Guidelines for Regional Facilitators
Mahabba, as a movement, seeks to be a catalyst in networking together agency “specialists” with both Church Leaders and their congregations, to facilitate mobilising ordinary everyday Christians to love their Muslim neighbours.
This relational national network has a wealth of ideas, resources, skills and experience to help each embryo local Mahabba prayer group. Their role is about encouraging and supporting new prayer-based, locally initiated groups which support, train and equip these grass roots believers. Regional Facilitators all give their time on a consultancy rather than an employed basis; as such they are part of the Network Team, supported by the small Network Executive. This is a team which carries things together: they are not alone! The role has the following
characteristics, and expectations:
- This role is about facilitating: It is about coming alongside those who have a heart to serve as local Mahabba Coordinators, so that they catch the essential DNA of Mahabba, whilst at the same time having the freedom to create something unique in their setting, which will then be a blessing to every other Mahabba group. By facilitating, we will avoid creating a control/dependency relationship in the Region
- The role is designed to cover a manageable Region: Regions are not fixed, so that we can keep them organic and flexible (so far, we have North, South, East, West, London, and Scotland): as more and more cities join the Region, we are open to subdividing Regions, and even creating new Regions, so that the burden on the Facilitators is manageable, and they are able to easily relate to all their local groups
- The Core responsibility of the Facilitators: to help start, support and encourage local Mahabba Prayer groups through regular communication and visits, and through facilitating an annual Regional Gathering. The Regional Facilitator can give the groups appropriate advice, and communicate the Mahabba vision and the dynamics of a Mahabba group, as well as sharing the “First Steps”, and the “Toolkit” with group Coordinators who are just starting out. Sometimes, it may be best to help them, by joining in some of their prayer times, as well as praying with local church leaders
- Support from local Church Leaders: Mahabba believes in the vital importance of the local church, so it is essential that church leaders should be encouraged to be actively involved. There are many demands on a church leader’s time and not all church leaders will be active in reaching out to Muslims themselves, but some will be; so whether or not they are personally involved, it is crucial that a few church leaders champion the local Mahabba group together and support it prayerfully. Regional Facilitators can help by sharing how church leaders are involved in other cities, and in some cases they can facilitate a meeting to encourage the support of other leaders
- Helping them start a Prayer Movement: Once championed by Church Leaders, many more believers will be encouraged to get involved in the weekly or regular Mahabba prayer meetings. Everything is fuelled and directed from this core of persistent united prayer, which are the foundations, and the powerhouse of Mahabba. Some groups may need encouragement to persist in prayer before they see results!
- Equipping them with Resources: The Regional Facilitator can then encourage the local Coordinator to facilitate as many people as possible to do the “Friendship First” Course, which will empower them with simple tools and understanding about how to befriend their Muslim neighbours, and how to unveil Jesus to them. The vast majority of Christians will only need this level of Training; however whatever their need, we have a pool of Resources to help them, which they can find on the website
- Connecting them with the Hub in Derby and the wider Network: The Regional Facilitator can help the local Mahabba group coordinators to connect with the Hub office in Derby, which handles all the Communications and Admin of the wider National Network. This will help group Coordinators to build strong relationships with other local groups across the Region, as well as across the Nation. In time the Regional Facilitator will be able to identify the key Mahabba group coordinators in their Region, who have the capacity to become part of a Regional team, which then spreads the vision in churches in other towns across the Region. The aim is to develop Networks which will support people as they engage with their Muslim neighbours
- Access to an Online Community: The Regional Facilitator will encourage all those within the new Mahabba Network to join The City, our online community platform which complements existing relationships. Here they can continue the conversations as well as link into an exciting learning community. (www.mahabba.onthecity.org)
- Encouraging Discipleship: As Muslim people come to believe in and follow Jesus, the Regional Facilitator will then be able to advise the local Church Leaders, and the local Mahabba group, about how to mentor these believers, with a view to them being able to multiply within their own communities. We strongly recommend the use of “Joining the Family”, and “Come Follow Me!” as courses which will help change their mind set about integrating these believers into local Churches
- Open to Church Planting: Many believers from a Muslim background will join local churches, but some may be more effective remaining within their own culture and context, provided they have a strong relational network to mentor and support them. We recommend this hybrid model of believers being connected to local churches, as well as having the freedom to remain within their world, to bring others to Christ. A Regional Facilitator may wish to recommend that these new believers use the Discovery Bible Studies in their home settings, to connect them with the life-style of “obedience-based discipleship”, as well as making use of material like the “Al Massira” DVD’s and the T4T evangelism. There is a wealth of Resources to recommend