The 50/50 Goal

By Nick Cocalis, Founder and Director

Have you ever had someone tell you to “put your money where your mouth is”? Well that’s exactly what we are trying to do here at Next Step. There are many ways of looking at community development. There are many ways of looking at our model of missions. But one way of looking at our approach is telling; where do we spend our money?

To be honest, most businesses (including ours) naturally spend their money in the same place: wherever is going to MAKE them the most money down the road. And that’s where is gets tricky for Next Step. See the place where we make our ‘profit’ is from student payments. So, naturally we tend to spend our money on our student participants or our ‘customers’.

But do we only have one customer?

Over the first four years of ministry we spent the large majority of our dollars on our students and their mission trip experience. We spent money on things such as sound systems for our evening worship, tee-shirts for students to go home with, online marketing to draw more students to our trips, food for our participants, and so on. None of these things are bad in their own right. But at the end of the day when you add it all up, what could any outsider observe? We had created a ministry solely focused on our student participants, with very little money to go towards the priorities of the communities we serve along side.

The Bible shares very clearly in Matthew chapter 6, “For where your treasure is, your heart will be there also.” So this is our goal as a ministry: to spend our money equally. If we are going to be a ministry striving to genuinely focus on community development, we need to put our money where our mouth is.

Over the next few short years we hope to find this balance. We hope to be a ministry that puts about 50% of its income into the students and about 50% into the communities we partner with. Doesn’t that sound like a collision between short-term mission trips and long-term community development?

So how can you help? Ask us how we’re doing. Keep us accountable. And keep choosing to in turn partner Next Step, so we can encourage and invest into true community development together.

Nick Cocalis
Founder and Director

Next Step Ministries