The Lausanne International Student Ministry (ISM) issue network seeks to enhance the development of the ISM ‘movement’ globally through the collaborative efforts of the ISM Global Leadership Network (GLN).

We engage in international student ministry because international students and scholars represent the future leadership and influencers of the world, and is one of the greatest opportunities and strategies for global mission with the least amount of financial investment. 

We encourage Christians in host nations which have immigrant communities and international students and scholars of other religious backgrounds to bear counter-cultural witness to the love of Christ in deed and word, by obeying the extensive biblical commands to love the stranger, defend the cause of the foreigner, visit the prisoner, practise hospitality, build friendships, invite into our homes, and provide help and services. The Cape Town Commitment II-C-5

There are several reasons to engage in ISM. International students are:

  • Already in our communities
  • Sufficiently conversant in our language
  • Often more responsive to the gospel and freer to consider it away from a restrictive society
  • Often from unreached people groups
  • Appreciative of hospitality and welcome relationships with host families or peer friendship
  • Potential transformative agents, nation builders, and returning witnesses
  • Informants to advance global mission
  • Gifts of God to the host country and national church

Churches and ministries are discovering the exceptional value of ministry among international students. ISM provides a tangible local dimension to global mission, with personal engagement options beyond prayer and financial support of missionaries. It is an opportunity for many people who have a desire to serve abroad but are not able to, to engage in international missions at home.

A broad range of church members can be involved, from children to retirees, and international student ministry utilizes their varied gifts and experiences for service—hospitality, helping, administration, teaching, mercy, evangelism, leadership, etc. Returned or retired missionaries and short-term mission participants can extend their cross-cultural mission service at home. And international students can provide cultural mentorship to those preparing to work, serve, or study overseas.

A bibliography of ISM publications and a list of ISM websites is available from Lausanne Catalyst for ISM Leiton E Chinn at [email protected].

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