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Young Jesus-followers need to go on this epic pilgrimage

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                      People in their 20’s need to take a year of their lives to live like Jesus lived while traveling around the world. Most 20-somethings have never been initiated into the abundant life that Jesus promised. The…
By Seth Barnes

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People in their 20’s need to take a year of their lives to live like Jesus lived while traveling around the world. Most 20-somethings have never been initiated into the abundant life that Jesus promised. They look at American Christianity and say, “Is this all there is?”

The World Race puts them through the initiation process by taking them on an epic pilgrimage. Along the way, they minister to the poorest of the poor, befriending those who have no friends and in the midst of the sorrow and pain, experiencing God in a new way without the trappings of success. As one World Racer describes the year ahead, “I will be discipled and trained in ministry and missions. It will be hard and I am scared at how it might change me, but I feel that it is what God wants for this period of my life.”

What separates the World Race from many of the other mission trips is that for those who are serious about committing to a lifetime of radically following Jesus, it isn’t just another experience; it’s a commitment to a transformational discovery process. 

Simplicity and servanthood are at the heart of the World Race. When teams travel, they do so cheaply. In many places, they stay in tents or wherever people invite them to stay, just as Jesus instructed his disciples to do.
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As they go, they seek to serve partner ministries that are caring for the marginalized of this world. They partner with them to establish long-term Kingdom works that will last long after they leave.

Jesus-followers need to find something worth dying for to truly live. On the World Race, team members go through a two year experience to get there, beginning the discipleship six months in advance, and continuing it six months after they return.

World Racer James Gilbert said this in advance of his January ’07 departure, “I believe that by taking a year of my life and intentionally learning to live as Jesus lived, touching the poor, learning to live on little, I will become the world changer that God intended me to be. I’ve got one life to live and I want to commit to making it the radical life that Jesus himself modeled. I know I’ll learn to abandon all that has made my life comfortable and will learn to depend on him as I’ve never had to before.”

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