Contemporary Illustrations: Greg Livingstone, “There is no substitute…”

“An interview with Greg Livingstone, the general director of Frontier International (an organization that works with Muslims), illustrates the importance and power of ‘faith working through love’ (Gal. 5:6) In 1982 Greg and his wife started the Frontiers organization dedicated to planting churches that would be led by men converted from a Muslim background. Over the last thirty years, Livingstone says, ‘more Muslims have come to Christ than ever before in history. Thousands are coming to Christ.’ In Algeria, for example, where for 120 year the church had disappeared, it has exploded to more than fifty thousand converts from Islam in the last fifteen years. In Mauritania, a country that had not had a church for a thousand years, a church has been planted that has 550 members. In addition to personal witnessing, what paved the way for impacting people in this country was a mercy ministry through which they fed and ministered to fourteen thousand mothers and babies. Livingstone indicates that throughout countries with a large Muslim population, 188 churches have been established during the last thirty years. While recognizing that ultimately it is the power of God that brings people to Christ and builds them up in Christ, Greg states that Frontiers International sends teams to demonstrate and proclaim the love of God, while also adapting to the local culture and learning the best ways to explain Christ’s cross to Muslims. *’Very few people,’ he says, ‘come to the Lord because they read a book or hear a sermon – there is no substitute for living among people and becoming a trusted person.’ In other words, showing real love to people in the context of relationships is a very important factor in reaching Muslims for Christ. And, according to Paul’s inspired words in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8, what Livingstone says about making an impact on Muslims for Christ is true in terms of reaching anyone for Christ.”  

Wayne Mack, Maximum Impact

*I would imagine he’s looking back at the ministry in which they have participated and speaking in particular of his ministry in the Muslim context. I am sure he’s not denigrating the value of reading books or hearing sermons, but emphasizing the importance of loving biblical relationships.

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