Fully Engaged

If we’re to advance the Gospel among family, friends, and neighbors, we need certain skills and habits to succeed. Prayer, recreation, service, listening, conversing the faith, reading the Scriptures, teaming with others—these are all essential skills and habits that we want to see fully engaged laborers practicing right where they live.

As a friend of Nav Neighbors—or perhaps a financial supporter of a staff member on our team—we hope that this website will both encourage and equip you to reach out to those in your circle of influence with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Also, you may benefit from knowing the higher commitment to which our Nav Neighbors staff are called. Indeed, in my role as director of Nav Neighbors, I’m often asked about our donor-supported staff. The question is usually something like this: “Since Christians in general should reach out to our neighbors, why do you need dedicated staff that raise support?”

Except in cases where staff members are pioneering a new work, I strongly affirm this goal. An example of a pioneering ministry might be when a staff couple agrees to move to a specific area of a city and start a new ministry in a previously unreached neighborhood. In that instance, rather than concentrating on fundraising, their whole ministry focus and effort for a significant period of time may be in laying a faithful foundation in their neighborhood.

Generally speaking, we’re asking our supported staff to be engaged in three capacities of direct ministry. We expect them to be:

  • Excellent practitioners of our Calling in their own neighborhoods;
  • Coaches of other laborers in the broader, local community; and
  • "Mobile Alongsiders" for laborers outside of their local areas with whom they have a strong relationship.
In upcoming posts, I will unpack what it might look like to be fully engaged and flourishing in these three areas. Indeed, it's my hope that every Nav Neighbors staff whose salary comes through the generous donations of a support team would function and flourish in these three areas. 

For now, let's consider your own neighborhood ministry. As you do, what are some ways you could interact more with those around you? What might being fully engaged and flourishing look like?

Al Engler is the director of Nav Neighbors, a Mission of The Navigators. You may contact Al here