A New Kind of Leadership: Local Laborers

Previously, in the “A New Kind of Leader” blog post, I wrote about the new type of leadership that is needed if we are to see a generational advance of the Gospel occur in the places people live. I highlighted the Four Key Contributions and wrote about the importance of pioneering teams and mobile alongsiders. The other two contributions are provided through local laborers and local leaders.

Matthew writes that when Jesus saw the multitudes, He felt compassion for them because they were distressed and downcast. He saw that they were like sheep without a shepherd (see Matthew 9:36). A. T. Robertson's “Word Pictures in the New Testament” describes the state of the multitudes in this way:

“A sad and pitiful state the crowds were in. Rent or mangled as if by wild beasts . . . used here of the common people, it describes their religious condition. They were harassed, importuned, bewildered by those who should have taught them; hindered from entering into the kingdom of heaven, laden with the burdens which the Pharisees laid upon them, (they were) men cast down and prostrate on the ground, whether from drunkenness, or from mortal wounds. The masses were in a state of mental dejection. No wonder that Jesus was moved with compassion.”
Out of the compassion that Jesus felt for lost people, He called upon His disciples to pray to the Lord of the harvest and ask Him to send laborers into His harvest field. In other words, Jesus saw laborers as the medicine for a sick world. Who laborers are and what laborers do must address the deep needs of people who are struggling and broken (basically everyone). Laborers are disciples of Jesus who are sent by God to serve among distressed and downcast people with the Good News of the Kingdom resulting in new life, healing, and freedom. The Calling of The Navigators is to advance the Gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom through people like that.

Our cities and neighborhoods desperately need laborers. Laborers are people who are being formed “in Christ” and are:
  • following Jesus
  • living out of the Scriptures
  • on mission in community
  • faithfully present with those who have yet to find themselves in Christ
  • discipling with generations in mind
No matter in which part of the body of Christ we currently serve, whether we are part of The Navigators or another Mission, whether we work in a secular job or in a church, we all must play our part to pray and work toward the day when laborers like that are next door to everyone.

What does a laborer look like in a neighborhood context? What kind of laborer does your neighborhood need?