The C1 to C6 Model for Missions in Muslim Contexts

The ‘C1 to C6 model’, related to what is called ‘insiders movements’ within Islamic contexts, is much discussed today, for and against, in missions environments. Yet, the original starting point of this.

The model was presented for the first time in an article written by John Travis (a pseudonym), titled ‘The C1 to C6 Spectrum: A Practical Tool for Defining Six Types of ‘Christ-centered Communities’ (‘C’) Found in the Muslim Context,” published in Evangelical Missions Quarterly, in October 1998, pp. 407-408.
Here are the two pages of this foundational article:
John Travis - The C 1 to C 6 Spectrum_Page_2
John Travis - The C 1 to C 6 Spectrum_Page_1
Click on the pictures in order to enlarge them. Find below a description on text form.

A brief summary of each Christ-centered community described in the spectrum

C1
Missionaries establish a church that is basically identical to wherever they are from. Services are conducted in the language of the missionaries. They call themselves “Christians” and have very little cultural connection to the region where they plant the church.

C2
The same as C1, except the services are conducted in the language of the region.

C3
They have incorporated many non-religious cultural forms of the region into their community, such as dress, art, etc. They still reject any purely Islamic religious elements. They may meet in a traditional church building or in a more religiously neutral location. They call themselves “Christians” but try to have a more contextualized presence in the region.

C4
They are similar to C3, but they incorporate some Islamic religious elements into their community – like avoiding pork, praying in a more Islamic style, using Islamic dress and employing Islamic terminology. They call themselves “Followers of Isa” or something similar. Their meetings are usually not held in traditional church buildings. They are not considered to be Muslims by the Muslim community.

C5
They retain their legal and social identity within their Muslim community. They reject or reinterpret any part of Islamic practices and doctrine that contradict the Bible. They may or may not attend the mosque regularly, and they actively are involved in sharing their faith in Jesus with other Muslims. They may call themselves Muslims who follow Isa al-Masih, or just Muslims. They may be viewed by their community as Muslims that are a little unorthodox.

C6
They keep their faith secret because of an extreme threat of persecution, suffering or legal retaliation. They may worship secretly in small groups. They do not normally share their faith openly and have a 100% Muslim identity.

(Source, HERE. http://www.thepeopleofthebook.org/C1-C6_Spectrum.html)

On the same People of the Book website you may also find responses to common objections to the ‘insiders’ approach. http://www.thepeopleofthebook.org/ObjectionsToTheInsiderApproach.html

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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