Issue Group 26: Reaching and Mobilizing the Diaspora Present in Our Own Lands

There are immigrant communities and international students in many countries. Their presence in our home country offers an opportunity to reach these people with the gospel especially as many of these communities come form countries where there is no freedom to share the gospel or to convert to Christianity.

The issue that we addressed was how the churches will respond to the very significant movement of peoples from their countries of origin to other countries in modern times and particularly the last 50 years.

We focused on mobilising all Diaspora people, along with the churches in their host countries, to move in three key directions:

1. DISCIPLESHIP: To participate in a Christian church or fellowship, along with other members of the same Diaspora, in order to grow as disciples in culturally appropriate ways and be equipped for service and mission

2. MISSION: To participate with others in strategic efforts to reach with the whole Gospel:

  • the members of their own Diaspora
  • the people of their country of origin
  • the host population of their country of residence
  • other peoples worldwide

3. CITIZENSHIP: To make a significant contribution to the economic, political and cultural welfare of their host country and helping to build bridges between their host countries and their countries of origin.

SCRIPTURES: These arise from several Scriptures.

Jeremiah 29:4-6 & 11 and the examples of Daniel and his friends and Mordecai and Esther and Nehemiah in the original Diaspora in the OT.

Acts 11:19-20;17:24-28; the Diasporas of the early church in the NT and their understanding of what was happening.

Mobilizing the Church for International Student Ministry
The Focus of the ISM Stream of the Diaspora Issue Group

A very strategic “people group” is the growing number of International Students around the world who return home as influential leaders. The Church is gradually realizing this “global missions at home” potential. The ISM working group focused on mobilizing the Church for ISM, by developing strategies for:

Education—vision casting and awareness of World Evangelization in Our Communities by sharing God’s love with foreign students who may return home as Christ’s ambassadors, in obedience to God’s command to “love the foreigner residing in the land [even as temporary resident alien]” (Lev. 19:33-34).

Engagement—encouraging the Church to be pro-active in initiating and developing holistic outreach among International students by providing guidance and training. Holistic outreach is not only sharing the Gospel in deed, relationship and word, and subsequent discipleship, but also in attending to the whole international sojourn cycle (pre-arrival phase, inhost country phase, and reentry/returnee phase). Engagement in ISM entails challenges of multi-national, multi-cultural, and multi-religious contexts that need to explored and examined.

Equipping—developing training opportunities, including formal degrees related to ISM, and practical resources (print, AV, electronic/computer, etc). 

Enhancement—of the ISM movement by building relationships and networks among ISMs intranatioanally and internationally, and between ISMs and related kinds of ministries and organizations (e.g. English As a Second Languae; Int’l Student Offices at Christian and secular campuses; etc.).


Ram Gidoomal
Founding Chairman of South Asian Charitable Trust

Sik Wah Patrick Tsang
Associate General Secretary of CCCOWE

Leiton Chinn
President, ACMI

Tom Houston, UK
Former Consultant United Bible Society 

Read the Lausanne Occasional Paper (LOP) produced by this Issue Group:

LOP 55: Diasporas and International Students: The New People Next Door
(.pdf format; 484 KB)

IG 26 Group Photo

Group Photo