Meet the People

Welcome

Whether you've heard about us from a friend, know someone who went on missions with us, or simply searched the web for a missions organization, we're glad that you're here!

You want to follow in Jesus's example in the way he cared for the lost and the hurting. You want to take up Jesus's commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28) and be his witness to the ends of the earth (Acts 1).

We want to mobilize people to missions as a means of discipleship, and we've been at it for over twenty years. We want to help you mobilize and disciple others.

Thank you for checking us out and considering partnership with us. The body of Christ stretches so much further than we could ever imagine and we're privileged to partner with the members of his body all over the world. We hope to join with you in this adventure!

About Adventures in Missions

Adventures in Missions is an interdenominational missions organization that focuses on discipleship. We emphasize prayer and relationships in our work amongst the poor.

Since we were established in 1989, we have taken over 100,000 people into the mission field, some for as short as a week and others for as long as a year or longer. In several places around the world we minister year-round to "the least of these". We believe that by giving people the opportunity to hold orphans, bring hope to the hopeless, and pray for the sick, lives are transformed.

We seek to disciple as Jesus did; our vision is that God would use us to raise up a generation of radically committed disciples of Jesus Christ.

Statement of Faith

  • We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and is authoritative and infallible in the original writings.
  • We believe in one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of God the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
  • We believe that faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is essential for the salvation of lost and sinful man.
  • We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  • We believe in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and eternal life.
  • We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in Jesus Christ.

Ministry Distinctives

  • We emphasize interdenominationalism.
    The main thing is to make the main thing the main thing. We are tolerant of a variety of beliefs and practices within the mainstream of Christian practice. Where there is excess, we seek to be a force for moderation.
  • We emphasize the unity of the body of Christ.
    We are ministers of reconciliation. We seek to bring pastors and churches together in ministry. We do not exalt certain gifts, but we understand that the body of Christ needs them all to be balanced.
  • We emphasize partnership through the local church.
    The local church is God’s vehicle for discipleship. We seek to work through it. We link sending churches and host churches in the short-term missions process.
  • We emphasize listening prayer.
    We believe God wants to communicate with us daily in a personal way. We ask, listen, and obey: asking God for guidance, listening for His response, and obeying Him to the best of our ability.
  • We emphasize discipleship over evangelism.
    We understand that Jesus did not call us to get people to say a prayer but to enter into a lifestyle. We balance boldness with love. We look for opportunities to be witnesses, but we seek to ensure followup.
  • We emphasize the church without walls.
    We go to those needing ministry rather than expecting them to come to us. The Church is not a building or a denomination.
  • We emphasize ministry to the poor, the oppressed, and the hopeless.
    Our ministry focus is on the lost sheep that society shuns. In a given city, we will go to that darkest and most hopeless place first.
  • We listen to God and respond.
    We believe God speaks. And when he does, we need to respond accordingly. When he says go, we go. When he says stay, we stay. We believe intimacy with the Father enhances the ability to recognize his voice: “my sheep know my voice” (John 10:27). And because we know God is the one speaking, we trust and obey.
  • We innovate and fail fast.
    At Adventures we keep a fast-paced environment that stays in sync with the changes going on in our world. We are constantly innovating to improve our programs and organization. When we fail, we fail fast, fix our mistakes, and move on.
  • We mobilize and make disciples.
    At our core, we are a discipleship organization. Our desire is that God would use us to raise up a generation of radically committed disciples of Christ and send them out to the nations. We believe this is our part in fulfilling the Great Commission.
  • We empower people to go and grow something.
    Our programs intentionally empower participants to be part of something that matters. We want to cultivate long-term, global change in people and projects that will continue long after our work is done. We have a kingdom-of-God paradigm that is bigger than just the reach of our ministry, and we encourage participants to adopt the same mindset.
  • We put people before projects.
    As a discipleship organization, we highly value people. Although projects are necessary and exciting, we make decisions with people as our primary concern. All projects should empower the people working on them as well as benefit those included in them.
At Adventures in Missions, we believe in the active work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.

Like any good parent, God loves to give gifts to his children. Of course, the Father gave us the ultimate gift in his Son, Jesus. But he also gives us gifts that we can't see -- gifts that are spiritual in nature.

All Christians have access to these gifts; it's just a matter of recognizing and activating them.

What are spiritual gifts?

Spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Spirit to Christ-followers to spread the Gospel, fulfill the Great Commission, and extend the kingdom of God in the world.

These are supernatural empowerments that are not earned or learned. They are gifts, given to believers for the sake of ministering to the body of Christ in ways that are otherwise impossible.

In Acts, the apostles performed miracles and healings, preached the Good News, spoke in tongues, and prophesied -- and they did all this by the power of God.

In other words, spiritual gifts are how God does his supernatural work through us.

Why does God give spiritual gifts?

The purpose of a spiritual gift is for the edification of the body of Christ. God gives us gifts for three reasons: to unify us (1 Cor. 12:12-13), for the common good of the church (1 Cor. 12:7), and to supplement our weaknesses (1 Cor. 12:22-23).

Paul tells the Corinthian church about the importance of spiritual gifts and emphasizes the fact that they are intended to build up other believers:

“But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement, and comfort (1 Corinthians 14:3).

“…try to excel in gifts that build up the church (1 Corinthians 14:12).

“…All of these things must be done for the strengthening of the church (1 Corinthians 14:26).”

There is also an evangelistic importance to spiritual gifts:

“But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!’” (1 Corinthians 14:24–25).

Who can have spiritual gifts?

All spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit. God is the owner and giver of all gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12:7,11); as believers, we are merely caretakers of these gifts.

These gifts are not reserved only for an elite class of clergy or special group of people. Every believer can expect gifts from God.

We see this promised in Scripture:

“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good…” (1 Corinthians 12:7)

When do you get spiritual gifts?

Spiritual gifts can be experienced immediately following conversion (as we see in some instances in the Book of Acts), but they can also be received at various moments after someone comes to faith.

Paul encourages Timothy, “Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you” (1 Timothy 4:14). Scripture doesn't say when exactly this happened, but it was probably when the church commissioned him to start his ministry.

The above passage also suggests that gifts can come by impartation through spiritual leadership. This doesn't mean someone has some kind of “magic touch”; rather, it means that gifts sometimes come through a relationship of accountability.

It is also clear from Scripture that spiritual gifts can be received when a person is filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4; 10:44–48; 19:6).

How do spiritual gifts work?

Spiritual gifts were a part of the New Testament church. On the day of Pentecost, the apostles speak in tongues. Later on in Acts, we see them performing healings and miracles.

We also see Jesus using spiritual gifts as part of his earthly ministry: he performed miracles, healings, and prophesied. He performed these deeds in his humanity by the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38) and asked his followers to do the things he had been doing (Luke 9:1). Since his ministry was a demonstration of spiritual gifts on earth, we can conclude he expected the disciples to continue this work.

How many gifts are there?

Various passages in the New Testament mention a variety of gifts. It is not easy to define or describe each of these gifts; some seem obvious, while others are not.

Moreover, the Bible does not indicate that any list of spiritual gifts is exhaustive. There are four main lists of spiritual gifts (some of which repeat certain gifts):

Romans 12:5-8

  • Prophecy
  • Service
  • Teaching
  • Encouragement
  • Giving
  • Leadership
  • Mercy
1 Corinthians 12:8-10
  • Word of wisdom
  • Word of knowledge
  • Faith
  • Healing
  • Miracles
  • Prophecy
  • Tongues
  • Interpretation of tongues
Ephesians 4:11-12
  • Apostles
  • Prophets
  • Evangelists
  • Pastors
  • Teachers
1 Corinthians 12:28
  • Apostles
  • Prophets
  • Teachers
  • Miracle workers
  • Healing
  • Helps
  • Administration
  • Tongues
The number of spiritual gifts is not important; rather, the understanding of what they are and how they are to be used is what matters.

The goal of a spiritual gift is to help build the church; it's perfectly acceptable for Christians to seek out spiritual gifts. In fact, Paul encourages the Corinthian church to eagerly desire spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1).

This does not mean spiritual gifts should be used to exalt an individual or feed the ego. Nor are they meant to support an immature desire for attention. Instead, we should strive to excel in gifts that build up the church (1 Corinthians 14:12).

One absolute non-negotiable is that spiritual gifts must be used in love (1 Corinthians 13; Romans 12:9; Ephesians 4:15; 1 Peter 4:8). Using a spiritual gift for any other reason than love is abuse of the gift and will ultimately cause trouble.

All spiritual gifts are needed, and all are equally valid. Some are more evident than others, but all are necessary to building up the body. In 1 Corinthians 12:12–26, we are told that no one should despise a certain gift or compare it to another. Unfortunately, this is human nature, and entire denominational rifts are based on placing a higher importance on a certain gift over another.

What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?

Some people -- even some denominations -- believe the gift of tongues is evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit. We affirm that the gift of tongues is a valid gift for today, but we do not believe Scripture supports tongues as the only evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit.

Paul writes to the Ephesians, commanding this group of believers to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). This is an expression that shows up often in the Book of Acts and describes someone being under the control of the Holy Spirit. According to this command, every believer should seek to be filled by the Holy Spirit, but that does not necessarily mean speaking in tongues.

Though there is a record of people receiving spiritual gifts when they were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4; 10:44–48; 19:6), there are other instances of people being filled with the Holy Spirit where there is no mention of spiritual gifts (Acts 4:8, 31; 8:15–17; 9:17–18; 13:9, 52). Some speak in tongues, and others do not.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit, as described in Galatians 5:22–23 is the primary evidence of the Spirit-filled life. These qualities are produced by the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The fruit of the Spirit shows that the Holy Spirit is in control of the believer’s life.

In general, we evaluate the presence of the Spirit by the presence of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in a person’s life and ministry.

How do you discover your spiritual gifts?

You can neglect a spiritual gift. Paul warns Timothy not to do this very thing (1 Timothy 4:14) and encourages him to "fan into flame” the gift God as given him (2 Timothy 1:6).

In order for a person to live out their full, God-given purpose, we believe it is essential for believers to discover and exercise their spiritual gifts.

We live in a spiritual, kingdom-of-God reality, in which the Holy Spirit distributes gifts for the work to which he’s called us. Therefore, our discovery of these gifts must be a spiritual experience itself.

Furthermore, just as God equips believers with spiritual gifts as they are needed to serve him, and not only at the time of conversion, the gifts themselves are dynamic. You may receive different gifts as the Holy Spirit calls you to serve in different ways throughout your lifetime.

That said, there are some ways to help you identify and hone your spiritual gifts. What do you enjoy doing? What needs or burdens has God laid on your heart? Do the leaders of your local church affirm certain gifts or abilities? How do these observations line up with what the Bible says? All of these are helpful guidelines to discovering your spiritual gifts, but of course, the Word of God is the ultimate measurement.

Conclusion

We, Adventures in Missions, believe in spiritual gifts as supernatural empowerments given by God to Christ-followers for the sake of the church and kingdom of God.

Our approach is, as Paul instructs us, that we eagerly seek the gifts without agenda. We do not try to force them or emotionally contrive a manifestation of a gift. We do, however, expect God to be true to his Word and empower each believer with certain gifts for the sake of edification of the church.

In all things, our sole focus is Jesus, not self or a particular gift, but to bring glory to God in all we do. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to serve his purposes on earth and to edify the church, and we embrace the use of them for those purposes. Naturally, all experiences are subject to discernment and must fully align with God’s Word, as revealed in Scripture.

References:
“Spiritual Gifts.” The Christian and Missionary Alliance. October 2012.
Spiritual Gifts in the Local Church by David Pytches
Surprised by the Power of the Spirit by Jack Deere

Seth Barnes, Executive Director

Raised in a Christian home, Seth’s parents encouraged his involvement with missions at an early age. He went to Guatemala for two months as a junior in high school and the Andes Mountains of Peru the following year, where his passion for missions continued to grow. In 1976, he enrolled at Wheaton College near Chicago, Illinois. As a senior, he worked in a Cambodian refugee camp where many fled to because of the oppression of the Khmer Rouge.

Soon after graduation, Seth married Karen and they moved directly to Indonesia, where Seth worked in economic development, helping the poorest of the poor. In 1981, they moved to the Dominican Republic where he did similar work. Seth then attended the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and graduated with an MBA two years later.

Upon graduating, Seth was faced with a choice between two divergent paths: a secure life in corporate America that would support Karen and their kids, or a life of risk, starting a missions agency with a friend. Seth chose to obey God and helped successfully start a ministry. Two years later, in 1989, God planted a new seed in his heart: Seth obeyed and launched what is now Adventures in Missions.

Within a year, he was leading hundreds of people overseas on short-term mission trips. Today, that number has grown to thousands. AIM has taken over 100,000 people into the mission field and now has full-time ministry bases all over the world. Seth currently lives with Karen and two of their five children in Gainesville, Georgia.

Clint Bokelman, Director of Long Term Missions

After growing up in a Christian household and attending Bible school, Clint became a full-time youth minister at a church near Omaha, Nebraska. In 1995, his burden for the lost deepened on an Adventures mission trip to Tampico, Mexico. Two years later, he joined the organization, as part of a traveling mobilization team. He now oversees the new Long Term Missions initiative at Adventures.

Clint lives in Gainesville, Georgia with his wife Amie and their three kids: Sydney, Caden and Olivia.

Derrell Hunter, Chief Financial Officer

Derrell has been a CPA since 1973, working in all aspects of business finance, leadership and growth. He's a natural leader with a unique combination of strategic vision, focus, and innovative thinking, and often finds himself in the role of problem-solver.

Whether in his role as Partner for KPMG, CFO of a publicly traded staffing firm, or in-between, as founder and/or President of several start-up businesses, Derrell thrives in active, entrepreneurial environments. Having joined Adventures in 2010, he is more excited than ever about being devoted to an organization that also has Christian faith as its foundation and purpose.

Originally from South Carolina (avid SC gamecock), Derrell and Susan, his wife since 1968, live in Georgia near their daughter, son-in-law and 4 grandchildren.

 

See full list of staff


Adventures in Mission does an amazing job of blending healthy discipleship and spiritual formation with Holy Spirit empowered missiology. Their theology is solid and their mission is clear. Jesus is their message and His Kingdom come is their goal. It is my great joy to partner with them. I strongly recommend to you the powerful ministry of Adventures in Mission. Ron Walborn

My team was exceptionally blessed. There was a wide variety of ministry opportunities... We faced trials and hard times, but overall my team worked incredibly well together and finished strong. Overall the ministries we worked with were Kingdom focused and [represented] displayed the needs of the world. Jessica Smith, P squad

Adventures in Missions is honestly one of or if at least, the best Christian missions organizations that I have ever worked with or been a part of. God has used you in amazing ways and taught me so much in every area of my life -- emotionally, physically & spiritually! I am forever grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to be apart of Adventures and the World Race and will definitely continue to recommend to any and all. Derek Begin, P squad

Thank you for taking the time to care about my heart more than I ever did and for bringing me to life. And for fighting for me and with me to get me to the gates of the kingdom lifestyle, so that Jesus himself could walk me through. You are amazing. There isn't more I could say. Stacy Hume, P squad

That night, we saw the deaf hear, the blind see, and many people with back pains, headaches, stomach pains, and all sorts of afflictions healed right in front of us! That sort of thing became regular, or as regular as miracles can become. Eric Hanson

Brandon and I are about to go hang out with the Maasai [tribe] and kill lions with our bare hands. I am kind of concerned about who is going to kill the bugs in the girls' beds at night. Daniel Vander Wal

I can sum up my World Race experience in one word: Kingdom. Because in that word is the depth of true community, God's heart for the orphaned, widowed and sex-trafficked, a hope-filled way to engage the world and the fullness of God which is the love of Jesus. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is nothing else I want to give my life to. Nate Evans

For those who may see The World Race as just another missions trip, I would have to disagree.  It's a classroom where the gifts God gives people and the realities of how those gifts were intended to shape and shake the world come together, completely changing a life, spanning the globe through relationship after relationship. Brian Alonzo

God has a massive heart to love, forgive, and bring freedom, and he has given me a glimpse of it- I now hurt when someone hurts, I have passion for people in ways I can’t describe these days. I love deeper than ever even though my flesh wants to sometimes reject, but Gods love has completely overtaken me. Robby Riggs

World Race Sets Missionaries on Adventure of Lifetime

Imagine quitting your 9-to-5 job, leaving everything you own behind and embarking on a nearly yearlong mission trip: 11 countries in 11 months to be exact.

It's known as The World Race, a ministry of Adventures In Missions.

MISSION :: THE WORLD RACE

In Through Painted Deserts, Donald Miller opens with the concept of “leaving.” He explains the spiritual importance for him of making a simple move from Texas to Oregon. It opened up a whole new world for him – new places, new perspectives, new people. It made him appreciate going back home so much more.

Christians Prepare for 'World Race'

Some young Christians from the United States are preparing for a near year-long missions trip, during which time they will give up their comfortable lifestyle to live like the indigenous people in eleven countries.

Around the World in 334 Days

One of our writers, Curt Devine shares his experience on the World Race, an 11-month missions trip to 11 different countries. We asked him to reflect on what he’d seen, to offer us snapshots—both visual and written—of his trip around the world, from urban slums and red-light districts to prisons, rural churches and orphanages.

World Race Sets Missionaries on Adventure of Lifetime

Imagine quitting your 9-to-5 job, leaving everything you own behind and embarking on a nearly yearlong mission trip: 11 countries in 11 months to be exact.

It's known as The World Race, a ministry of Adventures In Missions.

Believers Join Amazing Race Around World

Shannon Meador wanted more in her life. A passionate follower of Christ and lover of adventure, working a desk job in central Illinois just wasn’t cutting it, so she went in search of an exciting opportunity that would allow her to serve God.

When entrepreneurship is only way forward

ANTIGUA, Guatemala — Javier Villatoro grew up without a mom and dad in Guatemala City. He dropped out of school in his late teens to learn to cut Guatemalan jade and other precious stones and to work silver with Argentinean jewelers.

The 45 Most Powerful Photos Of 2012

Rosemary McDermott and her husband opened a safe containing a family genealogy in the Breezy Point section of Queens. They salvaged the safe from the basement of Rosemary’s mother’s home after Superstorm Sandy.

Nothing Short of an Adventure

The World Race is a unique missions trip that takes young adults into 11 countries in 11 months to serve while living in community. Brandon, our Catalyst Racer, has taken the challenge to abandon his worldly possessions (all except a backpack) and pursuit of the American Dream to experience how God is moving.

11 months, 11 nations, 1 life-changing mission for Utahn

After earning her associate degree in American Sign Language at Salt Lake Community College in 2012, the graduate wanted to get out of the country, but couldn’t find any program that appealed to her.

Fill out my online form.

Why Work at Adventures in Missions?

What impact will you have on the world for Christ? How will you make your life count?
We at Adventures in Missions care deeply about your answer to these questions. We're committed to seeing God's kingdom come on earth. Our objective is to help raise up a generation of radically committed disciples. We're a quickly growing, innovative organization with exciting opportunities to make an impact.

Our Work Environment:

  • will challenge you
  • rewards those who are resourceful
  • welcomes initiative
  • is fun
  • is full of grace
  • encourages discipleship: get discipled, disciple others
  • will invest in your personal & spiritual development
  • All over the map
If you share our heart for reaching the lost and loving the least and left-out of the world, this may be the perfect place for you to serve. We are committed to not only serving our missionaries in the field but also to investing in our staff and developing their spiritual gifts. If you're tired of the "rat race", consider applying for one of our open positions.

Please note that as a nonprofit missions organization, our full-time staff raise at least a portion of their salary.

Current Staff Openings

Click on any job title to view a full description.
Job Title Location Type

What is missions?

Simply put, missions is bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who don't know him as Lord and Savior.

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." -- Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. -- Acts 1:8 (NIV)

There are no limits in territory, people, places, or methods used to reach those who are lost; and God’s desire is that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9). God has a specific plan for us, a direct call and a clear will for every person.

God's call to each individual is unique and specific to them. He uses their upbringing, surrounding environment, and experiences and couples them with his vision, goals and desires, to shape them into a unique tool for His hands to mold and guide and use (Ephesians 2:10).

God's will is for each individual to love God and love people, the first and second greatest commandments (Matthew 22:36-40). The great commission, found in Matthew 28:18-20, is an expression of those commandments to love. Jesus also tells us he has empowered us with authority and his presence.

Why do we go on mission trips?

We go, plan, organize, implement, and lead mission trips as a response to God.
We go on missions:

  • because we share God's heart for the lost
  • to reach the lost for Jesus
  • to train participants how to hear God's voice
  • to disciple other Christians, especially youth, to reach the lost until Christ returns.

Our ultimate hope is that your desire for God's kingdom to come here on earth will outgrow our programmatic capacity. Short term missions is the vehicle through which we mobilize people onto life-long discipleship, long-term missions. Not only do we desire for your perspective to change but for your life to be transformed; to see a generation radical and sold out for God.

How did missions begin?

You can debate who was the first missionary from Job to Jesus. The truth is that when Adam and Eve fell, God's plan to redeem mankind to himself was put into action. Jesus is the greatest missionary of all; he paid the ultimate price to redeem man and reconcile him to God.

Missions was God's design and his heart from the beginning. We in the Church today have mistakenly thought of missions as a New Testament thing, a relatively new idea, but the truth is God has desired all peoples, nations, and tongues come to him from the beginning. God's covenant with Abraham was that he would bless nations.

God has set his sight on all the world to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus. That's his heart, his vision, his desire.

Board of Directors 2012


Mac Schneider - Chairman
Atlanta, GA

Seth Barnes - CEO of AIM
Gainesville, GA

Pastor Brad Howard - Member
Rockwall, TX

Glenn Steers - Member
Holly Springs, NC

Bruce Neurohr - Member
Roswell, GA

Bobby John - Member
Atlanta, GA

Ed Glover - Member
Pittsburg, PA


Accountability for the resources that God has entrusted Adventures In Missions begins first of all with our awareness that those who share their time, money, and prayers with AIM view us as stewards. We know that God sees and weighs the merits of our every action. The parable of the master and the wise steward applies to each of us. It is therefore our objective to listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all that we do, particularly in the larger decisions that we make.

Given man's frailty and inherent corruptibility, checks and balances are necessary. We have put such mechanisms in place to make a statement that AIM staff want to be above reproach in all that they do. Our own board of directors meets regularly to review the direction and performance of the ministry.

Executive Director Seth Barnes founded Adventures in Missions in 1989. He worked out of his garage to lead nearly 1,000 youth to the mission field over the next three years. In 1992, the demand for trips exploded and Seth moved Adventures from his home to a storefront office.

In 2000, Adventures expanded its programs beyond its original focus on youth groups. Since then, we've sent thousands of adults, families, and college students to minister around the world.

The first World Race team went out in 2006. This original team of 25 blazed a trail that thousands have followed. Every year, this powerful ministry takes hundreds of young adults to serve in 11 countries in 11 months.

To date, Adventures has taken over 100,000 people into the mission field. We also have full-time ministry bases all over the world.

  • The World Race (idea) 2005
    The World Race began as an idea that God gave Anna Marie Franken for young people to go on a pilgrimage around the world to understand and experience God personally, serve in communities in which they would have an impact, and leave a lasting contribution behind. She shared the idea with Seth Barnes, founder of Adventures in Missions, who began exploring the possibilities of what he conceptually saw as a race that featured competitive components and included leaving behind both substantial fruit through church planting and tangible objects for future Racers to find.
  • World Race Launched 2006
    In January, the pilot World Race launched from Mexico and pioneered in regions all over the world touching foot in over 20 countries. Partnered with South Africans, 22 Racers went on an 11-month experiment to figure out what it would look like to live out Luke 10. Literally knocking on doors and sleeping on streets, it was a raw adventure in faith. South African Anna Marie Franken traveled with the Racers while Seth Barnes, Andrew Shearmen, Gary Black, and Tom Davis taught and debriefed before and during the Race.
  • Squads Train/Deploy 2007
    In January, A and B squads trained for two weeks in Seth's front yard and embarked on a similar route as the pilot World Race. Later this year, squads C and D began expanding to South America, Botswana, and the Philippines with the goal to make an impact. Coaches also began to be identified for each squad to provide discipleship. In the early years of the Race, squads would compete in lengthy races from country to country and shorter race-like competitions in more local settings. While in Swaziland, Seth heard the call to structure the World Race for a movement and to give it away to the generation. Taking an initial step in obedience to this call were several Racers joining Adventures in Missions staff to expand the World Race ministry program.
  • E, F, and G Launched 2008
    Three squads-E, F, and G-launched in 2008, which totaled 111 Racers beginning in one year. Shifts of significant growth began to occur as Racers from this year continued to pioneer in southern Africa, the UK, and Eastern Europe. Also, alumni started returning as squad leaders, and, after coaching a Race, Michael Hindes was asked to lead the WR with not only the goal of raising up a generation, but also the responsibility to disciple those who are being wrecked by the process of initiation.
  • Doubling in Size 2009
    More than doubling in size, five squads-H through L, totaling 226 Racers-began this adventure around the world, returning to serve in not only partnership ministries but also to many ministries new to the Race in places like Indonesia, the Caribbean, Malaysia, Germany, the Middle East, and East Africa. The Awakening was held in Brasov, Romania, as a time of worship and impartation. It was the first large-scale convergence for alumni, current, and future Racers.
  • Obeying the Call 2010
    Obeying the call to go out amongst the nations, the Race continued to expand by sending seven squads-370 Racers-out into an adventure of faith. During this year countries including Nigeria, Ghana, New Zealand, and Australia became Race destinations. In the summer, World Race Exposure trips to Kenya and Uganda began to be offered for those too young for the Race. The Awakening was held in Dublin, Ireland, with more than 350 staff, alumni, and ministry partners in attendance.
  • 11 Countries 11 Months 2011
    We project to launch 13 squads out on this journey to 11 countries in 11 months. In January, the first WR Human Trafficking trip launched to minister to victims of human trafficking. Living out the vision of the Race, a WR Initiative, made up of Real Life and World Race alumni, are beginning work in Kenya to restore hope and empower change in an Internally Displaced People camp.

    While the World Race continues to change due to expansion overseas and here in the States, the fundamentals in which the Race was founded upon have not altered. The World Race was and is a pilgrimage to 11 countries in 11 months, a discipleship opportunity for 20-somethings going through the process of initiation, a partnership with the ministries we serve, and a journey with Luke 10 principles as guidelines. We're still looking to call young people out of their comfort zones and give them exposure to what God is doing in the world before they commit to the American dream. You can also read about what some of our alumni are doing now.