As a conclusion for our last post, we will hear more of how God is moving through the use of Bible studies to internationals. The ministry leader that we are hearing from today has used Christianity Explored with international students.
Q: How do you get students to come and participate in the study?
We have a welcome banquet for international students every year in September. At this event, we have a signup sheet for different activities we offer. One of the activities is a weekly dinner and Bible discussion. The students who are interested sign up and we contact them to invite them to our house for the dinner and study. We let them know up front that it is open to any one of any faith and that we will be exploring together the life and teachings of Jesus.
Q: What do you like about Christianity Explored?
The CE study is well designed and easy for the facilitator to present to the students. It had good questions for thought and reflection. The accompanying video was also very well done and engaging. We also used the study “Jesus through Asian eyes”. It covered great questions about the person of Jesus Christ and the claims of the Christian faith. It raised points that were good for discussion. The material responds to basic questions that non-believers have about the Christian faith.
Q: Is there a certain story or memory that you would like to share from using the study?
We have Muslims students that join us often as well as Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, and Christians. It has been amazing for us to see all of these students from different background and countries come together because of the welcome of hospitality and warmth of our home. They find a home away from home and friendship. They feel safe because we welcome all and we allow and encourage questions and discussion. There is a tremendous power in relationship. When they feel accepted no matter their background, then they feel safe to explore and discover about Jesus in a way that they could not in their country of origin.
Q: How do you think others can engage people to come to their Bible study groups?
1) We begin with the premise, come and see who Jesus is. We have no hidden agenda and we are very open from the onset that the Friday dinner also involves Bible discussion. Then we pray and ask the Holy Spirit to draw students and bring to us the ones that God is already working in their hearts.
2) When we plan for the dinners, we keep in mind the different food restrictions of the students. We offer several choices and are respectful of the dietary practices.
3) We show a deep interest in them and in their stories. We encourage them to share about their families and their lives. So it is not just Bible study, but the whole evening together that is ministering to those that come.