When Nav Neighbors was just beginning a few years ago, a group of us sat in my living room to define our vision. As we prayed, filled flip charts, and processed, it became obvious that Nav Neighbors did not need its own Vision Statement. As one of 11 Missions of The Navigators, we, too, “long to see ordinary people, workers for the Kingdom, next door to everywhere.”
In this series of articles, I will reflect on the Vision Statement of The Navigators and seek to make clear the part that Nav Neighbors can play in its fulfillment. As a reminder, this vision is part of “What The Navigators Believe,” starting with our Calling: “To advance the Gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom into the nations through spiritual generations of laborers, living and discipling among the lost.”
The first word of our Vision Statement is We. That is, this vision is not an individual one. We desperately need each other. We need teams of Christ-followers in our neighborhoods who are weaving a fabric of love and care in the places they live. We need our fellow Navigators who labor on campus, military installations, in traditional church structures, in the workplace, among the poor and marginalized, and in other diverse contexts. We need the broader body of Christ—even those whose vision may be different than the Navigator vision.
The second word is see. This is a faith word. The author of Hebrews asks, “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1, NLT).
God’s great vision is nothing less than the renewal of all things. As The Message Bible expresses it in Colossians 1:15-20,
We look at the Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at the Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank of angels—everything got started and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body. . . . Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
Thus, our vision says, “We see.” Do you? When you look at your neighborhood, do you see both the brokenness and the ways that God is working to renew, reconcile, and fit together the broken pieces? Do you see? Before there is a vital movement of the gospel, there must be a people who by faith can see the unseen and who say together, “We see”!
For your consideration:
Think about the people who live around you. What would it look like to “weave a fabric of love and care” where you live?
What evidence of brokenness do you see in your neighborhood? How have you seen God working to bring healing and hope there?
Al Engler is the director of Nav Neighbors. To contact him or learn more about his ministry, click here.
Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of articles unpacking the Navigator vision. The series continues with "A Vital Movement."