John Smithwick has carried God’s healing power to over 35 nations. He began taking teams on mission trips in 2002. SInce then, over 2,400 short-term missionaries have gone on their trips and witnessed over 2.3 million souls come to Christ through mass crusade evangelism. Today you will hear about his ministry, Global Ventures.
Why are you taking people on mission trips?
What type of ministry does your team do on the mission field?
Key Quote: People are falling off the cliffs into the flames of hell. – Lester Sumrall
Listen to Daniel King, the Evangelism Coach, on The Evangelism Podcast
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Welcome to the evangelism podcast. I’m Daniel King and I’m super excited about telling people about Jesus today. I have a special guest, John Smithwick from Global Ventures. Thank you so much for being with me,
Evangelist John Smithwick (00:16):
Just a delight, Dr. Daniel, such a privilege. So glad to be here.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:19):
You have such a tremendous evangelistic ministry. You’ve been doing evangelism over 20 years. Now, your ministry has gone to 35 different nations. You’ve been taking a lot of people on short-term missions trips. You’ve had over 2,400 short term missionaries that have joined you all over the world. Can you tell me how did it all get started?
Evangelist John Smithwick (00:44):
You know what? It got started as a 12 year old boy riding down the road. And my dad put in a tape of a well-known minister and listened. And as I listened, it was dr. Lester Sumrall that shared that vision. He had years previously of seeing the whole world in his day, the beautiful cultures walk the road of life. And at the end of that road was a cliff and all the other side of the cliff was eternity. And unfortunately what he saw is they were falling off that cliff into the flames of hell because they had never heard the gospel. And when I heard that as a young boy, it was like, God just stamped it on my heart, seared it all my spirit, that, that was what he had designed me for, was to go around this globe to the far four corners of the earth and share Jesus with people.
Evangelist John Smithwick (01:34):
So then pursuing it ever since started preaching in nursing homes, right after that. And by my senior year of high school in a rural community was invited to be a voluntary youth pastor and did that, and then came on to oral Roberts university probably eight or so years in the making training was what led up to my very first mission trip going in at age 20 to the people’s Republic of China, undercover as a teacher. And as I taught a marketing class to English majors began to witness outside of the class. As students sought me out and was able to lead one young man to Christ little did I know that one young man coming to Christ was like a seed there in such a prolific area of Asia, large largest population nation, definitely at the time. And still, I believe that to this day, the largest in the globe, but the reaping that we’ve seen across Asia since then has, haunched into ministry and, hid crusades in the early days to Peru and then from Peru, hed teams during that time prude time, that first year of ministry led teams with teen mania, kind of a premiere missions, ministry that would take groups and teams predominantly teenagers, but that was all God’s set up for us, heally doing what we’re doing today.
Evangelist John Smithwick (02:56):
Not only doing mass evangelism projects, crusades festivals, but the opportunity of getting others involved. And we do that with our large team trip. Operations is exposing others to the opportunity of preaching from streets, markets, Plaza, schools, all the way up to the crusade stage so that we can replicate the impact in the nations.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (03:19):
So after you started the ministry, you’ve started to keep track of all the people that have been saved. Approximately how many people have you been able to lead to Jesus?
Evangelist John Smithwick (03:30):
It’s it is a little over 2.3 million decisions for Christ in these years. And about 43 churches that we’ve been able to plant predominantly and 10/ 40 region areas India, Thailand, those kind of countries in the world. But no, it’s, it’s been a delight to see so many born again.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (03:52):
One of the stories I love about our relationship is the time that we met in the middle of India. We’re actually both live here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we’re both evangelists. And so we knew of one another. I always heard about what you were doing and the trips that you were taken and people would tell me, Oh, you have, you met brother Smithwick. And I said, no, I haven’t had a chance. So we were trying to set up a time to get coffee together. And it was a little bit tough to find the right time because you’re busy traveling. I’m busy traveling. I think it was like a year we had been trying to meet. And I was in the middle of India, getting on an airplane, walked into the airport and I saw one white guy there in the middle of everyone. And it was you. And we ended up sitting next to each other. So even though we weren’t able to meet for coffee and Tulsa, God put us together on a plane in the middle of India.
Evangelist John Smithwick (04:44):
Absolutely. And we were out there. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever come through that little airport and all these years and I’ve goodness done probably about 20 or so crusades taken part in about 20 or so evangelistic crusades in India and never gone back through that one little airport that we wound up being,uon the same flight from, I was a golfer.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:08):
One of the really neat things about your ministry is that you are taking young people out to the mission field and introducing them to missions for the first time, giving them the opportunity to preach the gospel and actually participate in, in reaching people for Jesus. Why do you think it’s so important for American Christians to go out on the mission field?
Evangelist John Smithwick (05:31):
I believe Daniel, just a state of our younger generation in America dictates if we don’t do missions exposure trips, we’re going to lose a whole generation and not just to world missions. I think that is definitely a goal. Getting them involved and realizing how big the world is, and hopefully down the pathway to doing more with, with world world evangelization. But I think there’s an unfortunate possibility of losing them and their following of Christ. There’s so many distractions today and there’s so much that they’re being inundated with. And there’s so many benefits pleasures of living in one of the most developed nations, one of the most blessed nations on the planet here in the United States of America, Canada. I think if we don’t offer them the opportunity, they’re going to have a very narrow, I’d even say skewed view worldview, and they’re not going to realize how needed they are to a world that’s in such dire state and dire need.
Evangelist John Smithwick (06:42):
And so though we take the whole spectrum, we have senior pastors come out, we have pastors bring their lead teams out. It’s amazing. The spectrum everyday common working folks come out on our mission trips, but we design at least one to two of our trips every year as a family trip where all the way down seven, eight years of age can come out with their legal guardian, their parents and experience world missions. And not just world missions because we know not all missions are the same, but true evangelism in all those different facets, because there’s nothing that will change a young person’s heart and further unveil a destiny design that God has on their life and the purpose he has for them. Then going out and winning souls in various parts around the world where people haven’t had the privilege to hear like what we have.
Evangelist John Smithwick (07:35):
And so we cherish those moments. We started our own boys, right around six, seven years of age, going on the global ventures, Nicaragua trip and having them out and seeing miracles and leading people and the different parts sections of the gospel that we train our team members and then actually seeing them lead people to Jesus. And they love it. It’s a highlight of their year coming out in the summertimes with us now. And they’re right in there with us and doing it with other team members and just part of our young leadership outlay. But we’ve seen many others. It’s not, well, that’s the evangelist kid. And that’s why they’re so in love with this. No, we see everyday people from all walks of life.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (08:16):
Well, talk to me about some of the opportunities that people have when they go with you on a missions trip, what type of ministry are they involved in?
Evangelist John Smithwick (08:24):
You know, they do everything from humanitarian aid projects where we’re giving water filters to a village in need or school systems that have need of clean water all the way. At times we might have other humanitarian based projects. So they, they get to see some of those natural ways of helping people. But the bulk of everything, we do ties back into sharing Jesus with everyone, anyone, everyone. So they are part of going out in the streets on a team of about six to eight people doing a drama presentation of the gospel of Jesus, just unveiling the story of who he is and the miracles he has done and his death and resurrection. And then we divided up into sections where it’s about five to six parts. So it makes it bite-size and easy for kids all the way up to adults to learn the different segments of sharing, whether it’s in a street or in a school, we have a highly evolved school kind of cultural change presentation that they also team members are involved with.
Evangelist John Smithwick (09:35):
And we train them how to do it underneath a very skilled, experienced team leader. That’s done it many, many times, but they go in and do this presentation and exchange, but right in the heart of that exchange is the unveiling. If we’re sharing about our culture, Christianity in Jesus, God is such just a prolific part of American culture and our history. So we share the gospel and we’ll see whole student bodies stand on their feet and pray to receive Christ as their Lord. We’ve seen teachers, administrative principals healed at times and all at the hands of team members. Many times they, you know, are Brown knew or only out on their second, third, fourth trip, but they’re the ones doing this with the tools that we put in their hand because it’s, it’s not hard and doing these things, it’s just, huickly learning that they can do it, grabbing the tools and then stepping out and beginning to do it.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:29):
Another significant part of your ministry is your core internship program. And I’ve actually had the privilege today of coming and teaching some of your, your core interns. But can you tell me some of the vision of Cora in what God is doing through that
Evangelist John Smithwick (10:47):
Absolutely years ago? The Lord started my heart that just doing short-term mission trips alone, wouldn’t fully, fully disciple and equip those that felt a long-term assignment. Like it was part of their destiny purpose in God to go consistently to the unreached and the lost around the globe. People that really want to learn how to be effective leaders in reaching the masses. And that’s kind of the slogan of core raising up effective building effective leaders to reach the masses. And so we launched that a one to three-year program that would delve off in all the nuts and bolts from the practical standpoint of raising up a missions ministry and how to effectively go in to other lands and cross-culturally present the gospel and connect and work with people and do anything and everything along the lines of frontline, evangelism, frontier, ministry, evangelism, and missions ministry. We’ve got folks that want to also live overseas and plant churches.
Evangelist John Smithwick (11:49):
And so there’s that element of things. So it really is designed from a to three year period of time to build these things in how to, how to connect, how to build a partner base, how to influence folks from your, your Homeland and so that they can take part in the great commission as you go out around the world or the young people that study with us go out around the world. And so we’re, we’re grateful our Alma mater you’re in my Alma mater a little over a year ago, granted through an articulation agreement that folks coming through our program can earn up to about a year and a half worth of credit at oral Roberts university and transfer in without if they cover all the bases it’s potential for that. And so we just, couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to pour into the next generation of harvesters evangelists mass crusaders.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (12:39):
That’s awesome. Tell me some about the trips that you have coming up in the next few months.
Evangelist John Smithwick (12:44):
We are so excited, more 10 40 window countries that were taking teams in than any other single year, really it’s within a six month period, any other section of time that we’ve led teams and almost 20 years of facilitating things a little over 18 years, we’ve been in existence 20 years altogether. So in Indonesia, first time ever going in and taking teams and
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:09):
Indonesia is actually the second largest Muslim nation in the world. Yeah. It might be the largest.
Evangelist John Smithwick (13:16):
I can’t remember. I know they say back and forth between it, that in Pakistan. Yeah. Yeah. And so thrilled about that. I’ve wanted to do this for years growing the team to Srilanka for the first time ever Albania. One of those areas of the world that just unfortunate the level of human trafficking that can STEM out of there. And so going in with the gospel, aiming to change and transform these regions that God has coupled our hearts with local leaders on the ground, we work heavily. So that up can be done effectively after the short-term trips over and everything from even pre stages of planning, go into how to effectively connect all the fruit that is born with, with long-term workers on the ground. But those areas going into Thailand, going to have a very powerful trip that will produce it looks like probably another 10 or so church plants.
Evangelist John Smithwick (14:10):
So really excited about the fruit there and then as well, going to be going into B and more in the near days ahead. So just couldn’t be more thrilled of course, Peru and Ecuador going to be phenomenal trips as well. And if folks are like, I want to take my kids, I encourage, if you are weighing, Hey, should we do a, you know, a theme park vacation or a destination vacation look no more or wonder no more sign up and bring your family out on a mission trip because it will not only cause you to bond at a deeper level, I’ve done all the other vacations I’ve named as well. They’re fun and they’re wonderful, but there’ll be a spiritual depth of what you experience memories that will not only be cherished for a lifetime, but he turned cities that are forever changed as a result of you taking your family on trips like this Ecuador and Peru would be the top two, I would say are family trips.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:05):
So if someone was interested in coming with you on one of your mission trips, how could they find out more information,
Evangelist John Smithwick (15:12):
Just global ventures.tv, jump on the website or download the app. The global ventures app is on all platforms. You can download it, jump on there. It’s got the trips that I just mentioned. They can sign up and we have a whole system. If you’re, if you don’t even have your passport or you don’t know really, how am I going to raise the funds? Where am I going to do this? We for years and years have fine tuned. The whole process, our team here at global ventures, we’ll walk you through everything from getting your passport, how to put your first letter together. They’ll cover the top 10 to 20 fundraisers that have worked historically for people 2,500 or so that have come out with us through the years. And so avail yourself to all those tools from the app to the website, to calling a person, a coach, one of our permanent team members to help walk you through. And we just can’t wait to see you on the field with us. We’d love to have you.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:09):
Well, thank you so much for being on the evangelism podcast with me, brother. Smithwick the Lord. Bless you.
Evangelist John Smithwick (16:15):
Dr. King, such a privileged co-laboring with people like you in this great mission of the commission and harvest of souls. Thank you for all that you’ve done through the years.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:25):