Profile of a Discipled International Student
When you think about international students you know, what do you dream about their futures?
- What type of spiritual leaders can they become before they return to their homelands?
- What type of Christ-like character will they display?
- Will they influence others for Christ?
- How much consistency will they demonstrate in their day-to-day lives?
- What will their relationships with God be like?
If you are a maturing disciple of Jesus Christ and you are working with international students, you probably have accepted the challenge of discipling them in the faith. (2 Timothy 2:2) That challenge can feel overwhelming at times.
No doubt, you wonder, “How can I help them grow?” You need a plan.
Begin with the end in mind
Begin creating your plan by writing down characteristics and habits that you think a Christian international student should possess after he or she is discipled in your ministry for a couple years. Ask the Lord to show you in His Word what a growing Christian looks like and how to help individuals take steps in that direction. Write Bible verses next to your observations to remind you that this is God’s plan.
List Qualities in Categories
You may want to list the desired characteristics and habits under these categories: spiritual, personal, social and ministry.
1. Spiritual Growth
- A student of the Word
- Strong prayer life
- Meaningful fellowship
- Active witness for Christ
- Filled by the Spirit and walking by faith
2. Personal Maturity
- Emotional strength
- Physical health
- Personal management
- Handling pressure
3. Social Development
- Cultural adjustments
- Meeting and making new friends
- Interpersonal communication
- Overall social skills
- Able to defend the faith
- Learning how to share one’s faith
- Leading a small group Bible study
- Involvement in a local church
- Taking leadership in ministry
Select several important areas to work on.
Now, no one is superhuman. It takes time to grow to be more like the Lord. So, pick just three to five of the top characteristics and/or habits you’d like to see in your disciples. Write them down, and begin to pray that God would show you how to build your friends in these areas.
Help Your Students Grow
- Think through goals for their development.
- Help them move to the next level of spiritual growth. (This is a lifetime process, and you can be the one to get them started.)
- Plan or use events, Bible studies, discussions, and outreaches as resources for growth in your disciples.
- Remember to pray. God is the one who causes the growth
As the Apostle Paul said ..”I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” (1 Cor 3:6 NIV)
We are just tools He works through. Watch the Lord take your faith and grow your disciples into people of character with dynamic leadership ability! Apart from your own growth in the Lord, helping someone else grow in Christ can be one of the most satisfying aspects of your life.
See also the Worksheet for Discipled Student Profile