Our founder, Chris White, spent 13 years as a student pastor and saw the life-change that resulted from engaging students overseas in mission. It not only deeply affected him, but he witnessed those experiences reshape the students in his ministry at First Baptist Church of Jonesboro, GA. In 2001, we were formed as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, under the name Mobilizing Students, for the purpose of “launching missional students who share Christ & make disciples among the unreached.” Initially that meant just providing all-inclusive mission trips for student groups.
Mobilizing Students was initially a side ministry for Chris as he resigned from his church to begin traveling full time as a worship leader in the CHRIS WHITE BAND. Leading worship across the country not only allowed him to challenge groups to engage the world through missions, but it enabled him to stoke the fires of passion for Jesus, which always results in missions.
2006 – 2010
The number of students and groups signing up to go overseas had been escalating each year, so Chris transitioned away from leading worship full-time to focusing on Mobilizing Students full-time. We began bringing on full-time staff to help facilitate the logistics for all the groups and began praying for God to show us his next steps in mobilizing a generation to the nations.
2010 – 2015
For years, we had been observing a trend among many of the older high school students and college students on our trips. They kept asking, “How can I serve in missions on a more full-time basis, but my parents aren’t gonna let me bail on college.” At the time, we didn’t have an answer for them since most missions agencies won’t allow you to serve full time until you have your bachelor’s degree.
So, after much prayer, we decided to create a 4-year journey called Trek-X that combined online college, cross-cultural missions, and discipleship into one amazing 4-year journey. Trek means journey, and “X” is the Greek letter for Christ in the New Testament, so we structured Trek-X to be a “journey with Christ”, much like the disciples had with Jesus for three years. Students would spend two years training in the US, two years overseas, and graduation in Israel.
Nashville is home to us, and we had discovered that Nashville has a huge refugee population from the 10/40 window comprised of 132 language groups and the largest Kurdish population in the world outside of the Middle East. So the refugee community became a great place to reach the nations, while also training missional believers to live cross-culturally as they prepare to live overseas. We were graduating rounds of students through this journey, and they were living and sharing the Gospel in places like the Philippines, Guatemala, Turkey, Czech Republic, and the Middle East. It was super exciting to watch this begin to take shape!
2015 – 2018
In 2015, we realized a need to have full-time disciple-makers on the ground in Nashville since our Trek-X students were here between August and April, and then out of the country leading our short-term teams on mission during the summers. The work among Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists in Nashville couldn’t cease just because Trek-Xers were gone for the summer, so we opened the door to full time career missions positions and welcomed our very first career church planting personnel. We call them Field Reps. Young adults, couples, and families could now apply to train and be launched to the nations through our Nashville HUB.
In 2016, we officially formed Nashville as our first training HUB and installed two married couples to serve as Area Directors and Team Pastors. They oversee and lead all the daily training and discipling of the Nashville team. These were couples with decades of overseas church planting expertise who were now living back in the US but wanted to train and launch people to the nations. This gave us a complete team in Nashville comprised of staff, field reps, and Trek-Xers.
In 2017, we launched our second training HUB in Dallas, TX, which also has a large refugee population. Another veteran church planting couple who was returning from overseas after 25 years joined our staff and became the Area Directors for the Dallas HUB. With Nashville and Dallas now serving as training HUBs, we had evolved to include adults and families, which was amazing, but also created an unforeseen issue with our name…Mobilizing Students. We were not just a student missions organization any longer.
So in 2018, we made two major changes. We changed our name from Mobilizing Students to Trek-X, and we created a “gap year” journey for college students instead of the 4-year journey we’d had before.
We learned that the word “mobilizing” in most countries is usually associated with the military, which was not what we want to signal, especially when crossing borders or going through customs. In addition, the word students implied that we only engaged students in missions, which was no longer the case. So we took the name Trek-X, which means “journey with Christ”, and made it the official name of the entire organization. It was a name that students, young adults, couples, and families could operate under, and it also didn’t have any religious connotations associated with it. It implied adventure, which is exactly what life on mission with Christ is all about.
The other major decision was eliminating the 4-year journey and reducing it to a one-year “gap year” experience for college students to test the waters of missions before committing to four full years of missions. By doing this, 18 and 19 year olds, who aren’t really sure what they want to do with their life, would only have to commit to one year instead of four. They would be trained for four months in one of our HUBs, then launched overseas to serve for six months. They can do college online during that gap year or take a year off from college to serve. If after that gap year experience they wanted to continue with us throughout college, we simply transition them over to career mode and they become a Field Rep who can do college online and serve full-time. If not, they move on to traditional college, and we’ve been able to train them to reach internationals on their college campus. It’s a much smaller commitment that allows college students to discern God’s call on their life and experience missions at a much deeper level than a mission trip.
Over the years, what started as a simple way to engage students in missions, has expanded into a missions training & launching pipeline that extends from the local church to the nations. The pipeline includes journeys that range from 1-day cross-cultural tours, 1-week Group Treks, summer overseas internships for college students, our Gap Year, and full-time missions positions called Field Reps. So our missions pipeline now extends from middle schoolers to seasoned adults, connecting the local church to the nations, so anyone called to go can be trained and launched.
Our heart and desire is simply to get the Gospel to the 4.5 billion people who have never heard it! Learn more about how to get involved with us today, and become a part of the exhilarating journey of taking the Gospel to the world.