Navigators most often engage with people who will never go on to join Navigator staff. These people are Navigators at heart—but they earn their living doing something else. In some cases, God has called these “natural laborers” to other vocations. For others, a “conventional” Navigator-style ministry wouldn’t be effective in their environment. And in some cases, it simply wouldn’t be allowed.
And yet, these people receive the same personal instruction, attention, and life-on-life training as those who become staff members. We like to call them “natural laborers.”
You can find an example of this at a university in the Midwest where one Navigator staff member invests his life in students who will return to a country where the Gospel cannot be openly proclaimed. “David”* shared the following story recently:
After reading Matthew 24 and discussing its implications with my friend, I drew our attention to verse four. “There will be deceivers,” I began, but before I could finish my thought, my friend popped his head out of his open Bible to interrupt: “This fits my country now!”
A bit startled, I asked him for some clarification.
“There is a cult in my country that tricks people into following them and giving them all their possessions. They especially target college students because they are just beginning to think for themselves,” he explained. “And there are so many students there,” he continued. “It reminds me of that place in the Bible that says the fields are white for harvest . . . ”
Then it struck me: my friend was seeing the need for laborers in his home country. When I suggested sending more American missionaries to fill that gap, he emphatically concluded, “No, we need more of our own people!”
While this man may remain in America for now, he is drawn toward having a spiritual impact on future generations in his home country.
*In order to protect the privacy and safety of the people with whom he works, we have not used his real name.