After the tragic shooting, at a Sikhs temple, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Southern Baptists want to share the Gospel with the Sikhs. They view this as “an unprecedented opportunity to reach out to their Sikh neighbors with the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Aslam Masih, North American Mission Board's (NAMB) national coordinator for Muslim people groups and South Asians.
"We have an opportunity now to turn this very sad situation into a life-changing encounter with the Gospel for Sikhs throughout North America," Masih said.
They want to turn a tragedy into changing the Sikhs into Christians, but until now, the Southern Baptists have not focused on the 1.1 million Sikhs in metropolitan areas between the U. S. and Canada.
Now, since the tragic event on August 5, they want to reach out to the Sikhs with the Gospel via SEND North America, NAMB’s evangelism group.
Send North America is NAMB's church planting and evangelism strategy to penetrate lostness in 29 urban areas in North America. Through Send North America, NAMB is connecting church planters with partner churches and church planters with places that need new churches.
Masih said he has seen evangelism opportunities this week and sees opportunities to do that with the Sikh’s temple next door to the Southern Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland.
He called the temple, allegedly expressing his sorrow, and asked if the Baptist Church could visit the temple and give the Sikhs an opportunity to visit the church. Masih said the temple leadership agreed and offered to bring food.
Masih plans to share his testimony, but allegedly the Sikhs will have an opportunity to share their beliefs with the Baptists. He also plans to leave a video about Jesus, in the Punjabi language, for the Sikhs to view. He hopes to build bridges, so that they can reach out to the Sikhs, with the Gospel of Jesus.
"When we start with us and what we believe, they're not going to listen," Masih said. "When you talk about them, they'll listen. That's how you build a bridge. Show an interest in their lives, and you'll build a relational bridge."
Masih views the doctrine of the Trinity and Incarnation as obstacles for the Sikhs, as they evangelize and share Christ with them.
Sikhs take a very strong belief in the unity of God from Islam and often struggle with Christian explanations of the Trinity.
Sikhs also see God as more of an abstract principle that cannot be defined by a human incarnation and have trouble understanding the incarnate Jesus.
He prepares the Baptists with how to relate to Sikhs and tells them to greet them in their language. He also suggests that Baptists share their testimony and show them, “by attitudes and actions” that “God loves them.”
"The language of love is understood by all cultures," he added.