When Navigators talk about advancing the Kingdom of God into the nations, it’s not unusual to hear them talk about “being next door to everywhere.” We want to be able to live out the Gospel and share it regardless of where in the world we are, or with whom we’re interacting. But what does that really look like—even in our own country?
The social and ethnic makeup of the United States has been changing for some time. It’s projected that by the year 2042 the people traditionally considered the minority in the United States will actually be the majority. Does the staff of The Navigators reflect that change?
This kind of change doesn’t happen quickly, and yet, we’ve seen some encouraging things happening within our Navigator culture recently. Eight new ethnic minority staff joined us last year. We also connected with 50 new African-American laborers this past year. We are serving a growing network of young, gifted Asian American professionals carrying the Gospel to their friends and family. In the Miami area we’ve been blessed to see a group of Hispanic followers of Jesus laboring with us. And we’re please to see a new Native American leader emerging.
It’s particularly encouraging to see this kind of development in regions that are home to a wide variety of ethnic groups. The Metro ministry in Chicago is a great example of what that looks like, according to Eddie Broussard of The Navigators National Leadership Team.
“The level of diversity in Chicago is incredible,” Eddie recalls. “I was invited to speak at their annual retreat in September of 2012, and I saw that there were black, white, Asian, and Hispanic men and women of all socioeconomic backgrounds. At the same time, there was such unity. It was a great portrait of what it means when we say we want to be next door to everywhere.”
There is still a lot to do, however, if we want to make sure that we will be able to live and labor “next door to everywhere. That’s why we’re continuing to take specific steps. We’re strengthening the Bowie State ministry among African-American students that was established three years ago. We’re building a closer relationship between African and African-American Navigators. We’re continuing to strengthen NavVida, The Navigators U.S. Hispanic network, and are opening a new Hispanic Collegiate ministry. We are serving 27 Asian American local communities where the gospel is growing and bearing fruit. We’re also strengthening our Native-American ministry and launching our first Native American Collegiate ministry. And we’re developing cross-cultural training for Navigator staff members.
As the face of the United States changes, you’ll see the faces of The Navigators change as we work to advance God’s Kingdom next door to everywhere.