Metaphors have a powerful way of shaping our understanding, and sometimes it can be very helpful to introduce new ones into our conversations about the frontiers of mission. In this paper I will contend that using human migration as a metaphor for conversion offers us new and important insights about what happens when Muslims turn to Christ.
There are a few issues in particular that this lens brings into focus. Human migration theory helps us realize that there are two primary categories of factors involved in Muslim conversions, those that “push” them away from Islam, and those that “pull” them to Christ. Migration theory also points out that most migrants don’t simply go from “point A to B” in some kind of straight line. Conversion for many Muslim Background Believers (MBBs) is much more like a series of steps, and those steps are not always linear, or clearly sequential. Also, using the analog of human migration opens our understanding to some of the collateral issues of Muslim conversions to Christ.