The history of traveling teams is a long one. It began in the 1800's when a couple of young visionaries named John R. Mott and Robert E. Speer started The Student Volunteer Movement. Back when the word "missions" was not jargon and the idea of it was not at all popular, these men traveled from campus to campus to give the rallying call to students that they might lay their lives down for the heathen of the world. The watchword for the Movement was "The evangelization of the world in this generation" and, indeed, it was responsible for raising some 100,000 college students to an awareness of and participation in the Great Commission.
There have been traveling teams since, but it is from this group of early zealots that The Traveling Team Inc. would birth their vision. A visionary named Steve Shadrach was deeply inspired by the impact of the Student Volunteer Movement. He was the founder of a campus ministry called Student Mobilization, a ministry which evangelizes and makes disciples on college campuses. Yet one of Steve's greatest visions was for a group of students to travel from campus to campus and mobilize for missions in a way that modeled the Student Volunteer Movement.
This was a vision that Todd Ahrend would run with. Todd decided to call this movement The Traveling Team. The heartbeat of The Traveling Team is the mobilization of Christian college students on secular college campuses to understand and take personally the will and command of Christ to preach the gospel to all nations. They simply call students to obey the Great Commission.
In 1998, Todd took 5 months to visit 8 countries for the purpose of increasing his own passion for the unevangelized. He returned ready to put in another 6 months of preparation before he would launch a team of his own. In the fall of 1999, Todd, his wife, and two singles set out to make this vision a reality. With the help of three in the office, this pioneer team had great success!
Since that time, the Team, now with a full staff, has spoken in thousands of campus meetings, to hundreds of thousands of students! The Lord is bringing the increase and, as He leads, the Team will continue to mobilize until the job is done!