The Gospel and International Students: Making the Strategic Connection!
Today, over 1.2 million of the world’s best and brightest students, scholars and researchers from every nation are studying in the US. Over 4.5 million international students are studying across the globe – with that number estimated to increase to 7 million by 2020! Many of these future leaders will return to their home countries to positions of power and influence, in business, government, and academia. Approximately 60% of these potential future leaders come from the countries in the 10/40 Window, many of which are closed to traditional missionary outreach. By 2035, we predict that 50% of the world’s leaders will have been international students.
International Students, Inc. (ISI) is committed to providing the moral compass of knowing Jesus Christ to these future leaders. Ministering to representatives from hundreds of nations in our own country is a remarkably cost-effective way to spread the Gospel throughout the world.
Our efforts are strategically directed toward evangelism, foreign and home-mission service, international church planting, and reaching the world’s academic leaders on university and college campuses across the US. Students who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will be bold witnesses for Him in their own countries, where they are able to connect to their culture, language, and society in ways that will make their ministry much more effective.
Active Programs, Resources, and Services
Working in partnership with local churches and other international student ministries, ISI staff and volunteers befriend international students who have come to the US to study, offering tangible services in a variety of areas, from providing transportation or inviting them to join a family activity, to teaching English skills or exploring the Bible. Along the way, they share the message of God’s love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Deeper relationships are formed through our Friendship Partner program where a student is paired for friendship with an American family. Bible studies and spiritual discussion groups are also provided as students express interest.
This context of trust and friendship forms a basis for sharing the opportunity to know Jesus Christ personally. For those who become Christians, ISI provides discipleship training, from basic Christian principles to advanced Christian leadership skills, to help them grow in their faith and become an effective witness when the student returns home.
Churches Reaching Nations
Have you ever asked yourself if you and those in your church could do more to reach the world for Christ, but felt challenged by the high costs and time commitments of short-term mission trips? There is an answer, and it may be right in your community!
What if the next missions group from your church could have an even greater impact with their investment of time, planning, and money? What if those who wanted to travel, but couldn’t, had a means of reaching the nations? What if they didn’t even have to leave the country to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to internationals?
The Washington Post published an article entitled, “Churches Retool Missions Trips,” examining a growing trend away from large, expensive church mission trips and towards deeper church involvement in local communities. Aside from this article, it is a well-documented fact that countries are closing their doors to traditional missionary efforts.
As the president of International Students, Inc., a leading missions organization working with churches in the US to reach out to foreign college and university students, my colleagues and I have commissioned a special initiative to help you reach those students. We call it Churches Reaching Nations.
We have found that while studying in the United States, the majority of international students (as high as 75%) are never invited into an American home and 80% never enter an American church. So why should you consider Churches Reaching Nations? Because it’s FREE, it’s EFFECTIVE, and it MOBILIZES people to reach world leaders for Christ!
Through ISI’s Churches Reaching Nations initiative, we can come alongside you and your church, helping you effectively fulfill the Great Commission without ever leaving the US, or even your own community. The impact and influence you have will reach nations and world leaders in even the countries most closed to the Gospel message!
We’ve been perfecting this kind of local ministry to ethnic and international populations for decades and we’d not only love to share what we’ve learned, but also train individuals and equip volunteer groups within local churches just like yours. No longer is it necessary to fly groups around the world to have an international impact for Christ. The emerging trend for church missions is to step into missions opportunities in your own backyard. ISI, an expert for over 60 years in reaching international students from over 190 countries studying at universities near your church, wants to engage you in the Churches Reaching Nations initiative.
It’s been exciting to see pastors and church missions leaders respond in dramatic fashion when I’ve presented the vision of local outreach to the “stranger in our midst.” Most understand the need and strategic importance of global missions here at home. However, they simply don’t know how to begin.
Our Churches Reaching Nations team can provide you with the right training and proper materials you will need. It begins by simply befriending an international college student, a friendship whereby you can help reach the world—one student at a time.
There is no cost to join the initiative. It is our gift to you. We can help you get going at full-speed with effective friendship approaches and new evangelism opportunities.
Please visit our website at www.ChurchesReachingNations.org to get started in a greater world missions impact right from your own community. You or someone in your church can help launch a powerful, local outreach to internationals.