events

Changes are occurring around our world at a breathtaking pace.  Of course this is the week everyone is talking about the death of Osama Bin Laden, and rightfully so.  But, his dramatic capture and death is simply one of an entire series of events occurring around the Arab world that are almost impossible to believe.  Entire governments are toppling in places like Egypt and Libya.  Women are protesting for equal rights in Saudi Arabia.  The phrase “Arab spring” has been coined by many culture watchers to describe the awakening of a desire for political, social, and religious freedom in countries that have long been frozen by tyranny and abuse.

Unprecedented Opportunities

It is highly likely that these events will result in greater religious liberty around the world.  Just like the fall of communism provided tremendous opportunities for ministry in eastern Europe, there very well may be open doors for service in places that many of us would have only dreamed about a few years before.  Praise the Lord for His sovereign hand.

The question before the house is…what can the the church of Jesus Christ do now to be prepared to effectively serve the Lord as these historic events continue to unfold?

Five Steps to Take Now

  1. Pray for, and work toward, personal and corporate holiness. In the past decade, some church leaders in eastern Europe expressed concern about influence from American Christianity because they worried that our worldliness would pollute the message and extinguish the mission.  Let’s not allow that to happen again as these new opportunites unfold.
  2. Explore and embrace cutting edge ways of communicating God’s Word This cannot be “your grandfather’s way of doing missions.”  Just as the early church adapted to changing ministry conditions, without compromising God’s Word, ministry today will require similar creativity and flexibility.
  3. Be prepared to give sacrificially to fund these new ministry endeavors.
  4. Faithfully pray for the ministries and churches that already exist in the Arab world.  In many cases there are pockets of followers of Jesus Christ who have been serving and ministering at great risk and personal peril.  They will be on the front lines of amazing opportunities.
  5. Ask God if He, the Lord of the harvest, would want you to go to serve on one of these emerging fields as a short or long term missionary.  Why not?

Proverbs 21:1 – The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.  Anyone who has eyes to see is simply amazed at what God is doing in His world.  Let’s do everything we can to sow the gospel of Jesus Christ. (That is what every good farmer does in the spring.)

Steve Viars
Dr. Viars has served as a pastor and counselor at Faith since 1987. He is an author, national speaker, and Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Biblical Counseling Coalition.