Dec 22, 2015
Most if not all of us have friendships where God has especially knit our hearts together. These may have begun as discipling relationships or perhaps serving together in ministry, but they have become something more.
By God’s grace, these friendships are not weakened by geographical distance or the passage of time. What name(s) did the Holy Spirit bring to mind as you read the last sentence?
If those friends have an interest in being practitioners of our Calling in their neighborhood, they may be prime candidates for you to serve as a Mobile Alongsider.
In previous blogs, I conveyed my strong hope that all of us, including Nav Neighbors staff, would flourish in three main areas of service. First, they would be excellent practitioners of our Calling in their own neighborhoods; second, coaches of other laborers in the broader, local community; and third, Mobile Alongsiders for laborers outside of their local areas with whom they have a strong relationship.
Here let's turn our attention to the third aspect, serving as a Mobile Alongsider with people outside of your local area.
Mobile Alongsiders are leaders who are available and committed to traveling in order to come alongside local laborers, leaders, and teams to encourage and strengthen them in their lives and ministry. Allow me to highlight what this means:
1. Mobile Alongsiders are leaders: This has nothing to do with position and everything to do with the fact that the Mobile Alongsider is also an excellent practitioner in his or her own neighborhood. Mobile Alongsiders are servants and Kingdom-oriented people who lead out of their own current experience.
2. Mobile Alongsiders are available and committed to travel: This means getting on a plane or driving a long distance, because walking the ground of the neighborhood and sitting in the living room of the local laborer or local leader is essential to this function working. We need to walk with them. It can has to do with leveraging such electronic communication as Skype or Google Hangouts, Facebook, texting, and other social media as ways to communicate over long distances in-between trips.
3. Mobile Alongsiders encourage and strengthen: These are the primary functions of a Mobile Alongsider. When the Mobile Alongsider leaves, he or she ought to leave behind disciples who are stronger and more courageous. Here is an acrostic I developed to remind me of some of my functions as I serve in this way:
Assess progress in the Gospel
Live as an example
Oversee local leaders
Narrate stories from other places
Go to them
Intercede for them
Do ministry with them
Let me encourage you to prayerfully consider the people in your life who no longer live near you whom you could serve as a Mobile Alongsider. Which name(s) come to mind? What is the Holy Spirit saying to your spirit in light of this?
Al Engler is the Mission Director of Nav Neighbors. You can learn more about him and his heart for the neighborhood and contact him here.