Strengthen & Encourage Laborers

As we’re talking about principles that are part of the Navigators Neighbors Guiding and Defining Ideas, I'm encouraged to know that these are principles that energize Navigators as a whole. I hope the illustration is as helpful to you in terms of “seeing it all on one page.” As we do, now let’s turn our attention to Guiding Principle #3: Strengthen and encourage laborers where they live.

In Neighbors, we are absolutely committed to strengthening and encouraging the lifelong laborers right where they are. To be sure, we long to see them flourish in generational ministry in their own natural context. Whom should we serve? I see three primary groups of laborers.

First, most of these laborers are in our ministries, in our immediate relational context. We see them regularly in the course of our everyday lives. These laborers are relatively easy to serve because we have easy access to them and they most likely are already scheduled into our weekly, biweekly, or monthly calendars.

A second group of laborers is a little harder to connect with. They are the ones who used to live close to us and have now moved away—or perhaps we lived close to them and we have now moved away. If you are like me, you only keep in close contact with some of them. The rest get an occasional phone call, prayer letter, Christmas card, and donor invitation. In fact, in our job descriptions—right alongside the 10% devoted to fundraising—I’m encouraging us to devote 10% of our time as “mobile alongsiders” to resource, serve, and encourage these friends.

The final group of laborers that is critical for us to serve in Navigators Neighbors are those laborers who were trained in another Mission context. For instance, we need to pay special attention to those in the Nav20s Mission who eventually became 30-somethings and those in the Military Mission who have moved on to civilian life. We need to be especially on the lookout for opportunities to connect with and serve these laborers.

Can you see how important it is for each of us to be intentional about connecting with these three particular groups of laborers? Who are the new laborers and potential laborers you could connect with or reconnect with?