October 2015

Worshipful Leadership

By Mutua Mahiaini, International President

 Photo Courtesy Ümit Bulut

Photo Courtesy Ümit Bulut

Leaders in most companies and organizations rely exclusively on worker productivity, management skills and technology to accomplish organizational goals and tasks. God is rarely part of the equation.

Although we push hard to fulfill our Navigator Calling and Vision, those of us who serve on the Navigators International Executive Team (IET) and as Regional Directors have sought to not follow the world’s patterns of leadership. We always have an intense agenda but we believe it is important to make time to seek God together, to integrate worship and leadership.

Our team and our Regional Directors are scattered around the world. So during our times together, every moment matters. Each long-anticipated conversation is treasured. The meetings are full of communal worship, personal sharing (at times requiring us to be quite vulnerable), and robust engagement around sticky leadership issues.

When we met at the end of August, each morning we had a different Regional Director lead us in seeking God together through the Word and prayer. It was as if we experienced Luke 24:32, which says, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

It is not easy to measure the value of time spent in the presence of the Lord, seeking to know Christ collectively as a team. It can feel risky to wait on God. Yet when it comes to accomplishing our ministry tasks, we have found time and time again that prayer saves time. The wisdom and guidance we gain from God’s Word spares us from untold problems. Our team’s unity is increased, which makes us more effective.

In Exodus 34:23-24, God addresses this issue directly: "Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel. I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the Lord your God."

Please pray for all Navigator leaders with this thought from our Vision statement in mind: “The leaders of this movement, developed and empowered for God’s service, live out a growing commitment to Christlikeness. They are dependent on the Holy Spirit.”

As you serve God in the context of your daily life and work, we encourage you also to sustain a focus on worshiping God, staying deeply engaged with God’s Word, and devoting time to prayer. 
 
Mutua Mahiaini is the International President of The Navigators. Mutua and his wife, Stephanie, led our work in Kenya, then in Côte d’Ivoire, and then as Regional Director for Africa for 13 years. Mutua and Stephanie now live in Colorado Springs. They have four adult children.

Together

By David Lyons

Laying On Hands.jpg

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.

Together.

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.
 
 

 

The Third Age

By Mike Shamy

 Brazilian Navigators Near Porto Alegre

Brazilian Navigators Near Porto Alegre

I recently came across what was for me a new term: “Third Age.” The Third Age has been defined as that period of life when people emerge from the imperatives of earning a living and/or bringing up children and may be able to look forward to 20 or more years of healthy life.

There are many people in our Navigator Worldwide Partnership who, like me, came to Christ in the 1960s and early 1970s. We were in our late teens or early 20s. And here we are all these years later entering the “Third Age.”

What will we do with this season of life? Will we keep growing in Christlikeness? Health permitting, will we continue to serve Christ and love people, irrespective of any titles or positions we once occupied?

Brazilian Navigators Osvaldo and Lenir Simões were among the very first to come to Christ through the Navigator work in Brazil, which started in the early 1960s. After they were married, it became clear to everyone that God had gifted them to work among non-believers and to help believers grow in Christ. Over the past four decades, God has used them among university students and professionals.

Now in their late 70s, they continue to experience God enabling them to serve many people around Brazil. Based in the southern city of Porto Alegre, they lead people of all ages into deep engagement with the Scriptures and spend extensive time mentoring friends.

Osvaldo and Lenir have seen the following words from Psalm 92 become a reality in their lives: "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green . . ."

For Lenir, the key to this promise of bearing fruit in the Third Age is to stay “planted in the house of the Lord” throughout the course of life. Trees can’t bear fruit unless they are well-planted and nourished, and neither can people.

“For me, the most important thing is my relationship with God,” she says. “From Him comes my energy, my vigor, my disposition to serve.”

Osvaldo adds that despite the cultural changes in Brazil since the 1960s, he and Lenir have adamantly pursued two biblical principles.

“First is to make sure that we are teaching sound doctrine. I pray daily that not one word would come from my mouth that isn’t based on God’s Word. . . . The second factor is to sustain and protect our vision for reaching the lost.”

God has given Osvaldo and Lenir the opportunity in this “Third Age” to serve teens, young married couples, seasoned professionals, and those about to retire. This was evident in early September when four generations of Brazilians participated in a Navigator gathering in Southern Brazil. Young people come to them the way grandchildren seek counsel from grandparents. Couples with toddlers seek advice from them about childrearing. For those in their 60s, Osvaldo and Lenir continue to be godly role models and peers.

Osvaldo often cites Proverbs 20:29 as a key verse for this generational interdependency. The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.

“I always tell the young people that I need their strength and energy, but I also remind them that they need my gray hair!” says Osvaldo. “And so, what is it that we need to have in common? Humility. We all need to recognize that we need to walk through life together.”

God’s faithfulness to the ongoing expansion of His kingdom has been clearly evident to Osvaldo and Lenir throughout their many years of service. They know that God will carry the Gospel message forward into the next generations after they are gone.

“Our hope is in the fact that this work is not going to end,” says Osvaldo. “The Gospel is not going to stop with us. . . . This Word was preached to Abraham and Noah, and now it is the same Word that we have received today. This excites me! I am going to die, but God’s Word will continue on forever.”

May God give all of us who are entering the “Third Age” the heart to continue to know Christ and to make Him known. Our best days are before us!
 
Mike Shamy was born in New Zealand. Mike and his wife, Audrey, became Navigator staff in 1980. From 1989 to 1996 Mike led and coached ministries in New Zealand. In 1999 he led the U.S. Metro Mission. Mike joined the International Executive Team in 2004 and is co-author of The Insider.

Generations on the Move in Indonesia

By IET Communications

Advancing the Gospel through spiritual generations and relational networks is at the heart of our Navigator Calling and Vision. As ordinary people invest in the lives of others, sharing the Gospel in personal ways, God expands His kingdom. This has been happening in Indonesia over the past 40 years.

Now you can watch a video that shares the beautiful story of God’s generational work through Navigators in Indonesia. We encourage you to watch the film and then pray that God would continue to bring many more Indonesians into His family and kingdom.

You can find the Indonesia story in our international video library at this URL: www.vimeo.com/133943422