How to Engage Your Students in Missions Discipleship

Missions Discipleship for Students

“Guess what! I have been accepted and I am heading overseas for the summer. Can you believe it! I am so nervous but, you know, it is what we have learned about all these years and now I get to do it. Honestly, I never thought I would do this. God just kept putting this on my heart.” As a leader, what a great phone call to receive! This student was about to finish her freshman year of college and now she would use her summer to be intentionally on mission for God.

She had spent her teenage years actively involved in her church’s student ministry. Part of that time was a mission’s discipleship group which taught her about God’s desire for all to have a personal relationship with Him. I can remember the first journey this student took on mission. We were serving in inner city New Orleans. So far, things had been great. We were in the mission center surrounded by walls and fence and those we ministered to came to us. There was comfort in those surroundings.  And, then it happened. We stepped outside…


I can say, on that day this student and her friends had a heart-opening experience. Most of them came from Christian homes and had lived a fairly sheltered life. As we began our prayer-walking journey, led by our missionary and surrounded by her interns, the students were chatty and excited, we stopped on the edge of the park we had just walked through and I  asked the question, “How many homeless people did you notice?”

The blank stares told me none. Then they began to see. Their eyes and hearts were opened. The remainder of that day would be transformative. She and her friends had experienced a whole new world. They learned first-hand that people were not all the same; however, they needed to hear about Jesus.


Over the next five years, this student and her friends would spend a portion of their time learning about God’s mission fields and how He was using Southern Baptists to live out the Great Commission and taking the Gospel outside the church walls. She not only learned what others were doing, she put into practice lessons learned in her mission discipleship group. God would use these lessons to help her vision what He would want from her life.

Missions Discipleship
  • takes us outside our comfort zone
  • opens our eyes to see and our hearts to respond
  • challenges us to be Gospel ready
  • expands our view beyond ourselves  
  • prepares us to live missionally in every aspect of our lives  


- Read the following scriptures and allow them to speak to your heart and challenge you: Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 25:34-40, Acts 1:8, Psalm 2:8, Revelation 7:9

- Pray, asking the Lord to lead you as you consider missions discipleship for your students. 

- Consider what this might look like for your ministry. Evaluate the Missions Journey: Students resource from WMU, SBC and consider your options (Full-Year Plan, Monthly Unit, or Drop In).

- Seek a student or adult leader who has a heart for missions/sharing Jesus and ask them to take on this ministry.

- Use this opportunity to teach your students how to pray for missionaries and those they serve, support the work of missions through giving, and experience living life on mission. 

Written by Candice McIntosh, executive director, Alabama WMU

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