This volunteer orientation will launch you into ministry alongside InterVarsity ISM staff, whether you've never interacted with an international student before or you have decades of experience with another ministry. Let's jump in!
Making It Official
To get the most benefit out of your volunteering experience, you should become an Official InterVarsity Volunteer. Why? Official volunteers receive InterVarsity email addresses, which gives them access to more sensitive or secure information. Some of the people groups we work with in ISM are sensitive enough that all the resources to minister to them or train the new Christians among them are password-protected...but as an official volunteer, you can still see them! You need to go through an application process to become an official volunteer, which you can receive from any InterVarsity staff. Not already connected to a staff? Find one nearby.
Setting the Stage
In InterVarsity ISM, we want to minister with internationals, not just to internationals. For every person who drives a group of students to the supermarket, we want to see another person partnering with a student to together run an event or lead a group. When you're working with internationals, there are certain foundational skills and language everyone should have.
Build your foundation with introductions to our ministry values here!
- What are the three main worldviews?
- What are the five thresholds?
- What are the three parts of the discipleship cycle?
- How do you invite someone to be a leader?
- When should you start talking about reentry?
Here are five resources to look through to go more in depth on these topics.
- The Building Friendships 3x3
- Tips for Getting to Know International Students
- Friendships with International Students booklet
- Browse blog posts or videos at honorshame.com
- Read Crossing Cultures with Jesus
Your Partnership Type
There are four broad types of volunteers. We know that each person has different skills to bring and different availability. See more possible activities for each type here. The types are not mutually exclusive, but do range from the least training and time commitment to the most (e.g., a Leadership Partner can take on Service Partner activites as well).
- Service Partner. Service Partners volunteer where their particular gifts are best used. This could be anything from hosting a dinner for international students, to helping with a weekend conference, to sending mailings on the staff’s behalf.
- Friendship Partner. Friendship Partners invest in students or a small group of students. This could be having a conversation partner or leading a Group Investigating God (GIG). Friendship Partners will build relational trust and practice evangelism, discipleship, hospitality, and leadership.
- Leadership Partner. Leadership Partners develop American and international students to become leaders in their chapters and communities. Instead of taking evangelism, discipleship, and leadership roles directly, Leadership Partners mentor and train international students to step into them.
- Campus Partner. Campus Partners shepherd ISM’s work on a particular campus from New Student Orientation to preparing graduates for reentry. They take part in evangelism, discipleship, leadership development, coordinating, and liaising with InterVarsity ISM.