Life-to-Life Discipleship: From a Google Search to the Ends of the Earth

Jesus’ Great Commission gives all believers the responsibility to spread the good news of the gospel to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:19-20). For centuries, we’ve seen the world powerfully reached through missionaries and church planting. However, in recent years, with the rise of technological advancements, a new and unexpected way to reach the nations has emerged — through digital networks.

A man on a web call engaging in a discipleship learning community online.

Yusuf* is a pastor living with his family in a country in Southeast Asia. Though it is not illegal to be a Christian in his homeland, he is forbidden from openly evangelizing, and Christianity is certainly not valued or affirmed in the culture.

Despite the opposition of his surroundings, Yusuf was seeking new ways to teach and disciple young believers in his community. Many of the young adults around him were feeling discouraged and worn down, wondering what’s the point of being a Christian when everyone else is involved in a different religion. He wanted to spur on the next generation, building them up to live out their faith even when it is challenging.

One day, Yusuf got on the internet and put in a Google search for “discipleship.” A resource from The Navigators popped up in the results, and he discovered The Navigators Digital Discipleship Journey® (DDJ) course, a series of eight to 13 emails designed to inspire and equip believers to grow spiritually and help others do the same. Yusuf signed up for the DDJ, completed the course over a number of weeks, and then requested to connect with a Navigator at the end of the journey.

A Digital Connection for Discipleship

This connected Yusuf with Navigator John Hess, the director of Nations Within (a Navigators ministry that focuses on people within the United States whose primary, national identity is distinct from majority culture), whom Yusuf began connecting with over video. After a couple virtual meetings, John and his wife Liz decided to visit Yusuf’s family in person in Southeast Asia for five days. The timing couldn’t have been better, as they were returning from The Navigators International Staff Conference overseas, where they met other disciplemakers from Yusuf’s part of the world. During his visit, John learned more about Yusuf’s family, culture, and passion to know Christ and make Him known.

“Yusuf moved out of his neighborhood to live in a community that is more hostile to Christianity, which is very unheard of for Christians there,” John explains. “So they’re learning how to live in that community and love them well. It’s the cost of true discipleship.”

Reaching the Ends of the Earth

John has continued to follow up with Yusuf in the months since his visit, and he’s been encouraged to see how — through one simple Google search — the Lord has instilled a heart of discipleship for new places and people.

“When The Navigators launched the Digital Discipleship Journey email course, I don’t know if we had the ends of the earth in mind,” John says. “But He put it on a believer’s heart to research us, and we are in a place where the ends of the earth are coming true. Not because we are perfectly getting into these lost places, but because God is already working there.”

*Names changed for privacy

Start Your Digital Discipleship Journey

To date, over 45,000 everyday people around the world have completed The Navigators Digital Discipleship Journey, connecting believers like Yusuf with Navigators like John in amazing ways. The rise of new digital networks has opened creative pathways and opportunities for discipleship to happen on a global scale that’s never been done before. 

With the Digital Discipleship Journey, you have access to:

  • A series of eight to 13 weekly emails designed to help you grow spiritually, curated based on your answers to some brief questions about your walk with God
  • Newly designed versions of our most popular discipleship resources and some brand new ones!
  • Advice on how to use these easy-to-use resources to help friends become gripped by the gospel and begin their own adventure with God
  • Power-packed biblical truth that will boost your faith and help you bring others on the journey


  1. This looks like an exciting mean to facilitate others’ growth, particularly in the digital world of today! I have already been discipled by an old Navigator and been through the old Design for Discipleship series, as well as been trained and led 2:7-Series studies.

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