Best-selling author of Keys, Unlocking the Gospel for Muslims, Colin Bearup publishes new book!

"Colin Bearup's little book deserves to be widely circulated and read by North American Christians and missionaries."

Jonathan Bonk, Director, Dictionary of African Christian Biography, Mission Research Professor, Boston University

Tell us a little bit about your story.

It was when I was just twenty years old, God called me to serve him among Muslims in Africa. By the time I turned twenty-two, I had been in Sudan for three months and stayed for three years. I was conscious that the time in Sudan was preparation for moving West.

When I arrived with my wife and young family in Chad, I already had some knowledge of Arabic. The country was recovering from civil war, and in many ways, we were starting a fresh. Those first few years, it was learning the language better, personal witness, using literature and before long helping others to learn the same things.

After five years, discipling new believers of Muslims background and also teaching believers who had no background in Islam became important elements without all the great tools we have available now. It was great to see a BMB church form.

Then scripture translation became my primary occupation with the added blessing of getting the opportunity of spending time with people in agencies and in different places all learning how to be fruitful. The New Testament translation was finished in 2011 and the audio version in 2012, by which time I have moved into a ministry primarily of leading and training which carried on until 2016.

I am now working with Muslims in the UK and teaching others to do the same and find time to write.

Why did you choose to write this book now?

In the last few years of my time in Chad, I saw lots of young couples arriving to serve God among Muslims. I remember how I had arrived full of clear ideas about how to engage with Muslims – I what was important! 

Then, over the years I had discovered that there were so many other things I needed to learn in order to be effective. I saw these new workers arriving, many of them with such clear ideas about church planting methods – they know what is important - but they did not know how many other things they would need to learn to be really effective in making disciples. I took every opportunity I was given to teach and tell my stories.

I looked for a book that brought all these things together and there wasn’t one.

What do you see as the future of the Gospel in Africa? 

The role of expatriates in Africa is going to be greatly reduced. Africa is already becoming a sending continent.

However, there are still a significant number of unreached people groups, almost all of them Muslim, which present a challenge both to African Christians and also to expatriates. Those who come after me will be working in partnership with and under African workers to a greater degree than I did.

The need for understanding is more urgent than ever.

"Colin Bearup has written a must-read primer for every Christian worker serving God among African Muslims."

Dr. Richard Hibbert, director of the Center for Cross-Cultural Mission, Sydney Missionary & Bible College and author of Walking Together on the Jesus Road: Discipling in Intercultural Contexts

What mistakes does this book help people avoid? 





I am convinced that we can potentially learn much more from our mistakes than our successes. Will those who read the book make fewer mistakes or just different mistakes? I am not sure, but I think it will help them make sense of their mistakes more quickly and learn from them.

What transferable concepts are in the book for those who work in other places? 

I am not sure I am qualified to say, but when my friend and mission training director Dr Richard Hibbert had read the draft, he wrote “it made me wish that it could be produced in a broader version for workers among Muslims everywhere, with the illustrations coming from Africa.”

Even if some of the specific examples do not apply elsewhere, I suspect the approach does. We need to be asking the right questions wherever we are.

Many come away with new insights into what they thought they knew and new challenges to address.

What response are you already getting from readers and those whom you teach? 

I have had the privilege of leading workshops on some of the subjects covered in the book, particularly so-called folk Islam, patronage and appropriate messages. These are usually with field workers who have some experience, not necessarily in Africa.

Many come away with new insights into what they thought they knew and new challenges to address.

"After over fifty years of focus on the Great Commission among Muslims, I would truly like to sit and learn from this man."

Dr. Greg Livingstone, founder Frontiers

What’s your best tip for shortening a worker’s learning curve? 

Embrace being a lifelong learner!

The learning curve does not get shorter, you just get further along it. If I went from A to B, then I hope my book will get others from A to B to C heading onwards to D at an accelerated pace. I know I am still learning.