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 Reza Jaffari (a believer of Muslim background and with Elam) and Roxy (a believer of Muslim background).
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.
In November 2012, in Manchester, a young Muslim lad walked into the Cathedral and asked, “How do I become a Christian?”[…] That same weekend a Saudi woman walked into a local church asking the same, and a young Somali lad had befriended a Christian, was so impressed with him that he asked the same question. Since then I’ve come across a number of similar situations across the city, indeed across the country. It got me thinking, “How well prepared is the church for the harvest that God is bringing? For what may be a trickle at the moment, God willing will become a stream, then a river and even a flood.”
Joining The Family is an initiative to help churches in the West to understand, love, equip and learn from Christ’s followers of Muslim heritage (BMBs). This vision was expressed at a consultation in Britain in 2013 and was taken forward by a core group comprising some Christians of Muslim background and Christian leaders with long experience in this field.
The core group developed a set of resources in partnership with Interserve and Carfax Media, with additional valued help from Elam Ministries and the Mahabba network. The resources include a film-based discussion course, seminar materials, this website as well as a book. The book builds on the course material but goes into greater depth and may be read alongside the course or separately. A strength of the course is the way it prioritises the voice of believers of Muslim heritage. In the film clips they give the main input, and they are frequently quoted in the book. The whole church has much 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.