Goubert Believes Ministry Happens Everywhere
“God, why is my life so bad?”
It was one of the first prayers Will Goubert (’18) ever prayed. And it was an honest question.
Goubert was born in Brazil to one of his father’s many families; his father had left all the others. After their move to Easley, SC, Goubert’s father started abusing both his mother and sister. The last day Goubert ever saw him was in second grade, when police were taking him away.
Betrayal, brokenness, resentment, addiction, loneliness: these weren’t strangers to Goubert’s family when he was growing up. But really, the last straw for him was in the summer before ninth grade, when someone close to him attempted suicide.
That was when Goubert finally prayed.
“I knew there was a God. I just didn’t want anything to do with Him. But I remember that day, calling out to God,” Goubert says. “That’s when He really began to break into my story.”
Later that summer, one of Goubert’s friends from school, Kaleb Griggs (’18), invited him to camp with his church, Brushy Creek Baptist. Goubert was more than happy to say “yes,” since camp meant getting away from home for a week at the beach.
During one of the camp services, Goubert remembers realizing for the first time that he was a sinful person, but that God loved him. He’d heard bits and pieces of the gospel before, but this time, he truly understood it.
That night, he became a Christian — the first Christian in his entire family.
“Christ saved me,” Goubert remembers. “He made me into a new creation.”
Life back at home didn’t get better overnight, but one of the first areas of his life the Lord began to change was Goubert’s “hatred and bitterness towards family.” He would pray when he started to feel angry. He told them about his faith and invited them to come to church with him. And over time, he even forgave his father.
At the same time Goubert began to accept the purpose God had for how his life had worked out, he felt called into ministry; he believed this meant becoming a pastor. So after graduating from Easley High School, he came to North Greenville University as a Christian studies major in 2014.
Goubert’s first semester at NGU, he took Freshman Honors Seminar. His class read the Christian classic “How Now Shall We Live?” by Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, and he began to understand that everyone has a worldview — the way they view every aspect of life — and that worldview affects every aspect of their lives.
He remembers one assignment, in particular, that really changed his outlook from that point on:
“There was a worldview grid that we had, and there’s three aspects to it. That is creation: God created the whole world, and God created it perfect and good and holy. And then the fall: what happened to the world, what’s wrong with it. Obviously, sin came, and that’s the reason we have evil and suffering in this world.
. . . But that the third part: Christ is the only way we can be redeemed in this world,” Goubert remembers. “Through that set of glasses, that’s how we as Christians view the whole world.”
But perhaps just as impactful for Goubert was seeing a roomful of people — his Honors classmates — who wanted to live out the Christian worldview in their own unique career paths.
“Having all these different majors in there — not just Christian studies majors — it definitely opened my eyes: all these people want to serve God in business and education and theatre or whatever it may be,” he adds.
Taking the class “broke down the divide between ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’” for him, he says.
“The whole world is God’s. Ministry is not just in a church setting. . . .
It’s in all these different areas. God’s involved everywhere,” says Goubert. “That’s what encouraged me even more to pursue the Spanish degree; I can glorify God through that, and that’s ministry, too.”
After Goubert realized that ministry could take so many shapes, he made several decisions — including adding a double major in Spanish. Even if he becomes a pastor after graduation, he hopes to have a tentmaking job in teaching language at the high school level or perhaps in Central America.
During his four years at NGU, Goubert has also sought out plenty of opportunities to get involved and minister even now as a student, right where he is.
“Growing up you always hear that the church is the sacred place — like you need to bring your lost friends to church and get them saved . . . which is not a bad idea at all,” says Goubert. “But Christ calls us to go out and meet [people] where they’re at just like Jesus did: He came and ‘dwelt among’ people. So we go to them wherever they may be and live out the gospel there.”
On campus, he’s served as a Campus Ambassador, male overnight coordinator for Student Life, and chaplain intern. He’s also gone on several international mission trips with NGU teams. In addition to earning his remaining Honors Scholar Program credits, he even mentors students who are currently in the Freshman Honors Seminar, answering their questions, encouraging them through the pro-gram, and helping them grasp the Christian worldview.
But Goubert also decided to do ministry in one of the hardest places on earth: home.
Just before college and during his freshman year at NGU, Goubert continued inviting his mother, older sister, and younger brother to church. And piecing together all he’d learned about ministry, he felt more confident in sharing Christ with them in every-day conversations, too.
One by one, Goubert had the opportunity to lead them to Christ!
“Being a Christian changes the way I view my family, my relationship with my fiancé, my schoolwork, my friendships, my job, and, ultimately, every area of my life. Honors has prepared me to view [life this way],” Goubert says. “God used the Honors Program to make me a better student, man, and believer. [Now,] I am a better, well-rounded individual who is able to make a difference for Christ in every area of my life.”
Learn more about NGU’s Honors Scholar Program.