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Navigators among the People of God

Summary: This article traces Dawson Trotman’s strong commitment from 1948 to helping other works, stimulated by his close friendships; our turn to “demonstrating” in 1961; our increasing cooperation with local churches; our struggle to discover how best to implant our vision among those beyond our organization; the emergence of the 2:7 Series. Internationally, the article addresses the clarity provided by our Fundamentals of Navigator Ministry from 1978, the Church Discipleship Ministry from 1985, and the introduction of The Core in 2002.

Interdependent relationships in the Body of Christ in advancing the Gospel.

Navigator Core Value 9


The Navigators and US Historical Context
Early Navigator Connections to Other Ministries
Reaching Out to Local Churches
Lorne Sanny’s Involvement Outside The Navigators
Deliberations about Church Involvement, 1960s
Tensions Related to Navigator Involvement with Other Ministries
Developments in the 1970s
Navigator Positions in the 1980s
Influence of the 2:7 Series
Formation of Church Discipleship Ministries
Worldwide Involvement of The Navigators
Advances in the 1990s
Expressions in The Core

The Navigators and US Historical Context

Graham and Teammates 1951 small
Dawson Trotman (seated third from left) with Billy Graham (top right) and Graham’s team.

The Navigators was born during the modernist-fundamentalist controversy of the 1920s and 1930s. Spiritual life in many churches was at a low ebb. This fostered a separation from the institutional church and a tendency to “go it alone.” The Navigators, as an organization, was not immune. Through the 1930s and 1940s, for Navigator founder Dawson Trotman and those around him, church attendance was optional and most Navigators did not bother to participate. World War II, of course, accentuated this detachment from local congregations, in that the naval assignments meant many moves.


However, lest one assume that Daws had little time for the Church, his views changed over time. Here is a paragraph from his description of how the illustration of the Big Dipper coalesced during his night in Paris in May 1948:

There emerged in my heart and mind that night the thought that The Navigators must not work just for The Navigators, nor try to build the Navigator organization, but must work for the church—not just a church, but the church . . . all churches . . . let’s get behind them and push them. The minute we hear of another Christian work or ministry, we should take time to find out, not what’s wrong with it, but what’s right about it and encourage them and give them a lift. We’ve emphasized this, but not nearly enough.1

Daws supported many new evangelical works: He was in Paris that night after meeting with Stacey Woods, the leader of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Indeed, he cultivated close contact with their leaders. These were organizations whose leaders had grown up together in ministry and supported one another.2 In a real sense, these relationships were built on personal friendships between Daws and their leaders rather than a consensual Nav policy.

The Rise of Fundamentalism

In the US, the classic era of fundamentalism was in the 1930s and 1940s. Out of this emerged the National Association of Evangelicals in 1947 and the close networking of revivalist evangelicals that included Daws. As Joel Carpenter3 writes:

Fundamentalists weathered their defeats and humiliation and not only survived but thrived during those decades. They were successful enough in the free market of American popular religion that they began to influence other evangelical movements and traditions. As a result, fundamentalists became the chief organizers of a new evangelical coalition and were some of the most influential agents in the postwar evangelical resurgence.

This was the milieu in which Daws and his friends in other emerging agencies, such as Youth for Christ, circulated.

The privilege of investing time and resources in the projects of others began in 1948 when Dave Morken asked us to provide follow-up for the thousands in China who became believers through Youth for Christ evangelism. Soon, we also responded with missionaries to calls from Dick Hillis (1950) in Formosa, Taiwan, and from the Graham crusades in the US (1951). At the same time, the January 1954 Nav Log reported “a half dozen Nav men are loaned to the young and flourishing Campus Crusade for Christ, a movement with a special appeal to the fraternity and sorority crowd, which grew out of the concern of Bill Bright and his associates for collegiate America. Some work on a loan basis with Bob Finley’s International Students Inc., a mission to students from other countries studying in American Schools.” We were also assisting the Far Eastern Gospel Crusade in its program of practical training for missionary candidates, inaugurated by missionary counselor R.E. Thompson in Detroit. This issue of the Log ends appropriately with Romans 12:4-5.4

Regarding local congregations, an interesting experiment was conducted at First Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, California. Warren Myers was hired full-time by this church to carry on a Nav program. In 1951, Warren had some twenty key leaders in the congregation who in turn met with around two hundred in groups. The program focused on Bible study and prayer, and scripture memory. On the side, Warren was training congregational leaders. He reported on two pitfalls: Participants became too “mechanistic,” so involved with the mechanics that vitality was neglected; and the experiment tended to become ministry-centered instead of Christ-centered, which he countered with an emphasis on Philippians 3:10.5

The first Nav seminar was held in 1949 and lasted six weeks. A year later, by moving out of Los Angeles to the quiet of Hume Lake, we were able to compress this to four weeks. Then, in 1951 at Westmont College, we reduced the time to three weeks. In 1953, we held two seminars of two weeks each at Star Ranch (Young Life) in Colorado Springs.6

Early Navigator Connections to Other Ministries

As a further example of how well-connected Daws was, here are the names of Christian leaders staying on the Glen for various purposes, early in August 1955:

  • Dr. Raymond Edman, president of Wheaton College
  • Dr. Clyde Taylor, executive secretary of the Evangelical Foreign Missions Association
  • William Nyman, secretary/treasurer of Wycliffe Bible Translators
  • Cameron Townsend, founder and director of Wycliffe Bible Translators
  • Hubert Mitchell, missionary secretary of Youth for Christ International
  • James Vaus, founder of Missionary Communications Service7

In speaking to our general conference in June 1955, Daws said in essence:8

If the church was doing the job, the Navs would not have to be in existence. Emergency organizations are brought into existence until the church can do the job. Do not criticize denominations or look down on them. Philippians 2:3-4. Esteem others better. Every group must ask itself if it is trying to build its own work or if it is trying to do the job. If there is any reason the Nav work has been kept alive, it is because we are dedicated to being servants of others. “Nothing is yours until you give it away.”

Nevertheless, it became clear during the 1950s that there were distinct advantages in “flying our own flag.” The more we honed our particular vision, the less an active and collaborative partnership in ministry was practicable, because other organizations often expected Navigators loaned to them to take on their vision and priorities.

As 1957 opened, we were working with Orient Crusades in Formosa, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Okinawa, Vietnam. In Japan, we operated on our own.9 In India, Levon Melkonian10 was Nav staff but Youth for Christ continued to handle correspondence courses “in order to leave Levon’s hands completely free for the training of men.”

Thus, we find a declaration of policy in May 1957, as regards our excellent relationship with Orient Crusades. Some extracts:

God is leading us to continue to work together, but as two separate organizations11. . . . We are sure that more can be accomplished for God by working together than by working independently without coordinating our efforts. Our working together must be based on mutual confidence obtained and maintained at home with our respective headquarters and on the field with our respective missionary representatives . . .

Beyond this date, and with regard to new fields, Orient Crusades and The Navigators will work together as two separate organizations on the same field:

a. Each organization will be autonomous
b. Efforts should be coordinated for maximum results by the directors on the field
c. Orient Crusades will be allowed to use Nav materials under the above situation; however, a policy on this will be decided later. . . .

An interesting set of thoughts by a Navigator wrestling with whether or not to transfer to Orient Crusades to help in their follow-up exists, dated July 1957. It includes material presented to Ells Culver12 of OC. The author would like to continue the work of training men, in Formosa, but Ells apparently responded that all the work in Formosa was theirs, since it had been done under the name of OC. Clearly, this was a difficult time for such a Navigator who desired to help and serve OC, yet be autonomous.

In the same month, OC published a revision of their Handbook of Principles and Policies, which was more developed than anything than we had and ran to thirty-three pages. Because of our intimate relationship with them during the 1950s, it is worth quoting how the handbook describes their historical background:

In 1950, Dick Hillis and Ellsworth Culver responded to the urgent appeal of Madame Chiang Kai-Shek for evangelists to present God’s Word to thousands of defeated war-weary Chinese Nationalist soldiers on the island fortress of Formosa. . . . They were soon joined by other volunteers as World Vision and World Gospel Crusades provided half a million Gospels [sic] of John and The Navigators helped set up the Bible study course for follow-up.

Incorporated in Washington, DC in 1953 as a full-fledged missionary society under the name of Gospel Outreach, with Orient Crusades chosen for the mission’s operation in the Far East, this young mission became dedicated to a specialized ministry in evangelism and Bible study through the national church and its believers, as God continues to lead and provide workers, several advances will be made throughout Latin America and other parts of the world.13

Our first Asian Navigator, Jim Chew, has some excellent recollections of our early ecumenical engagement, from his vantage point in Singapore:

My roots go back to serving with other works: Youth for Christ (Joe Weatherly and many YFC leaders), Orient Crusades (later Overseas Crusades, then OC International), Dick Hillis, Dave Morken, Bob Pierce, Billy Graham, Bill Bright (all of whom I was privileged to meet personally) – links with Bob Munger, J O Sanders and more. Warren Myers (since 1957 and then living with him in Vietnam in 1960) and I prayed regularly (and I had them on my prayer list) for all these servants of God. And I added many others.

I first heard the Big Dipper illustration from Don Whipple who served with me in Singapore YFC. He had learned it from Daws! Of course, Roy Robertson emphasized “other works.” Roy personally told me that his motivation in evangelism came from Mark 16:15 (to train evangelists in evangelism and follow-up in order to get the Gospel to every creature) and not Matthew 28:19-20. He felt that disciple-making was the main task of local churches. I disagreed! And wrote a paper on it.

Ministry Resources and Practical Tools

When Jim was living with Warren in Saigon in 1960, Warren worked on Studies in Christian Living and emphasized that such Bible studies were vital in order to focus on the “how” of disciple-making. We also had The Wheel series and the John series which he had worked on in India, as well as Beginning with Christ, Going On with Christ, Twelve Scripture Truths, and the Topical Memory System with 108 verses. Warren had worked with Joe Weatherly in India, who launched Jim in Scripture memory.14 Other materials included the ABC and STS and Advanced STS studies.

In 1957, Lorne Sanny took a round-the-world trip to assess the current state of our ministries. While in India, he spoke to a conference of priests of the Mar Thoma Church. Afterwards, Bishop Athanasius said to the gathering:

This young man has put his finger on the greatest need of our church. We have great conferences. We secure the best speakers. Therefore, we get the best messages. But our people are fed up with messages. In case you misunderstood me, I said ‘our people are fed up with messages.’ They want the kind of practical help this young man is describing.15

In early 1959, we find Jerry Bridges teaching on the Body of Christ and Other Works. He pointed out that, without a proper understanding of the body, there could be no effective vision for “other works.”16 A year earlier, our staff conference received a paper promoting cooperation between The Navigators and “some of the older denominations in the world.”17

Involvement with Billy Graham

However, there was one very influential exception to our increasing general caution. Our working relationship with Billy Graham brought us into contact with Christian leaders on a broad scale and led to our growing appreciation of the place of the local church in the life of the individual and his family. This strong investment in what had become the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1950 flowed naturally out of our connection with Graham in the 1949 Los Angeles Crusade and the earlier requests he made of us as president of Northwestern Schools.18 The difference was that Graham recruited Daws to apply our vision and experience of follow-up, as a needed complement to the success of his own calling as an evangelist.

Daws reported in 1951 that he had been “invited by Billy Graham to be on the evangelistic team to take charge of the follow-up program in connection with the campaigns.” A few weeks later, he devoted most of his News Bulletin to his enthusiasm about our new Graham connection. An extract:

This whole setup has made for a great and effectual door, open to us to accomplish many things: broaden our own vision, teach us new lessons, enable us to respond to the scores of calls which come to us from churches and groups to supply ideas for growth and follow-up. It will furnish us with new areas of manpower and resources. The whole thing is a shot of spiritual adrenalin in our Navigator work along lines which are so much upon our hearts, including evangelism in its every phase. It gives opportunity for accelerated growth for our men because they will have increased responsibility under proper conditions . . .19

Two crusades in particular stood out, in terms of our participation.

The massive 1954 London Crusade at Harringay20 ended with 100,000 gathered at Wembley Stadium. Lorne Sanny and Charlie Riggs had taught the counselor training classes for some 2,700 people. Every night, three hundred to 450 enquirers came forward. We fielded a strong Nav team throughout this crusade.21

New York in 195722 was the location for the first Graham Crusade in the US to accept the sponsorship of non-evangelicals, which implied sending converts back to their local churches of whatever stripe. It therefore brought about what Graham called “the final break” with some of the leading fundamentalists, of whom, he wrote, many “had been among our strongest supporters in the early years of our public ministry.” Lorne advised Navigator leaders that, “The New York Crusade is presenting new and involved intricate problems with pressure upon us, not as individuals but as Navigators, such as we have probably never experienced heretofore with the Graham Crusades. . . . Rumors are spreading throughout the US . . . that modernists have taken over the counseling and follow-up for the New York Crusade . . .”23 None of this, of course, was true.

Reaching Out to Local Churches

As an example of reaching out to local churches, we hosted more than forty local pastors and their wives in 1958 at Glen Eyrie, to hear a report on Sanny’s recent around-the-world trip.24 In fact, this was only one aspect of our outreach into the community. A few days earlier, we had hosted a banquet at The Antlers Hotel in Colorado Springs for civic and military leaders. Remarkably, attendees included presidents of various service clubs, presidents of two banks, the chairman of the city commissioners, superintendents of the city and county schools, six doctors, representatives from two local radio and television stations, editors from the two newspapers, plus the Commanding General from Fort Carson and the Colonel in command of the Air Force Academy site.

The Glen was a great attraction.25 We were new and intriguing to local leaders, but our outreach was far more than tourism.26 Our chefs must have been busy. A few days after the event at The Antlers, we entertained General Hart of Air Defense Command and his officers to lunch at the Pink House. The previous Friday it was General Crawford and his staff. The week before it was General Arnold of the Fifth Army Command. Out of these events came requests for cadets to have retreats at the Glen, where questions about our work and what we meant by a personal relationship to Christ flowed freely. Such was the enthusiasm that Sanny listed a dozen reasons why we should redouble our effort to recruit and build men in the services. These are set out in the article on “Military Ministries.”27

It is hardly surprising that our leaders had a long and challenging discussion at our training policy conference in 1963, in that we had reached a stage where the pressure on our staff and trainees at the Glen had become intense. We had to simplify and prioritize the usage to which the Glen was being booked. See article on “Training.”

From the late 1950s, we had offered pastors seminars in the US. In April 1961, for example, Sanny and Chuck Farah led a seminar at the Forest Home conference grounds on training spiritually qualified laymen. We also sponsored annual pastors’ conferences at Glen Eyrie. In 1961, Dr. Raymond Edman, president of Wheaton College, was the speaker.

The pace of pastors’ seminars slackened between 1972 and 1980, a decade in which both the 2:7 Series (Ron Oertli) and Equipping the Saints (Dave Dawson of Singapore) were launched. In 1980, we held a pastors’ conference at Glen Eyrie with the theme of “Disciple-making in the 80s.”28 Later that year, we welcomed the National Association of Evangelicals to Glen Eyrie for their annual conference.29 A highlight of the previous winter had been an invasion of around eighty-five high schoolers from Young Life who took over the castle! More than twenty of them made decisions for Christ. Every summer, we held a Glen Pastors Conference. Pastors shared the teaching responsibility with Navigators, at other locations also such as Mount Hermon. We hosted a five-day EFMA conference at the Glen.

Lorne Sanny’s Involvement Outside The Navigators

If we examine what was happening in the grassroots in the early 1960s, we can see confirmation of this positive tone, as regards the wider family of God. Support and encouragement, rather than direct participation.

Our decision in early 1961 to focus on demonstrating what we had often preached to others—namely, producing reproducers—did not immediately cause us to turn inwards. That fall, Lorne continued to speak routinely outside our Nav milieu. For example, he ministered at North Richland Hills Baptist Church, then spoke several times at their discipleship in depth conference, then spoke in the chapel of Southwestern Seminary.

Lorne’s talk to the students of Southwestern was typical. He concentrated on the theme of conserving and multiplying the fruits of evangelism, urging that they concentrate on:

  • People instead of programs
  • Individuals rather than masses
  • Multiplication rather than addition
  • Deeper spiritual growth rather than mechanical promotion

In the last few months of 1961, articles by or about The Navigators appeared in Christian Life, High, Moody Monthly, Power, and Counselor.

Meanwhile, Denny Repko recalls how his assignment to the Spokane, Washington Servicemen’s Center in 196030 made him very conscious of the local church leaders. Thirty-three churches served in rotation at the center and Denny came to know all the pastors during his eighteen months there.

In 1960, Roy Robertson attended the World Congress on Missions in Chicago, sponsored by the IFMA. Part31 of his report states:

I knew that the number of volunteers in our present time had been decreasing greatly over the last five years, but I was hardly prepared for the shock I received at the close of the final great missionary rally held on Saturday night for youth.

Nearly 2,000 young people attended this climax meeting. When the call was given for missionary volunteers, only two men stepped forward, plus a few girls. Ten years ago, you would have expected one hundred people to flood the aisles and come to the altar – but now only two men – and the significant thing that I discovered in counseling them was that both of these men had had Navigator contact and were struggling away on the Topical Memory System.

Where are the laborers? Two men where there should be hundreds. Yet even in this small enlistment for His service God had by His grace allowed The Navigators to have a significant part.

Deliberations about Church Involvement, 1960s

Our first Overseas Policy Conference met in 1961. All who were present agreed that we must maintain a close relationship with the visible, organized, local church. We reached a consensus that the organized local church was the chief means32 that God was using to accomplish his objective but that there were scriptural grounds for a fellowship of people to accomplish a specific purpose outside the organized church. As a group, Sanny stated, we should have “some affinity for and helpfulness to some part of the Body of Christ, be it the Church or another organization.” It is a principle of the Body itself that one part is to help another.33

However, the OPC also agreed that:

This group called The Navigators is not organizationally under the control of the Church. . . . We, The Navigators, are the ones to decide whether or not we are making a contribution to the cause of Christ in the Church, and it is not the Church’s decision as to whether The Navigators will or will not operate. However, the great importance of becoming more and more closely linked with the Church as time goes on was carefully pointed out. In fact, our history reveals that our philosophy towards the Church has changed considerably, and we are now working in closer harmony and cooperation with the various churches than ever before.34

Sanny shared with the OPC his own experience of working closely with the Graham Association. He pointed out that this had had almost no impact on our new objective of producing reproducers. As Bob Munger35 had said, the counselor training classes in his church did not make personal workers. Counselors were taught about the training, but they did not build into their people to be personal workers.

Nevertheless, for Sanny, the advantages of serving with the association were “personal preparation of my own life, the securing of Glen Eyrie, the emphasis on The Navigators, and the Church putting The Navigators in touch with key people for the sake of inter-relationships which we profited from by our Billy Graham relations.”36 He added that there had been many benefits for some of us. For example, for Bob Boardman, working with World Vision in Tokyo was a great opportunity to get next to the pastors. “God led us in these things but, for the future, irrespective of how great and how much of my life was given to it, what should our guidelines be for the next ten years? We shouldn’t tear apart the past though we can refer to it. Let’s look forward to the future.”

Looking back in 1981, when interviewed on his most enjoyable achievements, Sanny recalled:

I spent three-quarters of my time during the five years that I was age 30-35 in charge of counseling and follow-up for the Graham Crusades. Daws had committed himself to Billy Graham to give six months a year to help in this area and, after one or two crusades, he took me along and then turned it over to me thereafter.

. . . I would give myself to making ordinary Christians the most effective in personal work in the least amount of time. . . . It was the teaching that I enjoyed most. All the rest—administration, the offices and all that went with them—were what you had to do in order to get the opportunity to build into the lives of these people. . . . I loved teaching. . . . I enjoyed taking complex things and simplifying them—reducing them to simple, fundamental elements.37

The beginnings of our expansion overseas took us to places where we found ourselves to be part of a tiny Christian community in the midst of a sea of non-believers and where struggling churches often welcomed us. Sparks pointed out to the OPC that we faced particular problems in countries where we already were involved. The churches looked to us for participation. “To cut this off would hurt us. A solution for this transitional period might be to stack staff two-deep to maintain a steady primary ministry and to train a national to take over within a couple of years.”38

Sanny commented that, “What God has given us, we owe and it should be given to the Church. Ways and means should be shared in training counselors. Proverbs 3:27. To share without becoming involved. Here is an area for materials.”

During this OPC discussion, an important insight surfaced that would later play into our understanding of the criteria for a movement. In Sparks’s words, referring to a new convert: “If we want to produce reproducers, we should be working with his contacts, relatives and friends so that we are now pioneering in evangelism in a new area. We should be careful not to build the ministry in this sphere around ourselves but work with him as much as possible.”39

Strengthening Relationships with the Church

During the 1960s, The Navigators in general had a closer relationship with the institutional church than previously and a less intimate relationship with other Christian organizations.40 Clearly, the OPC was aware of this trend:

  • Robertson: “We have become more and more church centered. . . . We are now being invited to the mission field by the churches.”
  • Downing: “We have changed in our position and are more and more related to the Church.”

As we moved into new countries, the spectrum of relationships and attitudes toward both the Church and other works became more widespread. Because God’s people are organized in a variety of ways and characterized by a variety of attitudes towards the Scriptures, so The Navigators related to various churches in distinctive ways, ranging from active involvement to opposition.

Conclusion 7 of the OPC addressed how we should begin a ministry in a new country. The emphasis had to be evangelism, structured according to the following priorities:

1. Personal evangelism
2. Small-group evangelism
3. Church-related evangelism
4. Public evangelism

It was now considered “generally necessary to have a continuing Nav-type organization in a country to propagate the Nav vision and ministry.”41

Lorne Sanny’s 1966 Paper

In his seminal 1966 paper on “The Navigators’ Relationship to the Church and Other Works,”42 Sanny summarized where we had reached by the early 1960s as two trends. “Over a thirty-year period, the first was from antipathy to the organized Church toward closer cooperation with it . . . and the second was from close involvement with other Christian works to a more independent but still cooperative mode of operation.” Where we could, we would cooperate. Thus, by the 1960s, launching our ministries overseas was increasing the variety of special relationships and attitudes to and within the Navs. For example, closeness in Lebanon and coolness in the Netherlands.

As Sanny wrote in his 1966 paper:

We do well to reflect on the reality of our position in the broadest context. We are a minority within a minority within a minority within a minority: Navigators within Evangelicalism within Protestantism within Christendom, immersed in an overwhelmingly pagan world. We do The Navigators and Christ no service by isolating ourselves or thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think! Furthermore, while it is true that God raises up and uses movements like ours, it is equally true that movements come and go.

Sanny went on to say that congregations, of the kind described in 1 Thessalonians 1, hold the key to the true fulfillment of the Great Commission. So, we are committed to the Church in general,43 convinced that “through the Church the manifold wisdom of God” will be manifest (Ephesians 3:10) and we want to relate to individual congregations as harmoniously and productively as possible:

  • Harmoniously: Because ‘just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ . . .’ (I Corinthians 12:12).

  • Productively: ‘Because we want to help the Church be the Church. We can perhaps make our biggest contribution to the Church by producing laborers. We know it takes only one man to spark a group, one group to spark a congregation. We can either be, or supply, that man.’

The Holy Spirit separates men from the organized Church and commissions them for a special task, holding them responsible to himself (Acts 13:2-3). Sanny went on to quote Anglican missionary statesman Max Warren who spoke of “enterprises whose inspiration is the summons of the Lord to mission.” The fact that they are not under any official church sponsorship, Warren had said, “in no way belittles their claim to be, at their own points of impact, the Church in action.” Thus, we can see that, as early as the 1960s, we were positioning ourselves as Church, rather than as what later became known as “para-church.”44

Sanny ended his paper with some guidelines for Navigators at the local level. “Inasmuch as we are first Christians, then Navigators, each Representative should:

  • Be genuinely interested in the local church and show it by participating in selective activities . . . including Sunday morning worship service and at least one other weekly function.

  • Select his church carefully, not as a mission field but primarily for what the fellowship will contribute to him and his family.

  • Promote a positive attitude toward the church among the men he is training.

  • Above all, serve.

Sanny did not favor the question, “How do the Navs relate to the Church?” Which church? And are we not part of the Church? His view was that we must be concerned first and foremost with the question, “How do the Navs relate to the kingdom of God, to what God is doing in our time through His people?”

Sanny sent his paper to quite a few church and missions leaders, inviting comments. Responding pastors affirmed the paper, but some described encountering young men in their congregations who claimed to be Navigators but tended to project a certain arrogance: we serve, but on our terms. Nevertheless, the overall tone was positive. For example:

  • Dr. Halverson of Fourth Presbyterian in Washington, DC, said, “Your analysis is very accurate. . . . I liked everything I read very much.”
  • Dick Hillis of Overseas Crusades said, “Your moves toward closer cooperation with the existing church and greater independence from other works are wise.”
  • Dr. Vernon Grounds, after consulting his faculty at Conservative Baptist Seminary (now Denver Seminary) in Denver, asked when the nationals we are training will realize that their most effective long-range work lies within the fellowship of the church, but he was impressed with the attitudes expressed in the paper.
Navigator Involvement with Other Ministries

During the mid-sixties we were still active in serving other ministries. In August 1965, for example:

  • Roy Robertson held a church camp for all Evangelical Free Churches.
  • Jake Combs trained counselors for crusades in Penang and Taiping.
  • Roger Anderson and Lee Brase helped the Belgian Gospel Mission (George Winston) conduct intensive evangelism in Halle.
  • Jim Petersen led the follow-up committee for the Janz Crusade in Curitiba, Brazil.
  • George Sanchez supported the Graham campaign in Spain.
  • Skip Gray helped the Evangelism in Depth program in Venezuela.
  • Bob Hopkins trained counselors for the Graham Crusade in Copenhagen.
  • Dagfin Saether helped John Olav Larssen with evangelism and follow-up.

Roy Robertson continued to have Graham Crusade evangelism much on his heart. He was the only non-Asian selected for the executive committee of the Asian Evangelists Commission, having organized a crusade and conference in Singapore with fifteen evangelists from seven countries. The nightly average attendance was four thousand people.

In the following year, to August 1966, examples of our investment included:

  • Lorne Sanny and Sparks taught classes for the Graham campaign in London.
  • George Sanchez represented us at the Wheaton congress on the Church’s worldwide mission.
  • Waldron Scott gave seminars on follow-up for missionaries of the North Africa Mission in Algeria and Morocco.
  • Sam Clark helped Evangelism in Depth in Bolivia, Dominican Republic, and Peru.

The above examples are illustrative of what Sanny reported as “many church ministries and cooperation with other works in local situations.”45

Tensions Related to Navigator Involvement with Other Ministries

However, there were concerns in some quarters. Significantly, in the draft “Strategy for the 70s” that Scott presented in November 1968, we find these paragraphs:

If we forego our present intense concentration on recruiting and training (and the build-up of a cadre to do the recruiting and training) in order to participate more actively with other Christians in large-scale battles, we will have to settle for something less than a global effort—or something short of a truly significant impact . . .

There may be in The Navigators today a minor current of discontent, perhaps frustration, at the thought of training men to train men ad infinitum. The question is asked, “When do we stop training men and get out into the battle?”

. . . I believe The Navigators are destined, by virtue of the promises God has given us, not just to recruit and train men for the battle, but to affect the very tide of battle, to be perhaps the deciding factor, and that on a worldwide scale, and in such a way as to change the course of history.

But our time is not yet . . .46

Participants at our first World Regional Directors Conference (WRDC) in 1968 also struggled with the likelihood that “about 80 percent of those who have received training by The Navigators in the past are currently not producing.” The summary detailed the questions that we should ask in visiting our alumni, in order to determine why this leakage continued to occur. The summary referred to what in later years became the community ministry as “civilians.” Thus:

We need to develop a plan of ministry among ‘civilians’ into which the graduated college student and discharged service man can fit. . . . We have given (the civilian disciple) the basic training applicable to all disciples, but we have given him advanced training for conventional Navigator warfare and then sent him out into the guerrilla warfare of the working family man environment.

We may find that another entire dimension needs to be added—maybe a weaning period where the men learn to operate with little else than their Bibles.

. . . We will then be in a position to offer know-how in discipleship to churches and denominations. It is at this point that we will really begin to exploit our greatest strength, as it relates to the Great Commission.

. . . We should not, then, sift out the potential Navigator staff and disregard the balance.

. . . For a number of years, we have lost such men. They have been lost to The Navigators and largely lost to The Great Commission. Although a few have gone into other works, most have melted into a semi-productive life of Christian activity. However, either the vision of multiplication has blurred or the cutting edge of effectiveness in reaching and training men has dulled. They no longer multiply laborers.

. . . We must enlarge and strengthen our framework for absorbing and developing these men. This is our greatest current need.47

This summary goes on to propose not only interviewing many alumni but also explores a menu of proposals such as pilot schemes in the field; relevant articles, pamphlets, books; allocation of creative staff; new definitions of success.

Near the end of this summary of some ten pages comes the plaintive comment:

Our current definitions of laborer, disciple, reproducer of reproducers, etc. are so internally focused that one has to be a Navigator, working in The Navigators, producing more Navigators, to understand them. And then there is still some question about mutual understanding, since we seem to never be able to agree on how to express ourselves collectively.

Finally, the author sums up: “We need to trust God for these people that they can effectively function with the vision outside of the organization. We must discover how to effectively relate them to the Body of Christ at large as they fulfill the Nav objective without tying them in organically to the Navigator organization.”

Earlier in 1968, as Sanny looked ahead to the enlarging of our ministry beyond those in whom our staff were directly investing, he wrote:

You’ll be hearing a lot in the future of one-day conferences, some totaling a thousand in attendance, whing dings of two thousand, perhaps jointly-sponsored conferences with other organizations. We are also working on a pilot weekly radio program. These are all to help stimulate a movement from people everywhere to commit themselves to being disciples, making disciples, and producing disciple-makers. In short, recruiting, building, and sending laborers for Christ.

These public events, while dramatic and very helpful, are not the grassroots ministry. Let’s never forget that. We have to keep out on the campus, in dorms, on the base, in the barracks, in homes—doing evangelism, conducting small Bible study groups, meeting man-to-man, slugging it out day by day and week by week. This is what gives the ‘special events’ purpose and vitality. The grass roots ministry provides both the leaders and the attendees of the special events. Without the grassroots we would become a bunch of theorizers and our special event ministry would soon collapse of its own weight. There would be no foundation to support it.48

In April, LeRoy Eims held our largest one-day conference ever49 at the Glen with 809 registered. Needless to say, the facilities were taxed to the limit. Virginia Eims did her usual excellent job in managing the food!

Developments in the 1970s

In 1970, Sanny told our staff: “I feel it is very important for our people to be part of a church family and have the backing of a local congregation. Let me urge all of our representatives to be commissioned to your Nav ministry by your local church, if at all possible.”50

He also spoke several times at the Keswick Convention in 1970, including a session with four hundred missionaries.51

LeRoy Eims led a large contingent52 of Navigators at Explo 72, sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ and directed by Paul Eshleman in Dallas, Texas during June 12-17. Some eighty thousand students and high schoolers attended this massive event, later described as the Christian Woodstock.

In late 1970, we again had the privilege of loaning one of our experienced staff, Gene Denler. He was attached to the Far East Bible Institute and Seminary (FEBIAS) in the Philippines to help strengthen their evangelism department. Waldron Scott wrote:

He will be teaching classes in both personal and public evangelism and leading school teams out in evangelism on weekends. In addition, he will have ample opportunities to minister to individuals and to inculcate the principles of follow-up into the minds and hearts of students. In as much as FEBIAS provides the majority of evangelical pastors for all of the Philippines, it is easy to envision what this will mean in the years ahead as these young men go into every part of that nation, taking the Nav vision, in part or in whole, with them.53

Dr. Art Glasser of OMF, an early associate of Trotman, predicted that the major issue that missionary societies would confront in the 1970s would be “the church-mission issue.” This was prescient. It became necessary to establish again our legitimacy and identity. Thus, a decade later, Sanny was teaching the Fundamentals of The Navigator Ministry around the world with important sections on the Church and on our role as a specialized function within the Body of Christ. The FOM explored how The Navigators differed from local churches in intent, function, and form. As Sanny noted, Christianity enjoys its greatest expansion when there is a dynamic relationship between the two manifestations of the people of God.54

Ralph Winter’s Modalities and Sodalities

In this, Sanny was drawing from the insights of Dr. Ralph Winter and others who saw in the New Testament two approaches: house churches (“modalities”) and the apostle Paul’s missionary band (“sodalities”), regarding the latter as a prototype of “all subsequent missionary endeavors organized out of committed, experienced workers who affiliated themselves as a second decision beyond membership in the first structure.” The form of each evolved, but the fruitful dual pattern persisted—for example, in the diocese and the monastery. Winter argues that “the greatest error of the Reformation” was a failure to develop sodalities that would carry the Gospel cross-culturally.

This began to be rectified much later, energetically, when William Carey proposed “the use of means for the conversion of the heathen.”55

An instructive and extended treatment of the structural evolution of American agencies was the presidential address56 by Dr. Winter to the American Society of Missiology in 1978. He traces the parallels between many Protestant religious societies and the Catholic orders and questions the phrase “para-church organizations.” Sodalities and modalities are the “warp and woof” of the fabric of the Christian movement—the ekklesia of the New Testament, the church of Jesus Christ. In exegeting the history, he offers a typology of mission societies. He includes a comparison of InterVarsity, The Navigators, and Campus Crusade which leads to the following:

. . . Each has a meticulously developed ‘manual’ comparable in function to the regula of a Roman Catholic order.

Curiously, all three, while heavily involved in campus ministries, spurn worldly knowledge in favor of constant, daily study of the Bible; and none of them very extensively encourages staff to work toward higher degrees. In this, they resemble the Franciscans more than the Jesuits. Nevertheless, InterVarsity, in particular, which has a far greater intellectual emphasis than the other two, counts hundreds of faculty in American universities who have come through its local student fellowships. The emphasis of all three on disciplined Christian life tends to prepare their people for challenge and/or disappointment once they graduate and depend more heavily upon church traditions for their nurture and continued ministry. But the very fact that graduation provides a major transition from college, usually to a new place as well as a new set of relationships, means probably that these three agencies are not likely to lose their para-church status and become denominations.

Later, in his address, Dr. Winter (who was discipled in a Nav context and participated in several of our international gatherings) exhorts the above three agencies to “be willing, intentionally and not just accidentally, to reinforce the non-elite, benefit-of-the-doubt structures (e.g. the congregations and denominations) which all too often they now abide with subconscious condescension.”

Theory and Practice in Brazil

Meanwhile, our ministries in Brazil continued to blend theoria and praxis. Ken Lottis57 authored a paper on “Relationship to the Church in Brazil.”58 His objective was to explain how the very different context in Brazil had caused us to evolve a pattern unlike that in the US Navs and to discuss what guidelines might be required. He wanted to stimulate a discussion as to how best to help in the spiritual future and community of the young disciples coming out of our university work.

Ken describes the growing movement in the Evangelical Lutheran Church, started by Jack Aamot’s exposure to our vision, and the desolate environment of the Catholic Church. His two issues:

  • How could we care for and support the rising number of our “graduates” in the totality of their adult lives?
  • How could we steer a path through the Protestant community in Brazil, and the distant expectations of those following the standard Nav practice in the US?

He describes in some detail (pages 3-18) the movement in Sweden during the nineteenth century which eventually became the Covenant Church, drawing out principles and obstacles along the way. Digesting this history, he asks what type of church structure could be part of a movement capable of sweeping across the continent of South America? His visionary answer:

It would be Catholic enough to fit into the historical and cultural mosaic of Latin Society, it would be biblical to speak simply and clearly to the needs of men, it would be lay led and meet in small groups to multiply rapidly, it would be free from liturgy to allow for spontaneous and personal expression in worship, it would be informal and unstructured enough to appeal to the revolted and unreligious . . .

He ends his paper by recommending that we remain within the existing shells of the Catholic Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church, noting the fresh breath of the Spirit coming from Vatican II and the many radical elements already at work within the Catholic Church of Brazil, such as the option for the poor symbolized by the leadership of Bishop Dom Helder Camara and the growing Pentecostal movement within the Church. Given that many in the Catholic hierarchy were resisting liberal theological trends and that the concept of “base communities” was forming, he advocates mutual respect and friendship with such priests as were still aligned with the Scriptures. What we should do about marriage, funerals, baptisms, and other rites of passage still needed to be fleshed out, experientially.

World Congress on Evangelism and Lausanne Congresses

Meanwhile, Sanny had followed through on the thrust of his 1966 paper by attending the World Congress on Evangelism in West Berlin. “With 1,200 delegates . . . for me, it surpassed all expectations. It was a great encouragement just to see that God has so many spiritual, courageous people engaged in vital, imaginative work for Him around the world. . . . I have come home with a notebook full of ideas.”59 Others representing The Navigators were Karl-Erik Freed, Dagfinn Saether, Nate M., Roy Robertson, Doug Sparks.

This Congress was the precursor60 of the Lausanne Congresses on World Evangelization:

  • Lausanne 1: 1974 in Lausanne with 2,700 participants (twelve Navs)
  • Lausanne 2: 1989 in Manila with 4,300 participants (thirty-two Navs)
  • Lausanne 3: 2010 in Cape Town with 4,200 participants (about forty-three Navs)61

The Nav delegation at Lausanne 1 was led by LeRoy Eims, who presented the only workshop on follow-up. The program opened with an excellent audio-visual presentation on “The Task Before Us” by Waldron Scott.62 This was enthusiastically received, with many requests for copies.

Lausanne 1, as Scott commented, was where “the first tentative elements of a contemporary holistic evangelical mission began to emerge.”63 As early as 1964, however, we find a focus on issues such as racism and poverty surfacing in presentations to the seventh Urbana convention: student social concerns were stirring.64

Navigators who have invested fruitfully through responsibilities in the Lausanne movement, over the years, include: Ole-Magnus Olafsrud, Jim Chew, Esther Waruiru, and Jerry White, as well as Eims and Scott.

As an aside, we also had the privilege of hosting at Glen Eyrie the 1978 Lausanne North American Conference on Muslim Evangelization, steered by Don McCurry.65

In 1974, also, we joined the World Evangelical Fellowship. Waldron Scott attended their Sixth General Assembly. This is significant because, at the end of 1974, he was chosen as the first fulltime general secretary of WEF and served until the end of 1980, on loan from The Navigators. During his tenure, WEF launched quite a few initiatives and enjoyed increasing influence, despite the ongoing debate with the LCWE as to which of the two organizations could better represent evangelicals around the world. In accepting his resignation, the Executive Council spoke of the “great loss to WEF” and expressed their appreciation “for his commitment, contribution and leadership in the visible growth and increasing influence of WEF as an evangelical witness worldwide.”66

Jim Downing’s 1975 Letter to Staff

In writing to our staff around the world67 in 1975, Jim Downing took the opportunity to emphasize what we had traditionally called “other works.” In the process, he included these excerpts:

During the week of March 16, Lorne Sanny gave five days of his time ministering in Albuquerque to the School of Evangelism held in conjunction with the Billy Graham Crusade. It came about as a result of Billy Graham’s visit here with Lorne, just prior to Billy’s 25th Anniversary Crusade in Los Angeles. Lorne explained to him why he had not personally attended the Lausanne International Congress. He said he felt that the top man is not always the best man to represent an organization and that he had made sure that the men who represented us at Lausanne were the best men for that occasion.

. . . Lorne spoke in Albuquerque to some seven hundred in the morning and led two workshops with those who elected to attend in the afternoon. The dean of the school said afterward that Lorne’s message was the most powerful and stimulating he had heard during the twenty-five Schools of Evangelism he had conducted.

. . . One area in our philosophy of ministry project to which we are giving much thought is our relationship to the local church and to the Body of Christ. We know that many of the staff are not waiting until this is further clarified; some meet regularly with their pastors and with the leaders of other works to pray for their concerns and requests. Much is being done. . . . The first full week of presentation of ‘Sermons from Science’ in Long Beach some forty years ago was a joint venture by The Navigators and Dr. Irwin Moon.

. . . Bill and Vonette Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ spent two nights here, last month. Lorne and Lucy and a few others had superb fellowship with them. Dr. and Mrs. Theodore Epp of Back to the Bible Broadcast spent a rest-and-study week with us. Uncle Cam Townsend, founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators and his wife Elaine were here last Saturday and we had the privilege of hosting a small dinner for their friends.

. . . Philippians 2:3-4 does not tell us that what other people are doing is in fact better than what we are doing, but that our attitude should be that it is . . . .

Influence of the Fundamentals of the Navigator Ministry

The Fundamentals of the Navigator Ministry (FOM) offered important guidelines on “how God wants us to relate to the rest of the church and to local churches.”68 The Church’s mission is to glorify God by continuing what Jesus began in the world (Ephesians 3:10). In this sense, the Church is the earthly expression of the kingdom of God. After pointing out that “church” is always people in the New Testament, not buildings, the seminar explained how The Navigators differs from local congregations as regards intent, function, and form.

After establishing that there is biblical precedent for gifted and called specialists to serve in mobile, as well as in local capacities, the FOM concludes that we are a part of the Church, God’s redemptive structure, just as local congregations are.

Later in the seminar (section 7), the text discusses relating our staff and the fruit of our ministry to the rest of the Body of Christ:

By producing laborers, we bring about growth and maturity in Christ’s Body. But this is not enough. Our task is not only to produce laborers, but to attempt to relate ourselves and our fruit successfully to the various parts of the Body. . . . Our calling is specific. It does not include the full range of functions within the Body. If we are to fulfill our calling, we must protect the specific nature of our Aim.

. . . We are members of Christ’s Body, the Church. Collectively, we are a specialized function within the Body. Individually, we live life and raise our children in a local community. . . . If we do not seek to relate harmoniously within the Body, we hinder Christ’s desire that His people be “brought to complete unity” (John 17:21-23)—in order that the world may believe that the Father sent Him. . . . Gifts are to be used for the common good of the Body so that we must work in concert with one another (1 Corinthians 12:7).

The text suggests guidelines for relating our staff to the Body, both to other specialized groups and to local congregations.

The text affirms that, “in establishing disciples, we need to begin early to teach them the importance of relating;69 that they are called into unity with the Body; that their spiritual welfare needs the relationship to a local congregation. We want them “to demonstrate Christ’s love by identifying with and serving other believers.” While recognizing that there may be contexts in which there is a lack of viable local congregations . . . no wineskins existing for the new wine from our ministry (Matthew 9:17) . . . we cannot abandon our fruit, but we must also find alternatives that allow us to maintain our specific calling. In such circumstances, we can encourage clusters of our fruit to form local fellowships that will grow into mature congregations. But “Navigator staff should not assume foundational leadership functions in these fellowships. . . . We should maintain fraternal rather than organizational ties with these fellowships.”

Flowing out of our understanding of ourselves as a specialized function, the FOM provided guidelines70 about what we will not do as a society:

  • Provide regular congregational worship
  • Baptize or serve the Lord’s Supper as part of the regular Nav ministry
  • Become a church or plant Navigator churches
  • Become a relief agency
  • Permit speaking in tongues in Navigator gatherings
  • Propagate a political view or take a political stand

Navigator Positions in the 1980s

An important result of our International Leadership Conference in February 1980 was the construction of eight strategic global imperatives, of which the seventh was: “We must seek to relate ourselves and the fruit of our ministries effectively and harmoniously to the rest of the Body of Christ” (Romans 12:3-8).

Lorne explored this in a later letter71 to our staff. Among his comments:

We are not the only ship on the sea. We are part of a convoy and must relate ourselves to other ships in that convoy. We are not free to do whatever we please, lest we collide and disrupt the convoy.

‘To be relevant you must relate’ is how one Christian leader said it to us. We must not only avoid collision but should contribute positively to the mission of that convoy. Another important benefit of relating to others is that we learn valuable things from them that contribute to our own ministry.

In the modern Navigators a definite change took place in outlook and attitude five or six years ago, especially concerning local congregations. Up until then many of us did not know who we were in relation to the local church. Now as stated in the Fundamentals of the Ministry, we know. As a result, the general concern of the staff is not whether we need to relate but rather how to relate.

For years I have been asking pastors everywhere what their priorities would be for Nav staff persons in their congregations. At lunch recently with a pastor in Houston, Texas I asked that question. His answer reinforces the others:

  1. Attend the main weekly worship service. (All pastors I have talked to put this first).
  2. Accept one job and do it faithfully (and I would add, well).

Here are some ideas for relating to other organizations, mission agencies, and societies:

  • Paul Stanley says that during their last two staff meetings in West Germany they telephoned five other organizations and said they wanted to pray for them.
  • Look around at other organizations to whom you might contribute something along the lines of Navigator specialties – such as teaching the Word or training their people.
  • Some serve on boards or committees. Donald McGilchrist is on the board of directors of American Leprosy Missions of which Waldron Scott is president. Nate M. is on the board of Iranian Christians International and involved in the Association of Christian Ministries to Internationals. This helps him in his work as a Navigator.
  • Jim Chew says, “I find myself quite occupied . . . with the Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore and the Singapore Centre for Evangelism and Missions, though this is a ‘backstroke’ ministry taking about five-ten percent of my ministry time.”
  • As for me, I try to make it a regular part of my ministry. One day, Millie Hopkins, my secretary, said, “Do you realize that today you wrote or talked to twelve leaders of other Christian organizations?” An unusual day, but it shows some success in making it part of what I do, whether at home or traveling.
  • For some of us the best thing to do right now may be to keep abreast of news from the Christian world by reading The Church Around the World news sheet which many of the staff receive, and spending time in prayer.

Relating to the body of Christ is not so much a duty as a privilege, as emphasized by Jesus in His prayer of John 17. So we relate along the lines of Romans 14:17, in ‘righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.’

Jerry White’s Views on Church and Parachurch

Jerry White’s book The Church & The Parachurch: An Uneasy Marriage appeared in 1983.72 He summarizes his discussion on the theology of the Body of Christ as follows:

Both the local church and the para-local church groups comprise vital and viable parts of the body of Christ. The para-local church finds its theological legitimacy in the freedom of form given in the New Testament, in the necessary expression of each believer-priest in his ministry, and in the examples of local and mobile functions of the universal Church. The local church is God’s basic medium for meeting the broad needs of people of all ages and in all situations. The mobile para-local church structure is God’s method for the two-fold task of missions and specialized ministries.

At times, the functions will overlap, but this need not cause conflict if our goal is the upbuilding of the Body, not the claiming of rights and prerogatives. All believers should be part of a local fellowship. When these believers are also involved in a para-local church ministry, there may be times of conflicting authority. But authority conflict is a frequent factor in many areas of life, and will become a problem only when one of the authorities insists that his authority has preeminence. The responsibility to choose between two loyalties lies with the individual believer-priest.

Some para-local church groups establish de facto churches on the local level. This is a legitimate outcome, but as a practice it will change the focus and effectiveness of a specialized society. A para-local church organization that wishes to keep its effectiveness should normally remain with its special calling or else it will become another denomination, as we have seen from church history.73

Jerry ends with what he calls a “final plea”: “It is obvious that God’s hand is on both the local church and the para-local church. Let us do all we can to heal any breach between the two structures, and to thrust out more laborers into the harvest.”

Waldron Scott’s Viewpoints

In 1984, Waldron Scott gave a presentation to an audience of missiologists at the OMSC on “Western Parachurch Agencies and Their Impact on National Churches.”74 He had selected ten modern (1930s or later) “para-church” agencies including The Navigators for investigation. He comments:

Modern para-church agencies . . . are newcomers, most though not all, having sprung up since World War II. They are not organizationally accountable to a denomination, either at home or abroad. They tend to specialize narrowly in evangelism and discipling. Yet they do not plant churches. They tend to be highly mobile, developing programs in a given country but not establishing deep and long-term relationships with the churches in that country. On the other hand, they are often dynamic, visionary, capable of recruiting thousands of volunteers, short-term and full-term staff and donors. Often, their programs are embraced enthusiastically by national churches, for a variety of reasons.

Scott explained that much space is given to ecclesiology in the FOM which he calls “the policy manual” of The Navigators. He reported later that, although his audience tended to ground their resistance theologically, they were basically reacting against “upstarts.” He instances the Salvation Army as an agency that was similarly long resisted but has now become part of the general Christian fabric.75

Our principal Bible study series in the early 1980s were Studies in Christian Living (SCL) and the newer Design for Discipleship (DFD). SCL 3.1 and DFD 2.4 had the most content on local churches, but this was certainly not a major emphasis in these studies.

Influence of the 2:7 Series

We look next at the development of the 2:7 Series, pioneered by Ron Oertli, who had been appointed staff in 1959.76

Soon after, Ron joined Skip Gray and others in a survey of military bases in the southeast US. When financial pressures forced an exodus from the Glen in 1964, Ron was assigned to Fort Benning in Georgia. However, he had been traveling the length and breadth of the US as a single man,77 participating in our area ministries and engaging with our financial supporters, including churches that contributed through their missions budgets to the Nav ministry. Consequently, he observed what was working and the need that churches had for discipleship training. He married Betty in 1965 and they became responsible for the work in Michigan, where church life was a priority for the many Dutch Reformed people . . . so that “the only time we could get to them was on church time.”78

The Oertlis moved to Denver, Colorado, in 1970. LeRoy Eims welcomed them and gave permission for Ron to experiment further with ministry to churches. So, they became the first Navigators to be assigned as community staff.79

This was a particularly challenging time for a Navigator to be launching a church-oriented ministry, even experimentally. It was the heyday of counting our fruit, which is hardly practicable in a local congregational context. In the jargon of the time, we spoke of the “extensive” ministry, but with the assumption that it would only, at best, cover evangelizing and establishing.80

What was not negotiable was that any acceptable fruit must meet the seven points of our new profile of a Navigator disciple.

Ron told the Lord that He would receive all the glory (Isaiah 42:8) for any fruit that might come. Soon, in November 1970, Pastor David Leach of First Denver Friends Church invited Ron to speak at his missions conference and, at the end, fourteen out of some fifty people at the evening service asked for training in discipleship. Ron quickly developed three sequential levels of training. Those who completed level 3 were equipped to start the same cycle with others.

Pastor Leach was enthusiastic: “The level 1 training classes have probably been the outstanding spiritual event at First Denver Friends Church during the five years that I have been pastor. . . . It creates competence in the Christian. . . . One outstanding benefit of our church staff being involved in the level 1 program is that we have been trained to teach others effectively. . . . Teaching it is more fun than a pulpit ministry. . . . You actually hit your target and see the results in people’s lives.”81

In December 1971, Ron announced that the whole series of six training courses for use in churches would now be called the 2:7 Series.82 Having realized that churches think curriculum, he had designed these graded training courses for Christian laymen, emphasizing the spiritual growth, maturing, and stabilizing of the individual in Christian discipleship. By then, some seventy-five people had been involved in the series one course in Denver. He anticipated that, by the end of 1972, series one through six courses would have been taught and the methods and materials finalized through live class experience.

By early 1972, Ron had also trained some fifty people in Albuquerque, New Mexico to teach the series one course, with ongoing shepherding from Bob and Dianne Doty.83

Other staff84 heard about the material and, interacting with Ron, began to use it in churches. In our climate of the time, this made some supervisors nervous. Our prevalent thinking was that everything in the name of The Navigators should be controlled, lest it not meet our standards, and that any “extensive” ministry should have a supervisor in the “intensive” sector.

Bob Stephens, who knew Ron from their time together at the Glen, was hearing increasing concerns and criticisms about this experimental ministry. They were such that Jack Mayhall, as US director, asked that the 2:7 Series be restricted to Colorado, lest it get “out of control.”85 Stephens then came up with a reassuring solution, namely to form a 2:7 steering committee, which he would lead. This was promptly arranged. Founding members were Ron Oertli, Denny Repko, Gene Soderberg, Mel Leader, Rich Cleveland, Dave Johnson.

Yet the external questions continued. Was the 2:7 really producing what a Nav produces? Although disciples and even DMs were beginning to appear in the churches working through the series, it was rightly said that we did not “own” them. They belonged to the churches. They should not be counted as part of our work force!

Jerry White was now responsible for the ministries in Colorado. In February 1972, he took Sanny, Walt Henrichsen, and LeRoy Eims to meet twenty-five people selected by Ron who were engaged in 2:7 groups. These leaders were very impressed with the caliber of these people.86 By now, six Denver churches were participating.

Then, Sanny was scheduled to speak to the National Association of Evangelicals for the State of Arizona and asked Ron to accompany him and offer a workshop about the experiment in Denver. The pastors who were present wanted to know how they could get the 2:7 for their people. A training weekend at Orangewood Nazarene Church in Phoenix was arranged. Thus, in 1973 the fence began to come down.

Bob and Pat Lovelace moved to Denver in May 1973, followed by Bob and Henrietta Wilbraham in July 1973. They co-led with Ron their first 2:7 leader training weekend for eighteen couples from Calvary Temple (Dr. Charles Blair) in Denver that August.

Jerry White assumed responsibility for the Western division. He encouraged the spread of the 2:7 Series but applied two safeguards: Only Nav staff who had been through Ron’s training program and qualified were to be teachers and, secondly, no changes should be made to the material.

Bob Stephens had played a crucial role in protecting and encouraging the early days of the 2:7 Series. He now moved on. Ron was recognized with the title of national 2:7 coordinator. The series spread.

Collaborating with NavPress, the first printed version of the 2:7 Series came out in 1974. The materials were available only from regional Church Discipleship Ministry leaders, passing out one study at a time. This ensured some measure of control. The series was revised with help from Lovelace and Wilbraham, and published by NavPress in 1978.

In 1978, also, Ron went to Mexico City to interact with Sam and Carrie Clark and then on to a provincial town to train some twenty Presbyterian missionaries and pastors. At the time, we had no Spanish version. Neil Livingston obtained permission to make a translation.88 By 1984, the first drafts were done and were tested in Honduras.89 Larry and Marci Archer introduced the series in El Salvador, and Stan and Joye Nolte introduced it in Costa Rica and later in Nicaragua and in Panama. Training clinics were led by Bob and Dee Seifert.

The 2:7 Series spread widely throughout Central America, accompanied by ongoing discipling in all forms. For example, there were one hundred to 125 people in 2:7 training groups in Honduras in 1984.

Bob Seifert was also training people in Dallas, Texas. One of them was Bill Roberson who was influential at the large Watermark Church, which still has some six hundred members a year going through the 2:7 Series. Ron taught Seifert, Seifert taught Roberson, and he has passed it on to many others.

Ron held the series with an open hand when other countries chose to use it.90 As Ron said, “We had no control and we would do anything we could to help them contextualize it.” Having set up a pattern and done the groundwork on how to deal with churches, he was pleased to pass on the US experience to others.

An important development took place in 1979. LeRoy Eims held a large fundraising banquet in Denver that enabled Ron to travel to nine countries91 that had shown an interest in the 2:7 Series, to explore whether it might be productive for them also.

Arabic Version of the 2:7 Series

A pastors’ congress took place at Glen Eyrie in October 1981. The following March saw the first meeting of the 2:7 steering committee and then, also in 1982, several leaders from other countries that had shown interest came together at the Glen. Among them were N.J. and Issam K. N.J. saw the possibilities for Egyptians. It was easy for him to secure Ron Oertli’s support for the radical changes that would be necessary.92 For the first year, an Arabic translator worked with an Egyptian pastor to develop what was essentially a new product, rather than merely testing it in Egypt. Then it was agreed by our leading Egyptians that major surgery was needed to move from the American flavor to an authentically Arab version. So, N.J. produced an adaptation.93

The resulting six books were widely used in Egypt (and, later, in Jordan) until 1991, contributing strongly to the formation of the first generation of our staff. Later, when our Egyptian leader reduced the six books to three.

Martin Cooper had also been present at the 1982 gathering and had been asked by Roger Anderson about a Church-related ministry in the UK, specifically through the vehicle of the 2:7 Series. He had already made clear that he had a burden to see some of the Nav concepts that were primarily being worked out in the student community made transferable to churches.

The 2:7 Series in the UK

Within the UK, the 2:7 Series was introduced in 1982 and there was immediately a positive response from the few churches with whom we ran a pilot. However, it became very clear that we needed to adapt the text to a British context. As Martin Cooper said, “We have to step back from getting it out to getting it right.”

It is instructive to consider why it needed to be shaped into a British version, which was launched in 1986. This was not merely a matter of idiom. According to Martin, who led our Church Discipleship Ministry in the UK, there were at least two cultural/theological contrasts:

  • UK church people were less inclined to “cherry-pick” biblical references and preferred longer segments of Scripture to situate the insights in context.94
  • The “why” was vital, in order to digest the what and the how. Why, for example, did the 2:7 Series mandate certain practices?

One constant, whether in the US or the UK setting, was the need to market the 2:7 Series. Merely making it available was insufficient. So, Thompy Wright was recruited to work alongside Cooper, and a separate UK church ministry office and secretary were added.

Cooper’s heart was to build ongoing relationships with church leaders. Though the doorway was usually the 2:7 Series, the ministry spread naturally into small group training and leadership consulting.95

Parenthetically, there was a strong preaching tradition in the UK among conservative evangelicals, which was often accompanied by little practical guidance in how to work out and apply truth in daily living. Our practical orientation was therefore warmly welcomed.

One illustration of the gap that the 2:7 Series filled in the UK came from a brilliant preaching pastor who gave little orientation towards helping people to live an outworked, daily, practical Christian life. He could not envisage, he told Martin, that anyone who sat under the kind of Bible teaching that he was providing would not be able, on their own, to transfer that into everyday practical Christian living. Preaching alone, though very much in the British evangelical tradition, was not helping people demonstrate daily the outworking of the life that was centered in Christ.

The 2:7 Series in Singapore

In Singapore, Dave Dawson served as our leader for twelve years from 1968. His dynamic personality and passion to train laborers and leaders saw him launch Equipping the Saints in 1974.96 This study series captured his intensity and communication skills, but it was not always easy for others to lead it.

Jim Chew recalls introducing the 2:7 Series at Bethesda Katong Church in Singapore as an experiment around 1980. It worked well and spread to other Brethren churches through Elder Philip Tan, Jim’s first “Timothy.”97

Equipping the Saints

From 1982 to 1986, discussion took place on how ETS and the 2:7 Series complemented one another. Cleveland’s letter to Dawson98 offered several suggestions, with the observation that “ETS is dependent currently on a strong and preferably charismatic leader and motivator, and relies heavily on the leader to student input. The 2:7 Series, on the other hand, is dependent on a trained small group leader and relies heavily on student discovery and the articulation and demonstration of truths and skills learned.” By 1985, Dawson reported that he was teaching the ETS at Dallas Theological Seminary and that several other US Schools were about to launch the program—“many are encouraged that The Navigators have codified the principles God had taught and put them in a program such as ETS. They see this as a positive step by The Navigators to relate ourselves to the Body of Christ and share with others our strengths in the ministry.”99

In 1984, the USLT “affirmed ETS and approved its objective” which Dawson expressed as, “to see ETS used in helping The Navigators relate to the rest of the Body by training lay people to do the work of ministry.” He identified seven emphases:100

  1. Promote ETS in Bible schools, seminaries, and other mission organizations who are involved in training leadership for the Body of Christ.
  2. Teach ETS in institutions and organizations who want the help ETS provides in training leadership for the Body of Christ.
  3. Assist people and organizations who are translating ETS into other languages.
  4. Develop a teaching manual which would guide other people in the use of ETS.
  5. Establish a base where people can be trained in the use of ETS.
  6. Field test ETS in other possible applications for use in the body.
  7. Relate ETS to the Navigator ministry where there is interest or need.

Equipping the Saints continues as a worldwide discipleship training program. If a group meets weekly, the program can be completed in under eighteen months—equipping lay people to do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12).101

Growth of the 2:7 Series

We can gain an appreciation of how fast the 2:7 Series grew in the US from Ron’s report to the 2:7 steering committee in the fall of 1983:

  • Eighty-five clinics per year
  • Thirty people per clinic, on average
  • 2,550 per year trained as 2:7 group leaders
  • More than seventy thousand student 2:7 books sold per year
  • More than four hundred cities in the US and Canada

The 2:7 Series had been welcomed in fifteen countries and already existed in five languages.

By way of illustration, a report from early 1984 on the 2:7 Series in German-speaking Europe:

The 2:7 program, under the leadership of Joe and Sharon Bobb, is now being presented in twenty-five cities in West Germany . . . plus seven in Austria and four in Switzerland. In total, around one hundred groups are meeting.

What satisfies Joe the most? To watch pastors, who are often discouraged, see their people coming alive and getting a new vision for building spiritual laborers.

Wolf Christian Jaeska [sic], who is now studying at Westminster Seminary in the USA, is responsible for developing a second program, alongside the 2:7, that will minister to the needs of German Christians, thus broadening the scope of our church-related ministries. Three out of five courses are already in draft.

Meanwhile, the 2:7 program is going through a fourth revision. At each stage, it has become culturally more relevant. German churches tend to have strong pastors and passive members . . . so the program provides more biblical material on, for example, the priesthood of all believers.

At the same time, Joe has been spearheading the introduction of the 2:7 program in an Eastern European country. There are remarkable opportunities and some wide-open doors. Please pray for more churches to catch the vision of disciple-making.102

By now, there was a regional 2:7 coordinator in each of the five US regions.103 Although Mayhall and Taylor were present for his report, Ron expressed that many of our state directors accorded a very low priority to the “extensive” ministry. They did not understand where we had reached or where we were capable of moving as regards church discipleship. He asked for a formal commitment by the national and regional leaders to the 2:7 ministry, from which would flow a national strategy.

Formation of Church Discipleship Ministries

Prior to 1981, Ron reported to a state director and to NavPress. March 1981 saw the first meeting of the 2:7 steering committee. In 1984, Ron presented a detailed argument for a re-enabling structure to handle the 2:7 Series specifically and church discipleship in general. He pointed out that the 2:7 steering committee met only twice a year, and laid out his view that the 2:7 Series was only the beginning: “We desperately need a full product line of church-related materials, both pre-2:7 and post-2:7.” He explained that the focus and concentration of the regional coordinators was impeded by their involvement in the breadth and diversity of ministry necessary for a region’s success. At the time, there were around a dozen Nav staff working primarily with churches. In July, the USLT decided to convert the 2:7 committee into the CDM leadership team with the same five men and Ron as national 2:7 coordinator.

In 1984, we saw the formal launch of Church Discipleship Ministries. Ron Oertli was understandably excited and expressed the hope that: “This will prove to be the enabling structure that will allow The Navigators to help thousands of churches impact their lay people.”104

At last, the 2:7 Series was fully legitimate. By then, the CDM staff were training three thousand people a year to use the material in what were called “training clinics.”105 The 2:7 Series was thoroughly revised in 1985. It now comprised three books.106

The USLT continued to give attention to how we should relate to other evangelical structures. Dr. Ralph Winter (USCWM) had highlighted two issues:

  • Our tendency to focus on ourselves, revealed by our absence from meetings of the larger evangelical movement
  • Our need to be linked formally and functionally to the Body of Christ

In 1985, Dr. Winter proposed107 that The Navigators participate in Mission 2000, based on the premise that:

God has not created specific ministries to work primarily in isolation, but may often wish for them to develop creative joint enterprises that are bigger than what any specific ministry by itself can attempt.

The USLT noted that this premise was in accord with our strategic imperative 7.

In June 1985, Jim Engel gave the USLT his extensive report on “The Post-Graduate Experience of Nav Alumni.” The team concluded that our primary goal was lifetime laborers: “We are people developers, not target impactors.”

This report highlighted our ongoing weakness in the desired formation of lifetime laborers, namely preparing our alumni to function well in local church settings. Although the 2:7 Series was by now widely used and acclaimed, Engel found that only 4 percent of alumni said that their Nav training taught them to understand what a local church is and how it functions. Many felt unsure of what to look for in a congregation and how to discern and exercise their spiritual gifts. Also, because Navigators zeroed in on those who were “intense, goal-oriented, disciplined,” many alumni did not know how to minister to other types of Christians.108

In summary, when asked what one thing they wished they had learned through the Nav ministry that would have helped the most in the years that followed, a prominent answer was how to relate to and become involved in a local church or other ministries.

This particular weakness has often surfaced in our history and has been perhaps the primary disability from which Navigators have suffered.

It is appropriate to record the principal associations to which The (US) Navigators belonged as of 1981:

  • Evangelical Foreign Missions Association
  • Association of Church Mission Committees
  • Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability
  • Evangelical Christian Publishers Association
  • Christian Booksellers Association
  • Evangelical Press Association
  • National Association of Evangelicals

In 1985, Jack Mayhall was chosen as the first CDM director. His background included seminary and service as a pastor. CDM was separate structurally from the Community Ministry. Jack accepted on condition that Rich Cleveland, who had served as the southeast 2:7 coordinator, would assist him nationally.

The USLT109 considered an initial CDM report from Jack which stated their Mission as: “To serve the church by planting and stimulating disciple-making ministries.” Success factors and strategic objectives were identified, but perhaps the most significant aspect of this report was the distinctions that it made between CDM and our Community Ministry. Thus:

  • CDM Community Ministry
  • Extensive Intensive
  • Targets churches Targets individuals
  • Fruit under church umbrella Fruit under Nav umbrella
  • Ministry characterized Ministry characterized
    by influence by direction

Roger Fleming was charged with preparing guidelines110 for relating to the larger evangelical Body. After setting out how local staff are expected to relate to and work in concert with other ministries, he set out seven guidelines for our national posture. Finally, he made three recommendations:

  • Relate ourselves to selected national agencies by officially joining and appointing a member of the USLT or HQ staff as the liaison person to represent The Navigators.
  • Seek aggressively to place staff on selected boards to contribute, influence, and learn.
  • Cultivate informal relationships with leaders of other Christian agencies.

Soon, Jack stepped aside, and Paul Stanley took over the national responsibility, passing it on to Rich who became CDM director from 1986 to 1993. As CDM continued to expand, requiring more administration, Rich concluded that his role no longer matched his entrepreneurial gifts,111 but not before he had challenged the US CDM staff to tithe their ministry in support of church discipleship in other countries.112

In early 1986, Rich chaired an important meeting113 of the CDM leadership team, to explore how this ministry should sit within the wider Navigator context. For example:

  • Should there be a national coordinator or a director?
  • Should CDM be one aspect of a cities strategy or function separately?
  • Which structure will be most enabling, given the emerging US Strategy?

Rich eventually followed the calling which had grown in his heart to initiate a Nav ministry among Catholics. He sought counsel from Bishop Hanifen of Colorado Springs who gave him much encouragement and connected him with three local priests likely to be open to a lay Protestant Navigator teaching on discipling. He began to introduce the 2:7 Series in a local parish and soon realized that it would need extensive reworking in order to train Catholics. Book 1 of the 2:7 Series became Journey to Essential Living.114

To develop a Catholic brand, Rich chose Emmaus Journey: A Ministry of Catholic Evangelization and Discipleship.115 Rich and Gail became Catholics in 1997.

Darrell Sanders succeeded Rich as CDM director. He assembled a new leadership team and ensured that CDM became a full-fledged mission within the US Nav structure. The Intentional Disciplemaking Church (IDC) emerged as an important new process, designed to help change the culture that existed in many congregations.116 It provided a means towards “a systemic spiritual change and alignment of all ministries of the church with the Great Commandment, to love God, and the Great Commission, to make disciples.” It brings disciple-making into the centrality of what the Church does.117 Nav staff Ron Bennett authored the book Intentional Disciplemaking: Cultivating Spiritual Maturity in the Local Church.

Worldwide Involvement of The Navigators

As we moved through the 1980s, we see the 2:7 Series being translated and adapted in many countries. For example:

  • In Central Europe, the Biblical Education by Extension thrust, based in Vienna, had Dave Grissen as a contributor to their overall curriculum, which included the 2:7 Series.118
  • N.J. produced a revised version in Arabic for church ministries in Egypt and beyond. Hans Schneider was part of our travelling ministry into what had been the Soviet satellites. In Riga, Latvia, Hans tapped into a remarkable spiritual awakening with many new believers in their early 20s. He gave them the Russian 2:7 Series that he had, and returned a few months later to find that perhaps two hundred 2:7 groups had begun in Latvia. Then, Al and Iris Engler moved to Latvia for two years, organizing summer camps for around five hundred Latvians each week, led by our military laborers, and training young Latvians.119
  • Denny Repko introduced the 2:7 Series at a gathering of Asians in Singapore, out of which Royston Koh joined the international facilitating team. It was later translated into Mandarin Chinese.

In Singapore alone, ten thousand people from one hundred churches have benefited from training in the 2:7 Series, which they call Growing Deep in Christ.120

Meanwhile, in China, the 2:7 Series was also modified and used widely among house churches.121 We have trained at least 1500 house church leaders in how to lead the 2:7 Series.

The first International CDM consultation convened in 1992 at Glen Eyrie, with LeRoy Eims and Doug Sparks as speakers.122 The second such consultation came in 1996, when regional coordinators were identified for each continent. At the third consultation, held in Malaysia in 2002, Jerry White spoke on our commitment to the wider Body of Christ.

Denny R. nurtured the church-related ministry in India, openly using the name of The Navigators. This fruitful initiative was kept entirely separate from our existing ministry in India and is described in the relevant article.

We were well represented at Amsterdam 86, Billy Graham’s international conference for itinerant evangelists. It was designed to “train, equip, and encourage” eight thousand evangelists from 185 countries and was a significant event in the history of the Church. Twelve Nav staff participated and we provided a team of “forty mighty Finns” who came along to help. Our contribution, as often, was in the personal contact one-to-one with the participants.123

In 1987, we lent our support to the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy. Jerry White told our staff:

For nine years, the ICBI124 has defended inerrancy as a necessary foundation of the Christian faith. We feel strongly that we should support this view and will add the voice of The Navigators to the Congress on the Bible 2 to be held September 23-27 in Washington, D.C. Lorne Sanny will teach a three-part Christian life course on “Increasing your Leadership Capacity.” Terry Taylor will lead a workshop on “Reproducing Christ in the Life of Others.” I will teach a three-part course on “Christian Personal Ethics” and a workshop on Christians in secular work. . . . Please pray that this Congress will significantly strengthen the Church in applying the Scriptures.125

Jerry reported after the congress that it was the final convocation of the ICBI, whose objective during its ten years had been to counter the drift away from belief in biblical inerrancy as essential to the authority of Scriptures and the health of the Church.

The Servant’s Heart

In his 1986 paper for our Forum for Established Countries, Goro Ogawa of Japan laid down our responsibility:

Serving is the basic attitude and responsibility we must have in the Body of Christ. Those who follow Christ’s example must choose to serve rather than to be served. In this way, we glorify our Lord.

Through serving, we receive an understanding of the Church, the quality of our service is improved, we grow in effectiveness and our ministry will prosper. However, to maintain the attitude of the servant is truly a spiritual battle. We must guard against individual and group egotism and pride.

After sketching the various scenarios, he emphasized that we should focus not on teaching but on demonstration, with an attitude of humility.126

Advances in the 1990s

We continued to stimulate study on the topic of the “people of God.” In 1990, after much preparatory research, we published127 the Scriptural Roots of our Ministry (SRM) which is fully described in a separate article. Attention was paid to the meanings of ekklesia and oikos in the New Testament. This SRM was a foundational stimulus to research in some forty countries of our Worldwide Partnership.

Subsequently, a contextualized version was released for our American constituency.128

Work continued, with particular attention to our spreading ministries among the nations. Thus, for example, the Fundamentals of Navigator Missions was distributed in April 1999.129 Relevant sections are:

3 – The Mobile Function of the Church
4 – The Place of the Local in Missions
5 – Interdependence between Local and Mobile Functions

AD 2000 Programs

During the early 1990s, several prominent evangelical agencies ramped up programs that harnessed the general excitement about the approach of the year 2000. Their focus was on unreached peoples. For example, GCOWE 95 was a large international gathering in Seoul, Korea, which shared motivation and data related to the unfinished task.

In general, Navigators were not much invested in these programs and clarion calls. We had developed our visionary plan in the 1970s (“Strategy for the 70s”) in which the ultimate aim was to reach every nation in the world by the year 2000 and through which we soon learned that this was beyond our capacity and was a somewhat artificial construct, theologically. Another reason was that, as a federation of many countries and nationalities, we were in the 1990s not as “Americentric” as other global evangelical agencies. Thirdly, the US Navigators were deeply occupied with The CoMission from 1992 to 1995, and they would of necessity have been the main supplier of resources for a special turn-of-the-century thrust.

After all, we had experience with pain in our own grandiose phase in the 1970s. We saw the “unreached” more broadly than the list-making “unreached peoples” enthusiasts of the 1990s. We attached little significance to the date of AD 2000. We were a dispersed and diverse community; it would have been hard, even if we wanted, to energize in the collaborative pursuit of the general AD 2000 program. Perhaps we still suffered from a certain lack of humility, in that we were pursuing what really mattered, which was not traditional church-planting.

One exception was The Navigators of Canada, which was instrumental in financing and launching Vision 2000 Canada.130 Alan Andrews had this ecumenical evangelistic vision and galvanized wide support throughout Canada. Vision 2000 was launched in May 1990 with Nav staff Don and Darla Moore as executive director, under the aegis of Brian Stiller and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.

By the end of 1992, we had seconded three Nav staff to the vision team and were privileged to serve in the eight regional consultations that took place across Canada early in 1992.

Looking back some twenty years later, Alan would have tempered his enthusiasm for launching Vision 2000. Though motivated by “a love for the Body” and though his staff and board affirmed our involvement, he discovered that “when the going got tough, they had not bought into it with their hearts.” So, he learned “never to outrun my team on financial matters.”131

Expressions in The Core

It is noteworthy that when The Core was birthed among our International Leadership Community in 2002, the eight Core Values adopted did not include any reference to the Church, or to collaboration with other believers outside the limited orbit of The Navigators. Why not? One answer would have been that we were pressing toward values that were central to our calling and/or deeply ingrained in our history; other vital values—such as faith, hope and love—were the common patrimony of believers. Furthermore, there was in some participants a sense that eight values was already too many.

Soon, voices could be heard asserting that by not identifying our interdependence, we were again revealing the weakness of our ecclesiology. Leaders of our Church Discipleship Ministries, in particular, would be hindered in their work of serving local congregations. On the other hand, the process by which we had agreed to wait on God for The Core cautioned us against merely injecting a value that had hardly surfaced in the conclusions of the participants who had gathered in Cyprus and at Niagara.

Nevertheless, momentum was building. When the International Team met in January 2004, there was strong sentiment for adding to our Values. However, prolonged debate ensued as to the best wording: CDM leader Darrell Sanders132 led those who wanted “Body of Christ” as being the most familiar among evangelicals, while Donald McGilchrist133 demonstrated that familial and relational language was more visibly spread in the Scriptures. Thus, “family of God” would seem stronger. An early proposal to add a clause to Value 7 was rejected. We returned the following day to a discussion in which at least five questions surfaced:

  • Do we value the Body or relationships within the Body?
  • Do we value the Body when it does not advance the Gospel?
  • Do we want to be conditional in what we value?
  • Do we value our participation or the interdependence of the Body?
  • Should we not narrow what we value to that which contributes to our Calling?

We then revisited the choice before us as to the language of the family of God or the Body of Christ. We took a vote on each of four options, regarding language:

  • Body in the Values and the Vision (one vote)
  • Family in the Values and the Vision (two votes)
  • Body in the Values, Family in the Vision (eight votes)
  • Family in the Values, Body in the Vision (four votes)

After prayer, the Lord led us to introduce a ninth Core Value: “Interdependence in the Body of Christ in Advancing the Gospel.” Although there was some hesitation, the decision emerged that we should not make any changes to our international Vision.

Later, in 2004, Alan Andrews distributed his paper on “The Navigators Among the People of God in the American Context.”134 He addressed the challenge of how an organization or movement in the Body of Christ can function interdependently while maintaining their distinctive call. Because of Alan’s influence in our partnership and his then responsibility of the US Navs, it seems good to summarize some of his points:

He borrowed an illustration from Dr. James Packer who had compared the church to rock formations pushing up through the surface of the earth’s crust, some large and strong, others simple, small, and still fragile. He wrote that, “When a spiritual rock formation breaks through the crust of the earth, we are really referring to the in-breaking of the kingdom of God in which, though the world is fallen and broken, God is advancing his rule and reign in the hearts and lives of his people. The Lord is present whenever two or more people gather together in his name and, as these people and groups join as visible manifestations of God’s people, we refer to them as “church.” He referred to two primary manifestations of the Body of Christ on earth, the pioneering and the local, with many hybrid expressions in between.

Navigators, he wrote, see themselves as occupying a position very near the pioneering expression of Church. We are committed to bringing into being that which does not exist, creating that which is new. This means that we function effectively in the hard places of the world, and that we function well in temporary communities such as student and military contexts. Elsewhere, we are called to reignite the Gospel in places such as Europe and the post-modern cultures emerging among the global elite. Whenever we move into local contexts, we must keep in mind that we are there to help local situations become more missional.

As we take new initiatives in America, especially in metro areas, it may be necessary to form local missional community expressions because the fruit of our ministries will naturally desire to live and minister among the lost in the same way that they have been reached. We should not fear having to form local missional communities in such cases, creating environments of grace and ministering as insiders in relational and family networks. We then develop local leaders but, like Paul and his teams, we will not sustain or control them. That will be the responsibility of the new local fellowships. We are a pioneering ministry—seeing God create fresh expressions of the Gospel. As we seek to maintain warm relationships and partnership, our role will be one of continued relational influence rather than one of control or ownership.

We also see the necessity and need to minister with and to existing local congregations. We want to serve and help every local congregation that desires to see their people living healthy and whole lives, discipling among the lost. At the same time as we minister in such contexts, we gain immeasurably from their ministry to us. God will always leave us in the position of needing to be taught, even in the areas of our strengths.

As we move deeper in to the Nations, energized by The Core, we increasingly work among those for whom Western models of local congregations within denominations seem strange, even distracting. Forms would well mask the underlying biblical functions and thus damage the purity and the mobility of the Gospel.

The relational and spiritual bonds which unite the people of God endure, whether or not they can openly associate with many of the existing expressions of God’s family.

In the frontiers, as often, we seek to live among and energize the lost with the Scriptures.

Nevertheless, in most contexts, there will still be opportunities to interact with other members of the Body of Christ. God has not designed us to be a body unto ourselves. Conclusion: Every Navigator staff person must be alert to participate in accessible kingdom communities and remain vigilant to carry out the pioneer calling that Jesus has placed on their lives.

By Donald McGilchrist

20,741 words

See also articles on:
Global Planning: 1966 – 1975
The Community Ministries
Materials and Communications
Military Ministries
Our Contributions: 1960s
Fundamentals of The Navigator Ministry
Global Planning: 1976 –
The Scriptural Roots of Our Ministry
Church Planting
Fundamentals of Nav Missions
Navigators Among Roman Catholics
Navigators Among the Orthodox
Apostolic Pioneering
The CoMission
The Approach to The Core

Extracts from “Church Disciple”

Published from August 1987 to c. 1999

Miscellaneous for reference; not in sequence.

11.2 – 1997
Frank Tully, CDM staff in Australia, worked with leaders of two dozen local churches in New South Wales in Scriptural Joint Venture, identifying the top ten barriers to the Gospel.

12.1 – 1998
Don and Gene Pattison spent seven weeks in Kazakhstan, teaching in the only Christian seminary in Almaty. In one church, 80 percent of adults have completed all six 2:7 books.

13.1 –
The purpose of CDM is “to serve local churches by helping them reach, disciple, and equip people to know Christ and to make Him known through successive generations.” To see churches become environments where people are intentionally trained and equipped to minister to and through others.

10.1 – 1996
Design 4 Discovery was developed to help believers guide seekers in discovering the truth about Christ (Ron Bennett in the CDM Strategic Resources Group).

10.2 – 1996
Right Fit, an acronym standing for Recognizing Individual Gifts & Human Talents and Finding Identity Together is a dynamic process for helping people discover who they are and where they can fit into a fulfilling ministry. It is an eleven-week small group course evaluating twenty areas of life. Students complete three personal assessment projects (designed by Ron Oertli).

Joyce and John Sackett travelled to Tolosk, Siberia, responding to several small churches whose pastors wanted their people to be trained using the 2:7 Series, which had been translated into Russian. By now, 648 people in twelve Russian cities had been trained to use the 2:7 Series.

11.1 – 1997
In October 1995, Lilija Godina of Latvia became the first former Soviet citizen to join Nav staff. Hans and Helen Schneider met Lilija six years ago and she started in their first 2:7 Series course. Before long, she was leading 2:7 study groups all over Latvia.

10.1 – 1996
Repko is responsible for the CDM International ministries. In his third trip to Gujarat, he took Jeff Kemmerer with him, visiting Madras, Poona, Ahmadabad.

8.2 – 1994
Dick and Judy Miller, CDM staff, along with Pastor Hawks have developed Assessment Inventory for Ministry (AIM), an eleven-week process for use during adult Sunday schools.

4.3 – 1990
During 1990, we held thirty-six leader training clinics for the 2:7 in twenty-three US states.

1.1 – 1987
In August, the first CDM newsletter titled Church Disciple, introduced by Rich Cleveland as executive director of CDM.

Boards On Which Our International Presidents Have Served

Dawson Trotman

  • Young Life
  • Wycliffe Bible Translators
  • Africa Inland Mission
  • Youth for Christ International
  • Moody Institute of Science
  • Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
  • International Students
  • Missionary Aviation Fellowship
  • Missionary Communications Services
  • Orient Crusades…Advisory
  • Alaska Missions…Advisory
  • Campus Crusade for Christ…Advisory

Lorne Sanny

Jerry White

  • World Vision (US) – 2014-
  • Greater Europe Mission – 2005-2014
  • Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability – 2013-
  • Christian Leadership Alliance – 2006-
  • Christian Service Brigade – 1974-1980

Mike Treneer

Mutua Mahiaini


  1. Excludes lesser assignments, such as Daws on the Saturday night Jubilee Board, and professional service such as the Arnold Air Society and Air Force Association for Jerry.
  2. Sanny 1966 pointed out that much of the above was Daws’s personal ministry. Clearly, he did not serve on all the above Boards at the same time.


  1. Bob Foster, The Navigator (NavPress, 1983), p. 210, transcribed from Daws’s message to a Nav conference at Glen Eyrie on June 14, 1956—just four days before his death. He was describing the experience he had in Paris in May 1948. This was the aspect of what he called “other works.”
  2. Daws worked closely with Wycliffe Bible Translators, Moody Institute of Science, Youth for Christ, Missionary Aviation Fellowship, Word of Life, Pocket Testament League, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, International Students Inc., and others. As of June 1954, Daws served on the board of Wycliffe, Missionary Aviation Fellowship, Missionary Communications Services, International Students, Youth for Christ International, and on the advisory boards of Orient Crusades, Alaska Missions, and Campus Crusade for Christ. “Much of the intimate contact with leaders in other Christian works died with Dawson. It had been his personal ministry,” said Lorne Sanny in 1966. Jim Downing recalls (in November 2012) that in 1958 Betty Skinner identified forty-eight missions in which Nav-trained disciples were working.
  3. Joel A. Carpenter, Revive Us Again: The Reawakening of American Fundamentalism (Oxford, 1997), especially Chapter 8 on “an evangelical united front.”
  4. As late as 1967, Betty Skinner noted that at least four “original” Navigators were still serving as career missionaries: Virgil Hook with OMF, Gurney Harris with AIM, Les Spencer with ASSU, John Dedrick with Wycliffe.
  5. Source: Trotman’s report to our staff on the directors’ conference in San Francisco during February 22-24, 1951.
  6. There were some 250 participants in these seminars. In the four days between the two seminars, Daws and Jim Rayburn of Young Life and Bill Bright of Campus Crusade held a retreat in the hills “to pray, share, and work toward greater unity in the Lord’s great vineyard—planning future times of fellowship and co-laborship among leaders of Christian works.”
  7. Source: “Dear Gang,” August 3, 1955. The Missionary Communications Service board was meeting at the Glen.
  8. June 20, 1955.  Daws added that “Doug Coe is making mistakes, but he is not making the mistake of doing nothing. We must get out of a rut. . . . Don’t expect of others what you won’t do yourself. . . . Let your eyes be on the world. Serve God in His powerful way. There is a price to pay for the salvation of the world.”
  9. Nav Source: January 1957, Nav Log. In April 1957, the “Dear Gang” letter reported that Hans Wilhelm had resigned from the Navigators and applied to Orient Crusades to serve as their missionary in Formosa. He had met and married Alice Bell of OC in Formosa! Sanny was pleased at this development. In 2015, Hans published his autobiography China Hans.
  10. Myers and Robertson “both placed some good strokes in India, but had to leave when their visas expired. The call has come from YFC for a commonwealth citizen to assist in the follow-up program in Ceylon. Levon Melkonian, Scotty’s assistant in DC and a Cypriot with British citizenship, has responded and is making preparations to leave the US” (“Dear Gang” of January 14, 1957).
  11. Taken from “Working Relationship for Navigators and Orient Crusades,” May 1957. The paper addressed such topics as loaning personnel, financial policy, furloughs.
  12. Rev. Ellsworth Culver was at that time OC’s foreign director and vice-chairman of the board. Lorne Sanny served on their advisory board.
  13. Taken from page 1 of the OC handbook revised May 1957.
  14. Jim “acquired” the TMS as specified by Daws, “correctly quoted, unassisted, including references, eliminating doubt.”
  15. Source: Double Helix, p. 266.
  16. Notes on Navigator principles, January 16, 1959.
  17. Presented to the Eastern staff conference, February 13, 1958 by R. Malcolm.
  18. Billy Graham became president of Northwestern Schools, a group of Christian schools in Minneapolis: Bible School (1902), Theological Seminary (1935), College of Liberal Arts (1944). In 1948, he resigned from Youth for Christ and focused on Northwestern Schools until 1952, when he resigned to concentrate on preaching.
  19. Daws to his staff on March 29 and May 5, 1951.
  20. March 1 to May 22, 1954 with cumulative attendance estimated at more than two million. Source: Evangelicalism Divided: A Record of Crucial Change in the Years 1950 to 2000, Iain H. Murray, Banner of Truth, 2000, New York, p. 34.
  21. Nav team: Bill and Jeanette Fletcher, Charlie Riggs, Leila Elliott, Joy Hayworth, Gordon Stowell, Donn Moomaw, Addie Rosenbaum, Lorne and Lucille Sanny, Roy and Lois Robertson, Irene Johnson, Lila and Dawson Trotman. Source: reports from Daws of February 25 and May 24, 1954.
  22. Iain H. Murray, loc cit, p. 29-31.
  23. Lorne to the Navigator leaders, February 20 and May 6, 1957.
  24. “Nav News,” February 4, 1958.
  25. A few weeks before Daws drowned, for example, we hosted the board of World Vision at the Glen (April 1956) followed by the board of Youth for Christ (May 1956)
  26. “Dear Gang,” January 28, 1958. A leader of the elite Broadmoor crowd came out to see Chuck Farah and, dispensing with pleasantries, the man said, “Chuck, let’s get down to business. I came out here to get saved.”
  27. Nor did we ignore the educational sector. Again in February 1958, we invited thirty-nine local teachers to lunch in the Castle. Chuck Farah presented the Gospel and a dozen mostly unsaved guests indicated a desire to participate in a Bible Study group. Nav News, February 11, 1958.
  28. Cosgrove letter of October 22, 1979.
  29. The NAE was founded in 1942 and later created the Evangelical Foreign Missions Association (EFMA), now The Mission Exchange. The Navigators are members of NAE, whose mission is “to honor God by connecting and representing evangelical Christians.”
  30. Denny and Carolyn (married 1956) followed the Yorks and then the Andersons at this Center.
  31. Taken from “Dear Gang” letter of December 19, 1960.
  32. The extensive OPC debate sought to clarify whether, in Sanny’s words, “the local church is the means, a means, a chief means, or the only means of accomplishing” what God was doing, namely calling people out, conforming them to Christ and building them into a habitation for God. See OPC sessions 4 and 5.
  33. See article on the 1961 OPC.
  34. OPC conclusions dated February 6, 1961. As expanded in Robertson’s letter to our overseas co-laborers of May 1, 1961. Note how our language appears to assume that we are not part of the Church (capital “C”). Our ecclesiology became clearer in Sanny’s 1969 paper.
  35. Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Berkley and author of My Heart—Christ’s Home.
  36. OPC S22, January 17, 1961, for quotes in this paragraph.
  37. Description of “Enjoyable Achievements for People Management” (Art Miller), interview text of April 1981.
  38. OPC S22, Sparks’s and Sanny’s following comment.
  39. OPC S22, January 17, 1961. Waldron Scott: “Is this biblical?” Sparks: “Initial training is in their sphere of influence. . . . The training of apostles, disciples, Timothies will require them to come into our sphere of influence.”
  40. Sanny continued to serve on the board of the Wycliffe Bible Translators through 1966.
  41. OPC, conclusion 30.
  42. Paper by Sanny for ODC November 1966.
  43. Jim Chew recalls that Sanny’s posture was that “our role with the churches was to help the Church be the Church.”
  44. Much of the above is drawn from Sanny’s December 1966 paper on “The Navigators’ Relationship to the Church and Other Works,” presented to our overseas directors conference in 1966. In 1962, he had written, “I believe that each Nav Representative should be active in a local church and should contribute to the overall mission of the Church. . . . To have only a Nav vision is too narrow a vision.”
  45. Source: Annual Reports to Staff Conference: May 65 and 66. We were also participating in the series of triennial Urbana Conventions organized by IVCF.
  46. Taken from page 12 of Scotty’s draft strategy. Such sentiments are both explanatory and surprising; explanatory in that they shed light on the contrasting approaches of Sanny (“grow”) and Scott (“go”), and surprising in the light of Scotty’s radical commitment to ecumenical progress, at least by Nav standards.
  47. November 1968 summary of papers on “Non-NavMinistry-Nav Alumni, Laymen, the Church.” For more information, see WRDC file in WS 4.
  48. “Dear Gang” letter, 1968-4.
  49. Our US archives hold a one-day conference guide prepared by the Fort Worth Navigators in 1971.
  50. “Dear Staff” letter, 1970-3.
  51. “Dear Staff” letter, July 24, 1970.
  52. All in red sportcoats, with a commitment to serve.
  53. “Dear Staff” letter 1970-11.
  54. See The Two Structures of God’s Redemptive Mission by Ralph D. Winter, William Carey Library, 1974, republished by Presbyterian Center for Mission Studies, Pasadena.
  55. By “means,” Carey envisioned what we would now call sodalities such as missions agencies. The phrase occurs in his seminal 1792 manuscript entitled An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen.
  56. Reprinted with notes in Missiology Vol VII.2, April 1979.
  57. Ken teamed with Jim Petersen, along with their wives and small children, in launching our ministry, starting in the Brazilian university city of Curitiba. The story of how God blessed Ken and Carol during their many years in Brazil has been told in his book Will This Rock in Rio? (NavPress, 2010, by Ken Lottis and Jim Petersen).
  58. October 1972, located in Jerry White’s papers.
  59. “Dear Gang” 1966-18.
  60. If we go further back, we may notice the 1960 conference on evangelism which Billy Graham called together in Switzerland. Graham asserted that until there could be a church within a church, that is a hard core of laymen who are skilled in the Scriptures, men of prayer, working as a team within the church, out in the community in evangelism, reproducing themselves in a chain reaction . . . until we can crack this, we have not solved our problem. This was the greatest need in the Church. See Sparks’s summary in OPC session 7, January 10, 1961.
  61. Source: 2010 Cape Town Congress from Margaret Brubaker, July 2014.
  62. Aided by Monte Unger, Don Enright, Vern Thompson. Text in Let the Earth Hear His Voice, p. 18-21.
  63. Double Helix, p. 400.
  64. Source: Denton Lotz, The Evangelization of the World in This Generation, Hamburg, 1970, p. 394.
  65. See the compendium of papers published by MARC (World Vision), entitled The Gospel and Islam and including “The Glen Eyrie Report by Art Glasser.
  66. Double Helix, p. 771. One of several precipitating factors was Sanny’s “strong reservations about certain statements” that Scott had made which seemed to go against the FOM guideline that Navigators should not propagate a political view. So, he left our staff in June 1981.
  67. “Dear Staff” letter 75-3.
  68. The Church and Churches: part of section I on identity in FOM 2, p. 5-8.
  69. Relating: section VII of FOM 2, p. 42-46.
  70. Guidelines on what we will or will not do as a society may be found in section VIII of FOM 2, p. 48-49.
  71. “Dear Staff” letter, 1982-5, September 1982. Three ideas and some other paragraphs omitted, for space. In the DS letter 1983-4, Lorne added seven global objectives, of which the seventh was: “To encourage and educate the fruit of our ministry concerning their place in the Body of Christ, so that they may relate themselves more effectively to the Body.”
  72. Multnomah Press. Actually, Jerry frequently had recourse to the term para-local church in his book, to allow space for what he had to say about the universal Church as well as local churches. The New Testament uses ekklesia in both senses.
  73. Jerry White, loc cit, p. 85-86.
  74. April 1983 at Overseas Ministries study center. Draws from interviews by Scott and Thompson with eight established denominational agencies to ascertain their perspectives. Quotation is from Scott, paragraph 3.
  75. The relationship between local congregations and specialized agencies was a prominent topic in the late 1970s and early 1980s. McGilchrist’s archive, box 9, contains essays by Mooneyham, Campbell, Wiggins, Rees, Kamaleson (World Vision), Swamidoss, Sims, and Polzin espousing various viewpoints. Also, a presentation to Dutch Nav leaders by Dr. George Peters (June 1982). See also Peters in EMQ, Winter 1973.
  76. His first assignment was working at the Glen under Bob Stephens, charged with setting up our first departmental budgets and preparing for the time when accounting would be computerized. Ernst & Ernst, the prominent CPA firm (now Ernst & Young) came in to carry out what was probably our first professional audit.
  77. Single men bore the brunt of such travel: on one trip, Ron was on the road for five months. The only way to reduce this was to marry
  78. Interview with Oertlis: February 27, 2013. Ron commented that, during the late 70s and early 80s, the Nav climate was “high standards and narrow ministry focus.”
  79. Chuck Singletary came up with this term for the non-student, non-military sector of our work. Source: Oertli Interview of February 27, 2013.
  80. These are the first 2 “Es” of the future FOM (see article). Equipping was not expected.
  81. Source: Oertli newsletter of April-May 1971.
  82. Colossians 2:7: “. . . rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
  83. This training weekend for people from two churches in Albuquerque in February 1972 was the first concentrated training.
  84. Dave Johnson, Denny Repko, Gene Soderberg, Rich Cleveland, Mel Leader were examples.
  85. Mayhall had observed that the 2:7 Series was deepening the life of his brother-in-law’s church, but Nav leaders such as Lanier and Taylor had serious questions. Source: Interview with Repko, January 2013.
  86. This familiarization trip for the four men covered the Air Force Academy (Roger Brandt), CU Boulder (Ian Munro), CSU Fort Collins (Ray Cotton), and finally the Oertlis’ ministry in Denver.
  87. Source: Jerry White’s message on our Core Value 9 at Nav Chapel on July 8, 2015.
  88. The Livingstons and a team in Sequatepeque, Honduras worked on this translation.
  89. In Honduras, the 2:7 Series became part of a seminary curriculum.
  90. Initiators included Martin Cooper in the UK, Joe Bobb in Germany, Dagfinn Saether in Norway, Lars-Gustav Carlsson in Sweden, Don Lawrie in Canada, N.J. in Egypt, and Judy Gomoll in Kenya. General Wilson-Haffenden served on the UK board and, at every meeting, he would ask how many churches we had ministered to during the last year.
  91. Norway, Nigeria, England, West Germany, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the Philippines.
  92. N.J. recalls that Ron Oertli quoted John 12:24, that, as it were, the relinquishing of the American text would be succeeded by many locally fruitful versions of the 2:7 concept.
  93. Only the chapter titles and the TMS were retained!
  94. Cooper uses a second metaphor: What was seen, rightly or wrongly, as a “grasshopper” approach was not favored. That this was not only a new or a UK concern is illustrated by a 1967 letter from a pastor in North Carolina who “had felt at times that the Navs were playing with scripture somewhat like they used to deal cards; very short on giving a perspective of the sweep and survey of biblical history.” We must not “perpetuate eccentricities.” See US Archives CDM history: Nav/Church relations.
  95. Source: Interview with Cooper on April 16, 2011.
  96. This ETS series was completed, with ten topics, in 1983.
  97. By the turn of the century, we were holding Asia Church Disciple-Making Conferences (ACDC): first in Singapore in October 2000 with Edmund Chan as our speaker; secondly in October 2004; thirdly in October 2006. Source: Jim Chew.
  98. April 8, 1982. In 1985, Bob Seifert compared ten aspects of the two series.
  99. Letter: Dawson to Sheffield of April 12, 1985.  By then, translations into Korean and Spanish were ready, with Afrikans and Chinese in process.
  100. USLT July 1984, appendix E. In November 1985, the USLT asked that Dawson present the ETS to field directors in each division.
  101. See A variety of publications is available. ETS is now in twenty-five languages.
  102. Based on Bobb to McGilchrist of February 16, 1984.
  103. Northeast-Johnson, Southeast-Cleveland, Midwest-Soderberg, Western-Wilbraham, Pacific-Repko.
  104. Oertli newsletter of December 1984. CDM began in October 1984 and, by the end of 1985, there were twenty-three CDM staff.
  105. By attending a clinic (and being well into the series), people were certified to lead.
  106. For publication in 1987. A further revision, in a smaller book format, appeared in 1999.  The series was fully updated again and published by NavPress in 2011. Within the US, the denomination that has most used the 2:7 is the Assemblies of God. Interview with Oertli on February 27, 2013.
  107. See USLT March 1985 minutes, reviewing Fleming’s memo in appendix G. Dr. Winter’s proposal also sought funds for the USCWM and our help in creating within local churches permanent ongoing mission societies. The USLT decided to send a gift to the center, to inform our field staff about the center and its needs, and to encourage promotion of the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course.
  108. As one alumnus said: “In the back of my mind, I keep hearing this phrase: ‘Don’t get involved with the half-hearted.’” Another said: “I was critical of Christians in the local church. I thought they weren’t spiritual at all.” Another said: “[In the Navs] I learned how to minister to those who really have a heart to grow.”
  109. See March 1985 USLT minutes and appendix M. “Planting” was adjusted in the statement to read “to serve local churches.”  See also article on “The Community Ministry.”
  110. See his local and national US guidelines of March 12, 1985.
  111. Source: November 2011 Interview with Cleveland.
  112. Interview with Denny Repko: January 9, 2013.
  113. March 1986 CDMLT meeting, with Taylor and Fleming in attendance. These notes contain summaries of the CDM scope and arguments for retaining the existing CDM structure. The USLT decided to place the portfolio of CDM at US missions in the hands of Paul Stanley.
  114. Followed by Journey to Fruitful Living and Journey to Focused Living.
  115. The various studies that Rich authored, after testing locally, were published by The Word Among Us (
  116. Conversation with Sanders, April 2014.
  117. See
  118. BEE is an interdenominational missions organization providing seminary-level biblical training to pastors and church leaders who otherwise have no access to biblical education. Founded in 1979 by leaders of twenty missions organizations (including The Navigators) working in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. We were among the five organizations cooperating in writing curriculum. See
  119. After two years of much blessing in Latvia, using ninety-day tourist visas, the Englers were blocked and spent an extra year in Lithuania with a visa which enabled him to keep traveling into Latvia for another year. He comments that the Latvians and Russians mixed, in spite of their normal hostility, because they were so hungry to grow spiritually. Source: Interview with the Englers on June 19, 2015.
  120. Oertli newsletter of November 28, 2010.
  121. Interview with Andersons: January 15, 2012.
  122. Sixty participants from twenty-one countries. The Nussbaums and the Muselman Family Foundation provided valuable financial assistance. In 1996, at Consultation 2, there were 170 participants!
  123. “Dear Staff” letter, August 18, 1986.
  124. ICBI had held a congress on the Bible in March 1982, in San Diego. Of the almost three thousand delegates, some six hundred attended Lorne’s three workshops on “The Dynamics of Effective Discipling.” Paul Drake led a plenary session on prayer. “Dear Staff” letter, May 19, 1982.
  125. “Dear Staff” letter, August 24, 1987.
  126. Source: June 1986 paper for our forum, p. 4-6.
  127. Part 4 of the SRM, p. 79-119.
  128. SRM US version 2.1, released in September 1992, section 5, p. 103-152. Editor: Stacy Rinehart.
  129. This was superseded by a 2016 study sponsored by the IET on Navigating Cross-Cultural Missions in which p. 69-84 on God’s people and discipleship is also relevant.
  130. For a description of Vision 2000 Canada, see “The Canada Model” by Don Moore in GCOWE 95 web archive. By 1995, this Canadian initiative embraced some forty denominations and some sixty agencies. For more detail, see McGilchrist Canada archives.
  131. Source: McGilchrist and others, interview with Andrews, December 2010.
  132. See Sanders’s observations of December 16, 2003.
  133. See notes on the family of God dated January 13, 2003.
  134. Assisted by Christopher Morton: It addressed core issue 2 among six issues which Alan had selected as especially relevant to the US Navigators at that time (not to be confused with our international Core Values).
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