From Shepherding Sheep to Shepherding People

Editor’s Note: This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity. 

I’m Vicki Gatchell and I’m with The Navigators Church Ministries, which is part of Disciplemakers For Life. I live in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area. 

However, I grew up on a farm in northwest Ohio where I raised sheep. I was in 4-H and I didn’t come from a big family, so often in the summer if I wasn’t in school you would see me outside in the sheep pen playing and leading my sheep. I really enjoyed being a shepherdess growing up.

In high school, I came to Christ through Youth for Christ and then when I was in college someone recommended I get in touch with The Navigators. My meeting with The Navigators turned out to be a meeting that changed my life. 

The equipping and learning I did during my time in Navigators Collegiate is really what I’ve built the rest of my spiritual life on over the years. In fact, the other day I got out my first Bible from a bookshelf at home, I opened it up, and near the back was my first attempt at drawing The Navigators Wheel illustration.

The Wheel illustration is one of our primary tools used to understand disciplemaking. Christ is at the center, our relationship with God being the vertical spokes of The Wheel and our relationship with others being the horizontal spokes. The rim represents being obedient to Christ. It was really fun to find that from my college days! 

I started to look back and think about my time in Navigators Collegiate. During that time, a fellow student of mine gave a presentation on having a heart for people. Until then, I had thought, I’m going to do veterinary medicine! I want to work with animals all my life. 

The more I grew to know and love the Lord and identified with having a heart for people, I realized I’d much rather be shepherding people. 

What Shepherding People is Like

Over time, I realized that the most important work of my life came in those spiritual conversations. The thing I loved most was seeing people grow! God has allowed me to know, love, walk, and shepherd so many people. Shepherding people has been the joy of my life. 

I began to pray and think about what it is I really love. I realized that shepherding people was what I wanted to give the rest of my life to. 

Long story short, in 2020 I onboarded with The Navigators working with Navigators Church Ministries—helping bring every church to help everyday disciplemakers transform their everywhere. 

Discipleship Tip:  

Regardless of how long you’ve been following Christ, can you recall something you initially learned that helped you grow spiritually? Step out in faith and share this discipleship resource with someone you’re discipling. Can’t decide what to share? Check out these Navigators Discipleship Resources.

The Wheel Illustration for Discipleship

Vicki mentioned learning to draw The Wheel illustration when she began shepherding people. The Wheel illustration is a FREE resource to help you and those you disciple see which areas of your spiritual life may be unbalanced. Click the link below to download your copy of The Wheel illustration and continue to grow in your relationship with Jesus and help others do the same!

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