Ministering to Indian Students

American woman with female Indian student

There are thousands of Indian students coming to campuses in the United States. Most of these students are not Christians and come from a Hindu background. Our International Student Ministry team had Andy Pearce, with ISI, give some valuable insights on engaging Indian students at a recent zoom gathering. Here are some insights he shared:


To engage Indian students and build a friendship, it is good to remember that Indian students come from a collective culture, meaning that community is vastly important to them. Their community involves extended family and affects many decisions they make. 


Sharing the gospel in words does not make sense to Indian students. It takes living life with the students, sharing meals, showing care for their practical needs, in order to help them see the reality of the gospel. So, time is needed in order to effectively minister to them and build meaningful relationships. 


Hinduism embraces many gods, and Indian students are fine with having Jesus as a god in their lives. But they have problems with believing that Jesus is the only God to worship. The students appreciate having Americans come to their festivals and gatherings. They like to share their food, but be aware it will most likely be spicy!


Here are some worship songs that make sense to Hindus:  https://www.youtube.com/@aradhnamusic

Here is a website that is good for Hindu students to read about Jesus using familiar terms: https://muktimarga.com/

Here is a website that has articles, podcast and a video course: https://margnetwork.org/

What a great opportunity we have to engage Indian students while they are in the U.S. While it takes time to develop deep friendships, it is surely worth it as these students can encounter the grace and truth of Christ through us! -Teresa Royall, GA BCM

The International student ministry team has monthly Zoom calls in which they discuss and share helpful information like this. Recently on another call, Mike Shipman, IMB/Diaspora Ministry Collective, met with those in attendance to share about his book, Any 3, and share his experience in engaging Muslim students and people groups. The conversation was inspiring and encouraging as we develop relationships with students from this faith background. Mike challenged us from Scripture to not be ashamed or hesitant to begin spiritual conversations. Students from this background are open and willing to have these conversations. Several participants asked Mike questions about how to encourage fellow believers to join us in having Gospel conversations with Muslims as well as with those from other faith backgrounds, being aware of miscommunication of biblical truths, and what are the specific truths to remain focused on. Find a link to his book here: https://www.amazon.com/Any-Anyone-Anywhere-Muslims-Christ/dp/193912400X

Join us for our next International Student Ministry Zoom call! Thursday, March 14, 2 p.m. ET. Topic: Preparing international students for graduation/returning home. Sign up at this link! http://ismbaptist.net/connect.

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