World Servants. Global Missions from Humble Beginnings.
Our dedication to serving those in need has its roots in a simple passion for making a difference.
Vision and Mission
International Mission Statement
To mobilize a global network of people to impact the world through Jesus Christ through responding to physical and spiritual needs.
U.S. Mission Statement
To develop and facilitate life-changing learning and serving experiences that bring hope to the world.
Through training and short-term mission trips, our desire is to develop people as both servants and leaders in their everyday lives. We believe these learning opportunities will result in the transformation of individuals and communities across the globe.
The Journey of World Servants
In 1986, Jack Larson had a vision for a new kind of mission trip: Churches mobilizing mission teams, rather than individuals coming together. His experience as Caribbean Director of Youth for Christ’s "Project Serve" proved that short-term mission teams could make a significant impact on impoverished communities.
Jack believed that if a mission team invested in a trip together—preparing, traveling and serving together—something radical would happen. Each mission trip would inspire others, with the potential to further unify a congregation, increase their commitment to serving and long-term missionary work, and broaden worldviews. This vision birthed World Servants.
Our First Mission Trips
World Servants' first mission trip included 200 high-school students serving in the Dominican Republic, building four churches and providing children’s ministry. By the following summer, teams were traveling to Belize, Mexico, Jamaica and a Native American reservation in the U.S.
The momentum spread: Joop van der Meer of the Netherlands recruited Europeans to join the U.S. teams, ultimately founding World Servants Netherlands in 1988.
In the early 1990s, God paved the way for unique partnership opportunities with American Baptist, Missouri Synod Lutheran, and Christian Missionary Alliance churches. Over time, other partnerships have included Compassion International, Lifetouch Photography, World Vision, Christian radio stations and for-profit businesses.
Adding Training to Trips
This continual growth fostered a second World Servants elements of ministry: training
- Our Cross-Cultural Orientation was developed to train participants in cultural sensitivity and to simulate experiences they will encounter when they enter a community.
- Mission Leader Training creates a base of volunteers to lead teams.
- World Servants also offers a variety of business-focused curriculums in the form of seminars, forums and academic courses targeted at companies and organizations.
- World Servants trains volunteers how to lead a successful mission trip, how to serve people and how to manage things. Our volunteer mission leaders set an example of how to truly learn, serve and share the story of the community in which they are serving.
Responding to Tragedy
After September 11, 2001, World Servants and many other non-profit organizations suffered a lack of participation and financial support. Just as the economy was building, Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Gulf Coast in August 2005. Many churches and Christian mission trip organizations responded to the massive need by sending teams into the Gulf, and we established two partner communities in the area, sending over 1,500 participants to Louisiana and Mississippi.
60,000 and Counting
Since 1986, we have mobilized more than 60,000 people and 2,000 churches, organizations and businesses to serve in more than 50 communities globally. Our mission experiences continue to grow and change over time, evolving from exclusively offering Christian youth group mission trips to adding mission trips for adults, intergenerational groups and family trips.
- 3,570 homes built or repaired
- 454 community work projects completed
- 365 national leaders served through community partnerships
- 250,000 children and families reached through one-on-one contact during Kids Club and home visits
Philosophy and Ministry
The foundation of our approach to ministry is the concept of entering every relationship and life experience with the attitude of a learner, servant and storyteller. We hold to the value of learning what God is doing in His world. We support coming alongside those God is working through and assisting them, which allows us to find opportunities to share our stories of faith and listen to the stories of others.
We believe the best way to assist in the true transformation of any group of people from another culture is by entering their culture first to learn who they are and what they value, and then to serve, demonstrating care and concern in a way that enhances their dignity. Through this relationship we gain the opportunity to share our own story and how our lives have been transformed.
All World Servants experiences are designed to have a long-term impact on individuals, churches, organizations and communities. World Servants believes that the short-term mission experience provides an opportunity to organize people in a community around a common task that benefits the wider community, while providing short-term mission volunteers with the opportunity to participate in what God is doing in His world.
World Servants also places a high value on training and has developed all of our curriculums around a learner-based experiential training model. We hold to the value of preparing people as servants and learners as they interact with one another.
World Servants Around the Globe
Each of the three World Servants organizations exists as its own entity with a unique mission statement and individual objectives. We are united through an International Mission Statement. Collectively, these three groups serve in more than 20 countries around the world.
Our International Mission Statement
To mobilize a global network of people to impact the world through Jesus Christ by responding to physical and spiritual need.
World Servants: Dominican Republic
We focus our energy on creating relationships with pastors and leaders in impoverished communities throughout our country. With these relationships as a foundation, we are able to receive short-term mission teams and facilitate opportunities for them to serve as the hands and feet of Christ. In addition, we partner with other organizations to improve the quality of life in communities by providing safe drinking water, medical clinics and education.
World Servants: Netherlands
World Servants Netherlands is a Christian organization that builds schools, clinics, clean water projects and homes. They do this by facilitating short-term mission projects in different parts of the world with the help of young people and adults from the Netherlands and Western Europe. Their motto is "Build yourself by building for another." Many developing countries lack proper housing or buildings for education and health. The future for many children and adults is not bright and World Servants Netherlands wants to change this through the service of mission participants and raising funds for transformational community development projects. Visit our European website.
World Servants: USA
Christ’s love compels us (2 Corinthians 5:14) to facilitate transformation in people’s lives and ultimately in their communities, through physical acts that bring justice and mercy to the impoverished and by the power of God’s people creating loving relationships. At the end of the day, everyone’s lives are changed; those serving and those being served.