Effective Resource for Reaching International Students
With the amount of international students studying in America climbing each year to record highs, it is vitally important that we as the church take every opportunity we can to reach these students with the Gospel. Reaching international students means reaching the world. Here are two ideas and a resource spotlight that you can implement in your church and campus ministry to effectively reach these students.
- Research your school to find out what countries are represented there. This is usually available on the website if you dig around. It can be found sometimes on the school’s “about” page under facts or factbok, under the international office page, or if all else fails use the search option on the website and search “international student enrollment” or “countries represented”. This will show you how many students are on your campus and where they come from. This is important to see so you have an understanding of your mission field. You will typically find hot pockets of certain countries on a campus.
- Prepare yourself. As you discover what countries, cultures, and religions are represented on your campus then you can take some effort to prepare yourself. If you have a large population from Saudi Arabia you can learn a little about Middle Eastern culture and Islam. If China is your main group, you can learn a little about Chinese culture and Buddhism. You do not have to be a professor of religious studies but a slight understanding of their religion will help you know how and what they are thinking. It will help you to be comfortable starting and navigating a conversation. Really the best way to learn is by asking questions. These students usually love to share about their country, culture, and religion.
If you discover Muslim students on your campus, I want to introduce you to an amazing resource and training that is available around the country to assist you in reaching these students for Jesus. I have benefited tremendously from this resource and used it effectively on campus. Below is an excerpt from the Crescent Advance website…
There is hope. Muslims are not unreachable. It is just that, for too long, we have feared, and hated, and ignored Muslims. Many excuses are given, but the time of excuse-making is over—it is time for disciple-making! We must commit ourselves to renewed obedience to reach Muslims with the Gospel. It is possible to lovingly and respectfully engage the descendants of the often-neglected son of Abraham with the claims of Christ.
Learn to see Muslims through the eyes of Jesus. Gain valuable insight into the Muslim (Eastern) mind and culture by understanding the Eastern worldview. Become equipped and empowered for more effective, natural Muslim outreach. Be done with living in fear of what to say or how to begin a conversation. Understand some of the points of conflict and how to resolve them. Receive in-depth teaching and practical application by frontline workers currently serving in Muslim contexts.
Check out the website and training opportunities here: