By David Lyons
Betty (not her real name) looked at her fellow national and expatriate workers at a recent gathering and whispered to me, “I think that we’ve accomplished what we came here to do!”
She was celebrating how the nationals whom she and her husband had equipped were now working together to form and lead teams for the progress of the Gospel. It was a joy for Betty and me to watch this group speaking into one another’s lives, praying for one another, weeping together, laughing together and spurring one another on.
Betty was experiencing what every Navigator missionary hopes to establish—a foundational generation of nationals living and discipling together among the lost.
Our Navigator Values statement makes it clear that we are to live and disciple among the lost together. It includes phrases such as:
- Love and grace expressed among us in community
- Families and relational networks in discipling the nations
- Interdependent relationships in the Body of Christ in advancing the Gospel
Betty’s gathering of fellow workers reminded me of one of my favorite Navigator ministry experiences. My wife and I had formed what we called a Fellowship of Servants to pursue our calling among International Students in Washington, D.C. Each of us in this fellowship was participating in a traditional local church, and we were busy with our families and jobs. But we intentionally pursued our special calling together. Together we spurred one another on to minister among students who came from around the world. We needed one another. We knew we would flounder if we didn’t pursue our calling with kindred spirits.
From time to time I hear Mutua Mahiaini, our International President, cite this African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” Navigator disciples and laborers simply do not flourish in isolation. We need to be in community with likeminded people who share our distinct calling. We may survive alone, but without community we will tend to drift into other things.
Fulfilling the Navigator Calling together takes on different forms depending on the context in which each of is called to live and work. Some are called to serve in the contexts of traditional local churches. But others are called to pursue the Navigator Calling in places where there are no traditional churches.
I encourage you to take a few minutes to listen to our former International President, Mike Treneer, describe what God is doing to enable Navigators to live and disciple together among the lost in a diverse array of contexts. You can find the video at this link: https://vimeo.com/140540303
David Lyons is an International Vice President of The Navigators. He oversees international initiatives, communications, and networking of 5,000 staff in 115 countries. David is author of Don’t Waste the Pain.