2008-12-08

Tis the Season

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OneStopSchop Editor's Note:

Occasionally there are those we come in contact with whose story bares repeating. With that in mind comes the following guest post by first time blogger and personal friend Jacob Born. I asked if he would be willing to share his story here because I think it’s a story that would inspire many as well as one that most people could identify with, as it is based on a calling for something greater. The difference though is that his story begins where so many others end; with a response.


When we first met to discuss his new career path, I realized that the least I could do, in addition to supporting him through my own gifts and prayers, would be to share his story with those who follow this site. I have no connection with NEXT Worldwide, and I only ask that you read through the following post and consider whether this is something that is on your heart to support. All donations are tax deductible.



To God be the Glory

by Jacob Born


I grew up probably like most American kids, in an average family with big dreams to make a whole lot of money someday. I went to college, got a degree, and set out to make the big bucks. I got a well-paying job in the financial industry and figured that it would be just a matter of time before the Lord put me in touch with the “right people” who would then put me on the fast track to success. I had my vision and then God could work within it. After all, couldn’t I reach a lot more people for the Lord if I held a place of prominence and wealth in the world? (Not to mention, I’d be comfortable as well). That was my mindset.


Well, the problem for me was that God didn’t make me to be a banker and I knew it. God had given me a desire to impact the world for Him, and though I knew something in the ministry might be what He had in mind, if it didn’t involve me being wealthy I simply ignored it. After many conversations with Him and long nights spent lying in bed telling Jesus how my plan would work, I finally turned my will over to the Lord and began asking what His plan was. You see, I believe God gives us windows of opportunity in our lives where we have the opportunity to affect people of certain age groups the most. At age 25, I am just now entering my prime to make an impact on the youth of America, and I finally realized that I would rather look back on my life 10 years from now and know that I had used that time to point hundreds of kids to Christ rather than look back and say, “Hey, I’ve got a great house, some cool cars, and all these things.” I didn’t want to miss out on this window of opportunity in order to selfishly pursue things that will not fulfill me. I want to make an eternal difference.


So, after several months of searching into a number of different organizations, the Lord brought me to Next Worldwide. Next Worldwide is a church-planting organization that partners with churches across the US to take their youth groups abroad to practice door-to-door evangelism and to plant churches internationally. Our goal in taking these youth groups abroad is to give them a new perspective on their Christian faith and to see that actively living out the gospel is what we are called to do as Christians. There is more to it than just making a personal decision that they keep to themselves, it’s about being ready and willing to give people an answer for the hope that is in them --- Christ!


Our hope is that they would overcome their timidity and/or fear of telling others about Christ as a teenager so that they have the rest of their lives to make an impact. So many kids walk away from these trips with a new outlook on their Christian walk. We plant churches in other countries by partnering with local church bodies that agree to lead and help shepherd new church plants in their respective communities. The churches are then comprised of the new believers that result from the door-to-door evangelism. We are currently focusing on Central / South America, Africa, and Europe (we are also currently starting a domestic mission branch and an Asian branch in the near future).


Leadership development training is another avenue by which Next Worldwide prepares the next generation to spread the good news. On each mission trip, the youth will complete a training course designed to help them to see who God has uniquely made them to be, and we then show them how they can use their God-given personalities and gifts to impact others for Christ. Our goal is not to make all of these kids into full-time missionaries; that’s simply unrealistic. Rather our focus is on helping each person understand how they can use their gifts to impact the kingdom of God. Our desire is for these kids to live missionally so that wherever they end up, they will help bring others a living hope!


So that’s where God has brought me. My wife and I have spent a great amount of time praying about this and we are confident this is where the Lord is calling us. NEXT is based out of Frisco, Texas and I will live here in the states to organize and lead these trips abroad. It’s a full-time job but I have to raise my own support to live, just like everyone else in the organization. This has been a huge point of spiritual growth for my wife and I, as we now (more than ever) have to literally trust that the Lord will provide for us financially through the giving of others. It’s a scary thought but it is an exciting place to be.


If what we are doing at Next is something that resonates in your heart and you would like to help support us in this ministry it would be a blessing to have you on our support team. We have been raising support for the past 2 months and still have a long way to go. We believe that God has called us to this and as a result will provide the funding for us to live, and my hope is that God would bring us at least 1 new giver as a result of this blog posting. If you don’t feel called to give that’s fine, but would you take a moment to pray that God would use this ministry to positively influence thousands of people for Christ and that He would provide the support for us?


Also, if you know of a youth group or youth pastor that you think would like to partner with us then I would be happy to contact them. Next does not have an affiliation with any particular denomination but partners with all evangelical Christian churches.


Please let Mike know if you would like to get in touch with me and he can give you my contact information. (OSS: If it is please email me at onestopschop@gmail.com or visit http://www.nextworldwide.org/donate.php, and select “I would like to give to a Next Staff Member”, and type in Jacob Born).


Thanks and God Bless!

-Jake



UPDATE: This experience has led me to start a website based around the idea of what it means to be a "cheerful giver" (2 Cor 9:7) by focusing on donating to those who are immersed in missional living. The website is called MissionalGiving.com, and if you know of or are someone who works in this field, please direct them to the site. My ultimate goal is to create a network that seamlessly connects potential donors with those working in the field of missions and are in need of financial assistance.

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