Transforming Effect

In our journey through the principles that are part of our Navigators Neighbors Guiding and Defining Ideas, we now come to Guiding Principle #6: Transform individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities.

Years ago I was driving behind a Chem Lawn service truck. The logo on back of the truck said, “Greening America one lawn at a time.” I couldn’t help but think of The Navigators. At the time, our primary strategy for changing the nation was transforming one person at a time. While I agree that this strategy is absolutely necessary, by itself, I believe it is not sufficient. 

With all those who claim Christ in the United States, we seem to be making very little difference on the culture. Some would say we’re in moral cultural decline. Would a few million more believers make all that much difference? 

Perhaps there is another question we should be asking. What difference is our ministry making? In the blog on the Neighbors vision, we touched on the importance of seeing transformed individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities. Now let’s dig a little deeper into the subject of transformation.

Perhaps our expectations should extend beyond the transformed individual. Perhaps we should be making a difference in the systems and structures of our society so that everyone, believer and unbeliever, would benefit. I imagine your thoughts have immediately gone to someone like William Wilberforce who, along with a group of friends, abolished slavery and ushered in the Victorian Era in Great Brittan. Or how about Billy Graham—no need to recount his resume!

Few of us will have the opportunity to make such a great difference. More likely, most of us will have a greater opportunity to have a transforming effect on those around us—our extended families, our neighborhoods, the parent–teacher associations, and other local community structures. This is where I believe Navigators Neighbors will have its greatest transformative impact.

Still, let’s remember Dawson Trotman’s enduring challenge: Ask big of a big God! That having been said, what impact are you having?