Khutso Mokgehle
10 Jan

By Khutso Mokgehle

Islam is the fastest growing religion! As a Christian, obviously these are not great news as Jesus Christ left us with a mandate, the Great Commission, "... Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:15-16 KJV). 

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life - no one goes to the Father except through Him. The rapid growth of Islam should be telling us that many are being lost, we have forsaken our mandate; or did we? Christians seem to be the loudest on social media, we host mass crusades, open airs, etc; indeed, outreaches are part of every church's programme. So, what are we doing wrong? 

We fail to disciple! 

Try this: Next time you meet with other Christians ask one of them why they pray for food before they eat, and may they state a Bible verse to support their answer. I have done this a countless of times and believe you me, not many know why they do such a popular Christian ritual. This is a problem. 

Many Christian converts earn the title of being saved and blood washed, and it ends there. There is no in-depth study of scriptures and no discipleship. Discipleship is limited to introducing new converts to the church programmes and making them feel like family, I mean this is great, but it is not discipleship. 

It is sad that many Christians live-off "take away meals" (Sunday sermons from their pastor), and interestingly in most cases when a Christian takes time off to search for God, they stock on books, spend time on YouTube and that's it. It seems like the main thing that will actually help us grow in knowing God more is often avoided: The Word.

I wrote a think-piece yesterday on my hypothesis of why Islam is the fastest growing religion. Many people attribute that to the high birthrate of Muslims compared to Christians. This is somewhat true, but I believe there is more to this theory.

There are higher chances of Muslim children becoming Muslims than Christian children becoming Christians.

Muslim families are prioritizing "discipleship", even for children as young as 5 years. Many mosques have what they call madrasa, now madrasa is an Arabic word for school. Based on my limited research, children from 5 years old can be taken to a madrasa to learn how to read and recite the Quran and with proper pronunciation. Muslim children are also taught the Islamic studies, spiritual excellence according to Islam, their laws and also the various rituals. 

Due to modern education, Muslim parents take their children to the normal schools but then after school, most Muslim children go for madrasa. By the time these children become teenagers, they are fully fledged Muslims who know exactly what they believe in, and they can recite the Quran perfectly. 

I looked at this and compared it to how we, Christians raise our kids. Oh boy!

Most Christians are not intentional in how they raise their kids. Our children go to normal schools (like Muslims), but after school while Muslim kids are attending madrasa, our kids are being entertained by Disney Junior, CocoMelon, CeeBeeBee, Cartoon Network, just to name a few. Parents are waiting for a one-hour Sunday School session, of which in most cases, it is just singing, dancing and jumping up and down. The Sunday School ministry is often times treated as a nursery for parents so that they are not distracted as they fellowship.

There is no plan, no spiritual investment whatsoever in the lives of these kids. When they become teenagers, it is so easy for these kids to follow any religion or wayward lifestyle, because in essence, they never understood why they were in church in the first place.

Understanding this makes me reflect as a parent; will my kids grow up to be Christians, will they be followers of Christ? What am I doing about it?

The problem is, can we really teach our children what we do not know ourselves? We can't. Christian parents are so absorbed by the world that they themselves do not know what they believe in. Remember the exercise I asked you to do, asking Christians why they pray for their meals - If we do not understand such basic things; do we even know why Christ had to come? Do we know what the shedding of His blood means to us? Do we understand that one day we will give an account for every idle word we have spoken? Do we know what faith is? Do we know what happens to us after we die? Do we know that our God is all seeing and sovereign? Do we even know what we believe in?

We spend so much time on entertainment and less minutes on the Word. Our devotion times are so cold and often times we approach the throne of God to ask and not to commune with Him. We have become Christians by titles, but we do not know the Father. 

So, in a nutshell there are higher chances of Muslim children becoming Muslims than Christian children becoming Christians. 

It is about time that as Christians we immense ourselves in fellowship with God through a disciplined prayer life and a thorough study of God's Word. God promised us: "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." Jeremiah 33:3 KJV and, "Come near to God and he will come near to you..." James 4:8 NIV. If we come to His throne, He will reveal Himself to us and thus we are able to disciple our children and the new converts.

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