Since 9/11, many Christians have viewed Muslim immigrants with suspicion and fear. Kevin King of NYC International project offers another perspective based on what the Bible says about immigration. Listen to his insights on reaching out to immigrant communities in America.


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Here starts the auto-generated transcription of Reaching Muslims in NYC Since 9/11: 



My friend called me, a partner in ministry, and said, turn on the news. So, of course, I turn it on and find out that this airplane hit one of the buildings. At that point, we had no idea. We didn’t think anything about anything as far as a terrorist attack or anything. We just thought maybe there’s a fire or some accident and so forth.


And, then we found out the second plane hit, then it started to become clear, wait, this isn’t just an accident in a building. So my wife was dropping my son off. I tried to call my wife. At this point, all of the cell phones were jammed, so we couldn’t communicate. At some point, I’m just like, well, I’m gonna jump on the subway and go down and get him out of school because I didn’t know what was coming next at this point.


So I jump on the subway, and probably halfway there, subway stopped. Everything stops heading downtown. So we’re sitting in a tunnel for literally 45 minutes just waiting. Once again, Muslim terrorists. A terrorist.


Islamic extremist. These are the terrorists of the country. They’re random justice and brutal endeavors. News flash America. These Muslim extremists are are alive and well.


They are not dead, and their video is not gratuitous, and it certainly is not irrelevant. It is a warning. Welcome to the truth about Muslims podcast. The official podcast of the Zwemer Center For Muslim Studies, where we help to educate you beyond the media. Here are your hosts, Howard and Trevor.


Alright. We have a special guest in the studio today, Kevin King with New York City International Project. Welcome, Kevin. Thank you. Alright.


So what makes it international? Well, we’re working with internationals and immigrants from all over the world. So really, our whole ministry is focused toward reaching out to people who come either temporarily on as students or who are immigrating here. Some people are here and they’re planning to live for the rest of their life. Other people come here.


Their entire family’s back in their country. They’re just trying to make some money to send it back and to support them. And so do you work with churches, or is it, just you guys your your your, what would your ministry, is that what they do? Just, meet with immigrants, or is it, something that you try to get other churches to get involved in? Well, we we have a philosophy of ministry where we’re trying to to start churches and see churches highly reproducible, multiply, and so forth.


So we have a very different paradigm of church that’s very simple. We’re trying to ask the question, what’s the basic essence? What’s the very essence of what the church is with no additions? And we’re trying to live that out. So we’re not doing the whole building thing.


No programs. We’re just trying to live as a body of Christ. So we we have a network of house churches. We do partner with other churches in in part in areas of outreach. But as far as when we see people come to Christ, we’re really trying to have them reach their friends and family, see a new church started.


We’re not even necessarily trying to invite them into our house church. We’re just trying to we’re trying to find these people of peace who will gather their friends and family together, start a discovery bible study where they’re they’re studying the word of God and then see them eventually become a church. So would you say that you guys are church planters? Right. We’re church planters.


Wow. That’s really interesting. So you’re starting you’re you’re starting a house church movement in New York. We’re well, we’re seeking to start a house church movement in New York, but we’re also our our real vision is to see churches started as a result. And I shouldn’t say real vision, but I should say another part of our vision is to see churches started as the the gospel spreads and is carried back relationally through relational lines in different countries.


And we’ve seen, 5 different churches started in different countries as a result. So interesting. So immigrants will come, right, to New York. It’s it’s filled with immigrants. You reach out to them.


And then as you disciple them and plant the church through them, then when they go back, they kind of they’re equipped. They they do that. They go and plant churches in their own home countries. Right. So either, they go back and they start churches or they’re they stay and through the relationships and communication or visits a church has started.


Okay. So it sounds like there’s a huge shift even with globalization, transnational communities. You have social media. You have ways that they communicate back home. So they they maintain those connections when they come and they live here.


And through those connections, you’re saying you make disciples who in turn make disciples. And some of those disciples are actually across the sea and they’re being made via social media, telephone, Skype Exactly. Facebook. I mean, that’s our vision and we’re we’re seeking to see that happen more and more. So thinking in terms of of of Muslims, New York City, I mean, immediately what comes to my mind, I can’t help it, is 911.


Mhmm. Were you in New York City on 911? And if so, what was the the feeling from people in New York? Yeah. Actually, we were in New York City, and, I live in Manhattan, and it happened in lower Manhattan.


And my my son was actually going to school fairly close to the building down downtown. And, the what was the reaction of the people? Or Well, I I kinda wanna hear that story. What what was your feelings like with you on that day? Oh, my goodness.


I mean, your son’s downtown. You wake up. See this going on. Everybody kinda remembers where they were. Yeah.


So I woke up. I mean, I was I was, I was doing something. I don’t remember what I was doing, but my friend called me a partner in ministry and said, turn on the news. So, of course, I turned it on and find out that this airplane hit one of the buildings. At that point, we had no idea.


We didn’t think anything about anything as far as a terrorist attack or any we just thought maybe there’s a fire or some accident and so forth. And, then we found out the second plane hit, then it started to become clear, wait, this isn’t just an accident in a building. So my wife was dropping my son off. I tried to call my wife. At this point, all of the cell phones were jammed, so we couldn’t communicate.


At some point, I’m just like, well, I’m gonna jump on the subway and go down and get him out of school because I didn’t know what was coming next at this point. So I jump on the subway and probably halfway there, subway stop. Everything stops heading downtown. So we’re sitting in a tunnel for literally 45 minutes just waiting. And everybody knows this is going on, but we’re just all in a tunnel because they’re not letting any any more trains go downtown.


You know what I mean? Is there, hysteria at this point with people? I mean People are starting to, you know not hysteria, but there’s definitely. I I think there’s a good number of people on the train who didn’t turn on the news in the morning, and then there’s those who are talking about it, what’s going on. The train stops.


It takes us about 30 minutes before they get us to a platform. They let us all off. And so I’m at this point, I’m like, okay. I still need to get down there. My son’s at school.


I go up to someone in someone’s car and I say, hey. Can you give me a ride? You’re heading downtown. And they said, yeah. Jump in because now it’s becoming I get off so I got on the train and the buildings were on fire.


I get off the train, and I hear on the news on the radio, this guy has it on, and it says the world trade towers are no more. And I was thinking, oh my gosh. That’s an exaggeration. I mean, I know they’re on fire. Right?


You know what I mean? Right. But how can there be no more? Yeah. What what Classic media Exactly.


Alright. Come on. Stop being so extreme. That so I was just thinking it was I didn’t know any so anything about what actually happened. So the guy, heads downtown.


He was heading down. Gets to a point where the police say, you can’t go any further. They’re not letting cars. So now I jump out of the car and I’m running through the the street, you know, and I’ve I’m used to running. So I I didn’t, you know, run-in the park and so forth.


But now I’m thinking, okay. I have to run another mile or so down to my son’s school. I’m running down and there’s just herds of people all on the street walking. I mean, like, quickly towards the course of getting in the opposite direction. Uptown.


Getting uptown. Right. Because downtown, everybody’s like, this is a target zone. You know what I mean? Who knows what’s gonna happen?


Wall Street’s down there. You know what I mean? So, finally get to the school, and I said, I’m I I I wanna get my son. They said your wife took him about an hour ago. Oh my gosh.


And you still haven’t had contact with him? The cell phones are completely jammed. I had no contact with her. There’s a whole another story about what happened to her because she had gone all the way uptown, then dropped him off, went all the way uptown, and then found out what’s happening. She ended up she had to walk, like, 50 blocks back downtown to get him.


Anyway, by the time I got there, she was gone. It was like it really was like a movie. I mean, at this point, there is dust, clouds of dust filling the air. There’s cop cars and fire engines and, you know, streaming down the streets. I finally I come out and there’s this car with dust all over it.


And I said, hey, you guys. Can I get a ride with you uptown? And they said, we were just about to go to into the building. They worked in the towers and they said, you know, and our car was parked right there and we ended up getting out of there. So I I hitched a ride with them to a certain point.


I left at 9 o’clock, like, I think it was probably 9 o’clock in the morning to go get him. I finally got home at 3 because all the transportation was dead, so you’re walking everywhere. It was just a absolutely crazy day. I mean, to make a long story short, it was a crazy it was like a horror movie. It was just absolutely crazy.


And your son, does he still remember that day? I don’t know. He was probably it was preschool at the time. He was probably 4. So he probably wasn’t really aware of what was happening.


Right. I don’t think he was completely aware of what was happening. I’m I’m really tempted to sidetrack here and just go for moment that you actually invented Uber where you kinda just share a ride, like, you’re the Yeah. That was the that was my impression. That moment.


I’m I don’t know. I have this They charged me. We don’t wanna generalize here, but I’m I’m just thinking New York City, there is sort of, because we we only hear from other people about New York City, but there’s a kind of a thought that, man, New York City wouldn’t just ask a stranger for a ride. So so help bust our paradigms here. What’s New York City really like?


I think you wouldn’t you normally wouldn’t ask a stranger for a ride, but it’s just really at this time, everybody was kind of it felt like, okay. We’re all in this together. Right. Jump in the car. You know what I mean?


It was like, it just it just changed the whole mood of the city, and everybody was helping each other out and working together. And you could probably go up to any car and say, hey. Can I jump in? They’d be like, yeah. Jump in.


It was just completely, like, New York City was gone at the I mean, gone in as far as the way we operated normally. And now we’re all in this together, and we’re helping each other out. So this is, I think, for listeners something that we need to take into consideration when we think about Muslims sometimes. Sometimes, utter chaos and a feeling of a togetherness when somebody else is sharing in a suffering can actually draw people much closer together. And dividing walls come down, boundaries come down, and you actually link together under whatever it is that unified sort of we’re in this together, we’re New Yorkers.


That’s the identity crisis that the Muslim world is facing right now because they’re trying to figure out, are we a unified Muslim community? And hearing you kinda tell that story from a New Yorker’s perspective, wow, it kinda it sheds light on the power of that sort of connection that you had with those people that you didn’t even know. So the show wouldn’t be possible without sponsors. And this week’s sponsors are Zweimer Center. Zweimer Center.


The Zweimer Center. The Wamers Center. Zweimer Center. And what does the Zweimer Center do? Talks about Muslims and and tells them on the computer that we love you.


Very nice. The Swimmer Center equips the church to reach Muslims. The Swimmer Center has been educating people about reaching Muslims before it was cool. Hearing you kinda tell that story from a New Yorker’s perspective, wow, it kinda it sheds light on the power of that sort of connection that you had with those people that you didn’t even know. And and not only was there this whole new atmosphere of coming together in unity, but then in with these horrific things happening around us, there was this spiritual, every every wide spiritual sensitivity and openness that there wasn’t before.


And I’m not and I’m not I’m not saying it lasted super long, but it probably lasted 4 to 6 months, possibly. You know what I mean? Where there was just people you could to get into a spiritual conversation after 911 was, like, so easy. It just happened. It just happens.


I mean, people were just ready to because life and death and and the real and and in New York City, probably different than anywhere else. People are for a good 6 months, people are on the subway on the subway, and it stops for maybe there’s, like, a a traffic jam or something, and people are starting to, like, get jittery. Like, people are Wow. I mean So the aftershock, the after effects. The after effects.


And numerous times, I was on the subway, and they had to stop because there were, like, fears of bombs, scares, and so forth. So I think we call that PTSD. Well, that’s what that’s what it sounds like. This post traumatic stress. Right?


I mean Post traumatic yeah. Right. And and it there was a, like, this citywide, you know, post traumatic stress that was, you know No. No. There’s a lot, obviously.


There’s a lot of immigrants that come into New York, New York City. In your ministry, obviously, you deal with a lot of them. Did did you see any ill effects that have come from 911 to, these Muslims, that they were kinda dealing with on a daily basis that had kinda changed the culture of New York? You know, I could what I can say is that I think after 911, I can definitely notice that in churches you know, I interact with churches inside the city and mostly outside the city, but I do interact with churches some inside the city. But I definitely have noticed a change in the way Christians view Muslims after 911, and it it’s it’s not for the good.


It’s they, they’re viewing Muslims more from a perspective of fear rather than from a perspective of the gospel. You know what I mean? Right. Do you have any do you have any interactions that you can think of that, brought you to this conclusion? I don’t know if I could I don’t know if I could give a story that’s worth just comments that people make, Just off the bat.


About about immigrants that, well, they shouldn’t be here, you know, or just this sense of we need to keep them out. We need to this idea, this feeling, this these comments here and there that the Muslim is the enemy. And and I think this is coming. And it also flows out of this feeling, like, you know, the they’re not only the enemy of Christianity, they’re the enemy of America. And there’s this almost, like, this false patriotism, like, where we just need to they’re the enemy.


We need to keep them out. And I think people are thinking more from the perspective, and I and I do think it’s a false patriotism, but more from the perspective of their citizenship within the US versus their citizenship in heaven. You know what I mean? It’s it’s Well, I think the are you saying that you’re seeing more of this within the church than you are just with non believing or non church going New Yorkers? Like, the New Yorkers in general aren’t like this, but in the churches, it seems to be more prevalent?


So New York is kind of like a haven where the major message and if this is happening over the US, but the major secular message is tolerance. Right. You know what I mean? So I think that they’re that people on the outside communicate this tolerance. It doesn’t mean that their internal fears aren’t there, but there’s this political correctness of tolerance.


So it’s really hard to tell with just normal people, but as far as what’s actually going on. But I definitely see it in the church especially outside the city because I’m interacting with a lot more churches outside the city. So I I don’t know if I could, give an accurate representation of churches in the city, but I would say that probably since New York City is such an international city, people are interacting with Muslims on a daily basis. And what I think most people, what they find is that a lot of their Muslim friends are just as horrified by what happened as they are and just as scared about what’s happening and their own insecurities. It’s not like these aren’t people.


Do you know what I mean? It’s not like these aren’t people with children in the same schools, and they love their kids just as much as we do. Right. So I think that probably the advantage that the New Yorker has is that it’s such an international city that they realize I, you know, I almost feel like people on who aren’t around Muslims and aren’t around internationals, they almost, in a sense this is gonna sound extreme, but they almost, in a in a sense, forget that these are people Right. With feelings.


You know what I mean? Like, who have kids and who actually love their kids just as much as we love our kids, and they have the same insecurities, and they have the same desires. They don’t they want peace. And Right. So when you interact with regular people who happen to be Muslim in the city and you’re going to the same PTA conference together Yeah.


And working on a project. You see them in a normal context. Yeah. Yeah. You realize that this is the these are not the enemy.


You know what I mean? You’re both fighting for healthy school lunches. Yeah. I mean Right. You know, you’re on the same side and so Right.


And and I think what we tend to do is, when you don’t have that interaction, your mind is able to create this almost like this monster. And look, I’m not trying. I am not defending terrorism in any way. You you understand what I mean? Right.


I’m just trying to help people to that there’s a human side to there’s just a human side to every people from every group, and it’s almost as if, you know, I’ve traveled to different countries, and sometimes I have to let people know when I travel to a different country. I know you hate America, but there’s a difference between the people and the government. You know what I mean? What the government does. Right.


Right. Right. And once we have this relationship, they realize, wow. I’m not the United States government. Well, that’s kinda the same way.


You know, there’s a separation between what’s happening in this global political arena and these normal people who are completely separated from it Right. And who are just trying to live normal lives. And Yeah. We get so represented by our political governments. Right.


So it’s interesting. Yeah. Now you you mentioned a funny word. You called it, false patriotism. Can you kinda give us a a little definition or what you think that is or how you’ve seen that in a story, maybe?


Well, I I I think I I don’t know if I can give a story. But I think that Oh, we have stories. That was great. No. You’re just kidding.


Go ahead. Just try to pull a good story out of me or something. Like, you know, I just think that I say false patriotism because it, in some circles, it almost feels like that if you love America, then you’re against the Muslim. And that is just not it’s just a false patriotism. It is not It’s actually the exact opposite of what America’s supposed to be found It’s totally the exact opposite.


Give us an understanding of America and immigration. What what have we missed here since 9/11 where there’s clearly been a shift of anti immigrant? You live among immigrant communities. You read the scripture through the lens of how does the scripture speak to an immigrant theology. How should we view immigrants, foreigners?


Help us help us see that. What is supposed to be our role as Christians when it comes to the foreigner? Yeah. You know, let me just say from I think that the whole issue of immigration from a political standpoint is complicated. And and it’s interesting because I’m working with internationals who have also have strong feelings about illegal immigration because different people are trying to come in in different ways and some who are trying to come in through legal channels are upset.


So it’s not like Oh, that’s interesting. It’s not like the the the non immigrant is they’re the only ones upset with it. So the political side, I’m just I I think I’m just not gonna try to go into that because it’s too complex. I don’t think I understand it fully enough, but it’s not as if, oh, the, quote, unquote, American who was born here is the only one who’s against illegal Right. Immigration.


The complexity. There’s just it’s much more complicated because Yeah. I found that Muslims that come here legally actually are quite frustrated with those that try to go around the system because they make the system more complicated. Exactly. And it makes And so Yeah.


Let’s let’s avoid the political aspect of of immigration and groups and ethnicities and races, and let’s just talk about a biblical as a believer, as a follower of Christ. What what’s my role? What’s my responsibility to the immigrant, to the foreigner? Yeah. Well, you know, one of the things that’s interesting in scripture is that migration the migration of peoples is is scattered throughout the scripture.


And this whole idea of the alien or the stranger or the foreigner, we see that throughout scripture. And, I actually think that God uses my the migration of people, in his plan in in multiple different ways, but one of the primary ways is to see the gospel spread to the nations. And, you know, it’s interest well, look at Solomon in the old testament as an example. Solomon was, you know, built the temple, and, there’s now this prayer of dedication. And in this prayer of dedication, he specifically mentions that we should pay attention to the foreigner who’s come from a distant land.


And this is in second Chronicles chapter 6, and it says something like this. It says, as for the foreigner who has come from a distant land because of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm, when he comes and prays towards this temple, then hear from heaven your dwelling place and do whatever the foreigner asks of you. And then it says, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you. So Solomon says that we should pay attention to the international who has come from a distant land so that all of the earth may know the name of God and fear him. And how does that happen?


Well, the international either comes and goes back or they come and they have bridges and connections to people from these different places. Right. It’s so weird that when you read scripture, right, you see the immigrant in there. But I’ve read I’ve read that passage before, and it’s never like, when you brought it up the other day in chapel, I was just like, I don’t think I’ve ever read that, but I’ve read it. It just doesn’t stick out.


You know? So it’s really interesting how you’re highlighting it and then adding that, not adding, but, bringing out the emphasis, you know, on the immigrant and and and how, you know, that was a that was a big deal, you know, in God’s eyes. I think it’s it’s definitely a big deal because this is the one time where we see Jesus actually turn over tables and get angry is when he’s in the temple and the court of Gentiles is made into a den of thieves. Mhmm. And he even quotes and says that that this is meant to be a house of prayer for the nations and they’ve turned it into a den of thieves.


And it’s it’s interesting that the temple always had that court that was set aside specifically for the foreigner and there’s all of these places in scripture within Levitical law where we’re supposed to take care of. Watch out for the foreigner when they come. Take them in. Be kind to them, their guest. And what makes me really sad is that it seems like the Muslim community has kept this sort of, culture of caring for the guest.


And the Christian community, at least in the West, has has for a great deal lost it. Totally. I mean, the the Muslims from different countries that we interact with, their level of hospitality puts us to shame, you know, in the church. Right. I mean, you are when you enter their home, you are welcome.


I mean, we have Muslim friends. We go over their homes often, and it’s just there’s just a culture of hospitality, and it’s yeah. I mean, I’m just totally agreeing with you. You know what I mean? So, yeah, our whole ministry let me just can I just share what Acts chapter 2 as I think is a great example?


You know, in acts chapter 2, we think of acts chapter 2. And if you were to ask someone, oh, what’s it about? Some people will say, well, it’s the beginning of the church. Some people say that, you know, the Pentecost, the holy spirit, all that stuff. When and that’s, you know, probably all that’s all true.


But, really, you look at acts chapter 2, and in it says in Acts chapter 2, it says, now they were staying in Jerusalem, God freeing Jews from every nation under heaven. So Jerusalem at this time was this international city where people were migrating or traveling to, and then they were going back you know, to their countries and so forth. So it was a very international city with foreigners from all different lands. And, you know, the apostle start to to share the gospel, and the miracle of Pentecost is a miracle of God reaching the nations who are in Jerusalem. Alright.


This week’s sponsors. CIU. CIU. CIU educates people from a bib Biblical. Biblical world review World view.


Real world review. Kids CIU educates people from a biblical worldview to impact the nations with the message of Christ. And that’s why it says all of these how is it that all of the all of us hear them speaking in our own native tongues? 3000 people get saved on that one day. 3000 internationals.


And and this was this is God’s way of seeing the gospel taken to the nation. I think migration, if you were to if we were to do a lay out a deep study, we would see that migration is a major part of God’s plan to see the gospel taken to the nations. So we need to take advantage of this rather than see the Muslim from our political false, you know, patriotism or political standpoint or personal standpoint. We need to realize that God has brought these people to us, and we have an incredible opportunity. And in Deuteronomy 10, God says, you need to love the foreigner among you, as and he talks about how he loves the foreigner.


Anyway, it’s just, it’s such a huge opportunity that the church is oftentimes missing, I think. Yeah. You mentioned, yesterday in your chapel message that, there’s this vulnerability, that the foreigner is exposed to, like being in a new place, in a new land, a spiritual receptivity. Kind of explain that a little bit because, you know, you deal with immigrants all the time. So when they come over to the US, what are generally their feelings?


What are the what are they going through? Yeah. That that that’s a that’s a big question because, I mean, I can basically summarize it. I’ve traveled to different places, and I don’t know. I’ve traveled to different places, and you’re there.


You just get there, and you don’t know the simplest things. Like, sometimes I go and buy something and they’ll say, you know, whatever they the currency is. They’ll say it’s this much, and I’ll pull up the money, and they’ll see me kind of looking trying to figure out. Is this right? Okay.


Is this You hold out a big hand of change, and you just kinda let them take it. There’s a deep sense of trust there. There totally is. So you’re just like That vulnerability. You’re totally and so you hand this big one, is this good?


And they’re like, and you know what? They always you what I find is when I travel to these places, especially in Muslim country, you hand out this big wad of money and they just take out this little bit. Right. Right. Right.


I’ve done that before. It’s it’s it’s funny. Well, that just the thing about the vulnerability of that situation, our kids do that now. Oh, right. Right.


Right. $2 and they’re, like, I don’t know what that is. Here’s a funny Hand them a 20 and kinda recommend it to them. They treat you like a small child too, so they don’t wanna steal from you. They’re like, here you go, poor poor guy.


You know? That’s exactly what it is. So imagine you multiply that by a 1,000. How do I find a dentist? How do I Oh, wow.


Do you know what I mean? How do I How do I navigate the health care? How do I yeah. I mean, there’s just so many issues. And then, seriously, my international friends, they go into a restaurant just to order a pizza, and they’re like and remember, New York City, there’s big lines.


You have to go quick. Oh, right. And so they’re actually afraid to go in and just order a pizza because they ask or order a sub you know, something from Subway because they’re like, do you want this? Do you want that? Do you want and it’s just too fast.


They can’t quite get it. Right. And so there’s just this general fear of doing the most basic things. So all of that to say, you have an extreme vulnerability. They’re self conscious about their English.


They don’t understand the culture. They don’t know if they understand the appropriate ways to say thank you or to interact or what should I put my feet here or my hands there? Oh, right. Right. All of these things that just come so naturally as so it creates this incredible vulnerability.


So these are incredibly courageous people, but they’re incredibly incredibly vulnerable. And when you have people who are this vulnerable and and are forced to have this kind of humility, there just becomes an incredible spiritual receptivity. They’re open to new ideas. They’re open to learn new things because they have to. They’re open to new ideas because they’re seeking to learn your culture and your life and so forth.


So I just think that people who are in this kind of vulnerable, humble situation just have a a new openness, to the gospel than people who aren’t. And what we’re finding is, you know, I interact with people who are doing ministry overseas, and and I also interact with people who are doing ministry to American students, for instance, on campus. And, you know, we have about a 150 unbelievers in bible studies from all different countries. There’s just the receptivity that and I think it’s due to this vulnerability and just being the foreigner. So I I think God uses that.


So a 150 unbelievers A 150 In Bible studies. Right. Every week. How did that happen? Yeah.


You did mention earlier discovery Bible studies, and I think a lot of people are kinda wondering what exactly is a discovery Bible study? Discovery bible study? I know I am. You want me to tell you? Yeah.


What what it what because I wanna do it. I wanna, like, I wanna bring that into my community. To discover what it is. Well, no. I mean, not for myself, but, like, you know, there’s immigrants everywhere, and it’s like, how do I engage?


It’s overwhelming. And where do I find them? And, you know, so there’s a lot I we can get from you. Well, we do this church planting training in New York City called equip. And, you know, it’s amazing.


We are so used to thinking from our Western American individualistic, you know, paradigm that there’s just so many so one of the things that we’ve changed, just as far as starting discovery bible studies, we’re trying to understand that the people that we’re interacting with come from very communal cultures and so forth and world views. And so it used to be this isn’t direct. I’m gonna get to Discovery Bible submitted. This is I’m not there yet. I’m just kinda talking about some other stuff right now.


But give me give Go for it. Go for it. Give me a little hey. Give me a few pages. Right.


So it used to be we’d meet somebody, and we’d be having coffee with them, and we’d find out that they’re spiritually interested. And and I would say, oh, I have a bible study. You wanna come join it? And they would say, yeah. Great.


And they would come. We don’t do that anymore, and it’s made a huge change. Now we find someone who’s spiritually interested. And instead of saying, do you wanna come? We say, hey, why don’t you gather together 3 or 4 of your friends and then we can start a bible study?


Oh. It’s kinda sounds like Jesus’s model. I don’t just throw that out there. He he did that, you know. No big deal.


It’s, you know, it’s amazing, You know, it’s that it actually people actually do it. And I think that we’re thinking, oh, we you know, I would never ask my friends to join a bible study or an Americans didn’t wanna do that. But we go to our international friends and we say, hey, why don’t you gather your family together and we’ll start a bible study? And they do it. Yeah.


And they’re just like, yeah. Sure. Of course. They’re totally like That totally makes sense. Yeah.


Yeah. I’ll ask my friends. They’re all curious. Yeah. But it’s it’s not even like, yeah.


Ask them to study bible. Sure. Why not? Not? It’s not it’s not even a second thought.


And from that so we’re not only reaching people, but we’re reaching their community there. We we call it, like, their, their household there. So we’re reaching Oikos. Nice. Yeah.


Their their their friends and their family and so forth. And and so that’s how we start these discovery bible studies. And then so the whole idea of the discovery bible study, is we’re trusting we’re opening up. There’s actually a process, and there’s, like, about 7 different parts that are highly reproducible that are part of a discovery bible study that, you probably don’t want me to go fully into that all of that. Well, is this is this David Watson’s discovery bible study?


So what we’ll do for those of you that are like, man, I need to understand the steps. We’re gonna put a link, David Watson’s, Discovery Bible Studies material, and then you’ll be able to download. I think they have a PDF online that goes through the whole the whole process. And so It’s I actually think the PDF is like 60 pages. Alright.


Well, we’re gonna have our guest, put it together in a 2 page summary for you. Kevin King will release the 2 page. The PDF is, like, 60 pages. That doesn’t seem I don’t know. I’ve never actually read it.


It’s too long. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Exactly.


That’s terrible. But, basically, we’re we’re we’re having people go through different passages, and we’re trying to teach as little as possible, and we’re trying to have them discover what the word of God says. And you know what? And we’re trusting the Holy Spirit to guide them, and and we’re trusting that they’re gonna understand the main big ideas correctly. And you know what?


They usually do. And we’re seeing more people come to faith this way than when we were teachers and so forth. And it’s far more reproducible because what what we’ve seen is we’ve seen people who are a part of Discovery Bible Studies go back to their countries, never being trained on how to do it, and they start discovery bible studies. One of the things that we do is I’ll facilitate the discovery bible study that I that I start with this group. I’ll do it for 2 weeks, and then I’ll tell them up front.


I say on the 3rd week, I’m not gonna leave the bible study anymore, and I’ll have this person and then or or they’ll take turns. So from the beginning, after the first two weeks, I’m not leading the study. I’m not facilitating it. Someone some unbeliever in the group is. So they’ve done this week after week after week.


They go back to their country, and the idea of starting a Bible study, yeah, I can lead this. But that’s insane. The 3rd week. 3rd week. I said 3rd week.


I’m gonna model 3rd week. We tell the people coming through equip. I said, look. By the 3rd week, have them doing it. And if it’s not by the 3rd week, you better have them leading it by the 4th week.


So anybody can lead a discovery bible study. So the the the big naysayers gonna say, 3 weeks, you’re gonna have people producing heresy and everything else under the sun. What’s what’s the response? Let let me let me give you a response by analogy. Can I do that?


Absolutely. It sometimes when I go to churches you know, once I was in a church and I was sharing how we do these discovery bible studies, and we actually had tried to have them done in the language of the people. So for instance, it might be in whatever language. And I was I started a Bible study and with a group of Chinese students on campus, and I was telling the story at a church and someone said, oh, do you speak Chinese? And I said, no.


And they said, well, then who’s leading the bible study? Who who is you know, how do you know if they’re understanding it correctly? And I said, I I don’t. Alright. So this show wouldn’t be possible without sponsors.


And at this point in the show is where if you wanna partner with us, we would put your ad. So if you wanna be a part of the show, you wanna partner with us, you like what we’re doing, you wanna be on our team, what have you, bringing this show to the world, then email us and let us know. How do you know if they’re understanding it correctly? And I said, I I don’t. Let me just say that I’m not gonna tell that story anymore when I go speak at a church.


But let me just say this. What I did say is, I said, how many people here have heard of the Gideons? And everybody has and I said, who who loves the ministry of the Gideons? And everybody’s like, oh, we love the ministry of the Gideons. And the Gideons, it’s great when we hear of someone in their hotel who picks up the word of God, reads it, and then they become believers.


And then I say, but aren’t we afraid that some unbeliever in a hotel is gonna pick up the Bible and wrongly understand it? Can we really leave Bibles out there for people to read if we don’t think if they don’t have a teacher with them? Wow. No. Because we’re trusting that the word of God and the Holy Spirit is powerful and that God can bring people to faith through it.


And the Gideon, that’s the that’s the premise of the Gideon ministry, and we’re just doing that with groups. Yeah. But the Gideon Bible’s in English, Kevin. Okay? Not Chinese.


That’s right. That’s right. It’s King James. Yeah. Well, there you go.


That has to count for something. Right. Right. So that’s a great point. I remember as a young believer being out on the field in India and this guy said, well, we’re gonna go plant a church today.


And I thought, what? And going out into this village and him planting a church and having this guy lead Bible, I said, well, how you know, where did he go to seminary? How long has he he’s been to seminary. He’d never been trained. And I thought, well, what about all the heresy?


He said, of course, there’ll be some heresy. That’s what the Holy Spirit’s for, and I’ll disciple him through that. And I thought, well, there you go. That takes the pressure off. I I like that.


That’s what the Holy Spirit’s for. Right. You know you know what you know what happened in in I would I’m gonna say it’s it’s probably on all of them, but let me just say almost. Do you know what happened in almost every church that Paul started? What?


Heresy. Heresy. Right. Exactly. I love Corinthians.


It’s great. That that’s why we have the new testament. So I try to explain to you. Look. I’m not promoting heresy.


I’m just saying, yes. It’s gonna happen, but God’s bigger than that. And then we deal with the heresy in different ways. But we what we don’t do is we don’t restrict all teaching to this high sacred teacher. Right.


Everybody has to go through him. I mean, you know, look, I have a lot of friends who are Catholics, who are who are true believers. I I grew up in the Catholic church. But, you know, there was a time when the Catholic church wouldn’t allow people to have the scriptures because Right. They needed a priest to interpret it for them.


Right. And, you know, we just don’t believe that. We believe that the word of God and the Holy Spirit that God can use that and transform people’s lives, and we’re seeing him do it in groups. And we’re actually seeing that when people read the scripture and do these discovery bible studies that the main ideas they’re getting completely clear. Right?


So, like, for instance, we’ll go over Genesis 1. The main thing we want them to get is that God created the world. Genesis 3, the main thing we want them to get is that people disobeyed God and now things are bad. You know? So these are the big ideas from passages.


People are getting it, and they’re they’re drawing close to Christ. Yeah. I’m I’m sure I don’t need to point this out, but I feel like I need to for those that are, like, stirring in their seats right now. You guys are walking with them in life. Like, you’re making disciples.


You’re not just sort of dropping in, dropping a Bible off, and taken off. Like, you’re actually doing life with these folks. We’re doing life with you. Training them, you’re equipping them, and then you’re actually making disciples who in turn make disciples. Right.


Yeah. This isn’t I mean absolutely. So help us understand what’s going on positive among Muslims in New York City because we need to hear more and more encouraging things about what God’s doing in the Muslim community in America because that’s I think that will help disarm some of our fears about, oh, all these Muslims are coming. Well, if we looked at it from the lens what you’re putting on, which is basically saying it’s a good thing these Muslims are coming. They’re here.


We can share the gospel with them. Is God doing anything amongst groups there, in New York City through equip? Let let me say that anybody who’s listening, if they are involved in Muslim ministry, they their whole perspective of understanding these people is gonna completely change. 1st, let me just say that, and they’re gonna see these people as normal everyday people who have the same desires, cares, you know, wants that that we have. So and I say that because in any group, any group that you do ministry with, you’re gonna have people who reject it and people who receive it.


You’re gonna have people who are interested and people who aren’t interested. You’re gonna have people who wanna study more and then people who completely resist it. So that’s normal. That happens in any ministry. It happens.


We have a team reaching out to Tibetans. We have a team reaching, you know, international students on campus, and, you know, some of those are from China. It’s with any culture. We have we just have we actually have some amazing we actually have right now, we have one of our teammates. We’ve had this relationship with a Muslim community center in one of the neighborhoods in in New York City.


And one of our teammates went to the community center. We have this relationship with and they said, we’d like to do an art workshop. And then the the head of the this Muslim woman who’s the head of the whole center said, that sounds great. And the girl said, well, let me just explain because when I do my art workshops, I really it’s all about, how my life has changed and how God and and Jesus Christ has changed my life. And the the director was like, that sounds great.


And Really? Yeah. And then she said she said she stopped her and she said, no. I just need to make it clear that when I do the art workshop, I share a lot about Jesus Christ and how he’s changed my life. And she said, great.


Now they’re doing an art they’re doing an art workshop, and it’s amazing. You have 60, 70 high school Muslim girls completely covered sitting in rows as as our teammate is just sharing through art how Jesus Christ has changed her life. And you see, people who aren’t It’s blowing my mind right now. Who don’t do Muslim ministry would never imagine that you can have this kind of relationship. One of the things that’s that that is so refreshing about working with Muslim people is it’s so easy to get into a spiritual conversation with Muslim people.


Whereas you talk to any other American on the streets and, oh, they don’t what are you crazy for bringing up God? I don’t want to come up with It’s private. It’s private. You know what I mean? That’s that’s none of your business.


Yeah. You talk to a Muslim, and they they are open, and they wanna talk about God. And so it’s just it’s really refreshing, really fun. And to get into a spiritual conversation, it’s just it’s just so easy. So we’re seeing lots of spiritual conversations happen.


We had one of our teammates this was about a month ago. It’s just awesome. He’s friends with this guy, Mohammed. They’re reaching out to West African Muslims in the city. And, he he was he was on the street in Harlem, and he thought he saw Muhammad.


So he went up to him and put his hand on his shirt and said, Muhammad, guy turns around, it’s not Muhammad. Right? And hate that. Yeah. I know.


Howard hates that because he’s, like, you guys think all Asians look the same, you know? Because we we have actually had we have a mutual friend that literally was at the gas station. He was, like, hey, Howard. What’s up, man? And the guy just kinda looked at him.


He’s, like, Howard, no. You’re not you’re not Howard. Howard was, like, you think all Asians look the same. There’s probably a little bit of truth. You know what I mean?


I think that where that happens in every culture both ways just so It does because Koreans I worked in a Korean church and they’re like, you all you white people look the same. I’m like, yeah. It says it goes all the all the way across all the cultural boundaries. So Okay. Sorry.


Total distraction. We’re offending everybody today. Okay? So, Mohammed, go ahead. So he puts his hand on this guy’s shoulder and says, Mohammed, it so it’s the guy turns around.


He goes, oh, I’m so sorry. And he he starts interacting. He goes, oh, I thought you were Mohammed blah blah blah. I don’t remember that. And then the guy the guy said, oh, he said, oh, you teach you talk about I don’t know how the conversation went.


Anyway, this is what happens. The guy pulls out a scroll. A real scroll? A a real scroll. Okay.


Like, a roll I don’t know if it’s a it was a rolled up piece of paper. Okay. I don’t know exactly. Scroll ish. It was scroll ish.


Scroll ish. Scroll like. Scroll like. Right. It could have been a scroll, but and he says the guy says, I’m looking for someone who can talk to me about this man.


He opens the picture, and it’s a picture of Jesus. Get out of here. He’s obviously and, I mean, these are the kind of divine appointments. You said he’s he’s al Masih. You gotta explain that.


Jesus the Messiah. This is the the Arabic term Yes. That Muslims would know Jesus as. As he’s revealed in the Quran for a Muslim, it is Isa Al Masih, Jesus the Messiah. This man shows up with a squirrel.


A squirrel? Squirrel. A squirrel. Shows up with a squirrel, unrolls this thing and says, I’m looking for somebody who can tell me about Issa Alemassy. Yeah.


I mean, these are the crazy kind of things that are happening. This is straight out of the New Testament. Straight out of the New Testament. These kind of stories. You know, there’s also spiritual warfare.


So, you know, we’ve had teammates who have had really great conversations with imams and and where the imam says, oh, can you please come and teach the Injeel, which is the, you know, the gospel. That’s the word in the Quran. In in the mosque. And so open doors and then spiritual warfare comes in, and there might be someone else who, you know, completely makes it closes the doors on this. So this is like ministry in any area, but there’s incredible receptivity, by Muslims to to talk about spiritual things, to talk about Jesus, to talk about the gospel.


And it’s just really exciting to be a part of it. In closing, is there anything that you would like to challenge our listeners with? The big thing I would challenge is that the nations are here. The nations are here, and we need to view ourselves as citizens of heaven. And the only reason I say it is because of this false patriotism that people have.


View ourselves as not citizens of a certain nation, but citizens of heaven, and our our calling is to be an ambassador to the nations, that we are bringing the gospel. And the fact that God is opening the doors to bring the nations to us is just an opportunity that we can’t let pass, and we need to be intentional about befriending the foreigner and bringing the gospel. I think that’s a good good word, Kevin, because when we look at the scripture, we see that the the Babylonian exile is what spread the Jews throughout all those nations so that they could come back in Acts and they could hear the gospel. And then in Acts chapter 2, we can see nations from under heaven, every nation from under heaven. And then we see the Roman Empire and the spreading of the Roman Empire and the Roman soldiers hearing the gospel and migration movements happening there.


And then when we look throughout history, there’s all of these things continually happening and, hopefully, when people look back at this time in history, they will say that God spread the nations out and that they came to the United States and they met Christ. Amen. That’s it. The nations are here. Kevin, thank you so much for coming in.


Hey. My pleasure. This was pretty awesome. We’re gonna put a link, to your website. You you have a website.


Right? Yes. Yeah. We’re gonna put a little bit New York New York City international project dot org. Dotorg.


That’s a good Yeah. That’s the other challenge. Right? Come to New York City. Oh, yeah.


Amen. Come. And and the equip, program, anybody can come to that? Equip program, anybody can come to it. It’s a 10 month training.


10 months. Wow. It’s really 10. It’s really 10 months of cross cultural ministry. So don’t you don’t have to think of it as a training.


You come where you can work with unreached people groups for a year, and we’ll give you a training. You come just as you are. Now you guys have also partnered with Columbia International University for people that wanna do their master’s degree in the field that wanna live in New York City, serve for a year, and get their master’s degree through CIU online. Correct? Absolutely.


You can you can come Cool. Be a part of the training, really being part of teams reaching out, doing hands on ministry, reaching Muslims, and getting a master’s in Muslim studies or a master’s in intercultural studies from CIU at the same time. Wow. That’s so cool. Listeners, thank you for listening.


This is Truth About Muslims, and, check us out on iTunes. Write reviews. We got 18 so far, and they’re all good. We’re still waiting for some hate. It hasn’t happened yet.


I do have to share one quick story about the hate. I was really encouraged by a friend at church the other day. He said, hey, man. Listening to your podcast, I’m loving it. He said, I am circulating it to so many friends.


And I was like, oh, that’s great, man. He goes, well, not yet. Sort of. He’s like, they all hate you guys, but, you know, he’s like, he’s like, but don’t worry. You would wanna be hated by these people.


He said, the good thing is they’re considering some of the things, but the vast majority still hate you. So I was like, oh, okay. I still slept. But anyway, praise God. Praise God.


Anyways, so, tune in next week. Thanks.