Who we are?
We are a group of people who believe in the church as God’s family and we work together to equip this family to support and welcome believers of Muslim backgrounds. We are from different churches and organisations including Christ’s followers of Muslim background (BMBs) and Christian Leaders with long experience in this field. This group includes Phil Rawlings (Church leader and Director of Manchester Centre for the Study of Christianity and Islam), Tom and Judi Walsh (experienced in discipleship of BMBs and with The Navigators), Tim Green (experienced in discipleship of BMBs and with Interserve) and Karamat Iqbal ( JTF track leader and Pakistani/Kashmiri Muslim Background Believer).
What is Joining The Family?
Today in Britain growing numbers of Muslims are choosing to follow Jesus Christ. They want to join Christ’s community, whether in British churches or in same-background fellowships. We need to understand their needs, care for them and help them grow in Christ. And we want to learn from them.
The Joining the Family core group are keen to provide guidance & support to church leaders and others who are involved in discipleship of BMBs by connecting them with people who have experience & expertise as they seek to support those in their church family.
In spring 2020 a review of Joining the Family’s partnerships and legal/financial sheltering was carried out. It was quickly suggested that there was a natural fit between Joining the Family and the charity Word of Life, in terms of vision, values and mission. Word of Life has been producing materials for sharing Jesus with those from other faiths for thirty years. Since 2019 the mission of the charity has refocused onto BMB discipleship, bringing together the Come Follow Me course, training to use CFM and research into the discipleship of believers from Muslim backgrounds.
It was felt that the vision and resources of Joining the Family complement the aims and ambition of Word of Life really well. New disciples need a home within the body of Christ at large. Joining the Family’s role in the equipping of the church to welcome, receive and mentor these disciples and all they have to offer could be a natural outworking of their three interrelated tracks: curriculum, training and research.