Why "Navigators Neighbors"?

Of all the names we could have selected for this Mission, why Navigators Neighbors? Of course, there’s rich and deep biblical meaning behind the word neighbor. Most notably, Jesus said all of the Law and Prophets hang on two commandments—to love God with your whole being and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).

The root of the English word neighbor means “to draw nigh or near.” Neighbors are those near us. In Navigators Neighbors, we are mindful of several kinds of near neighbors.

First, we have neighbors who are near geographically. They live next door, across the street, around the corner, and in our community.

Second, there are neighbors who are near relationally. These are the people in our relational networks. We might find that we have scores or maybe even hundreds of friends and acquaintances. Whether near or at a distance, all are people to whom God may be calling us to draw nearer.

A special category of those who are relationally near is our nuclear and extended family—children, siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and so forth. Family has a special place in God’s economy, and family is especially important to us in Navigators Neighbors.

An expert of the law once asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” (see Luke 10:25-37). Jesus responded with the parable of the Good Samaritan. As you recall, this Samaritan chanced upon and helped a beaten and robbed stranger who was in need.

A relevant quote from a sermon by Haddon Robinson rings in my ears: “Your neighbor is anyone whose need you see, whose need you are able to meet.” Sometimes even the chance stranger we meet is our neighbor.

Of all these reasons behind the name Navigators Neighbors, which one resonates most with you?