We express our Unified Ministry Direction in a form of a Vision Statement that says “We envision LOVING COMMUNITIES and LABORERS proclaiming the Gospel of God’s Kingdom, leading to the transformation of hearts and lives, families and nations from one geration to another.”
In the heart of our Vision is a CYCLE of ever growing number of LOVING COMMUNITIES and LABORERS . From our exisiting ministries we are organized into Loving Communities, where everyone are slowly transforming into Christlikess. Then we are equipping everyone to become laborers so that they can continue to advance the Gospel. It doesn’t matter whether they will labor in the Navs or in other parts of the Body.
As we labor, we see more lives touched by the Gospel and reconciled with God and added to God’s Kingdom and some will join our loving communities. This new additions will also be transformed, equipped and labor again. We want to see this cycle to continue to grow bigger and bigger from one generation to another not only within the Navs but to the rest of the Body until Jesus comes again.
Our Unified Minstry Direction has two main agenda: building Loving Communities and raising up more generational Laborers. Let us examine the passages that talks about our agenda.
. Biblical Basis of Loving Community
When we organzed ourselves into Loving Communities it is good to have a clear reason why we are doing this. Our Biblical reference for Loving Community is the Great Commandment of our Lord Jesus itself.
“I am giving you a new commandment to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Joh 13:34 -35
It is right to assume that this command was given in the context of a Community of Believers. It was given to His 12 Disciples that earlier Jesus told them to serve one another (John 13) and later prayed for their unity as His group of followers (John 17).
Later these bunch of disciples together with other believers that God added to their numbers daily were meeting at home and in the temple courts. “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” Act 2:46. We see these early believers taking care of one another from the very start until the end of Acts. They continue to live out the Great Commandment.
When the book of Acts turn the lime light to the ministry of Paul and his team we see them continue to gather people who believed in the Gospel in every place they go to preach the Gospel. These group of believers later, were nurtured by Paul and was later called church in certain place like the church in Corinth. All of these are in form of community of believers, some are small, some are medium size and some are big, like the one in Antioch.
Today, we see different forms of this community of believers, some are in the form of local churches, fellowships, cell groups, small groups etc.
In the Navigators we call our groups of believers as Loving Communities. We call our small group Small Biblical Community (SBC), our group with similar identities like student, young professional etc. as Entity Loving Community (ELC) and everybody in a local ministry area as Permanent Loving Community (PLC).
There is no special verses for SBC, ELC and PLC . This is just the way we want to describe our groupings and the way we organize ourselves based on the nature of our ministry. What is important is we have these communities where we express the Body of Christ, where everyone are experiencing transformation as we obey the Great Commandment and do the task that God called us to do.
The implications of the Great Commandment are very similar to the characteristics of the Loving Communites that we see in our Unified Ministry Direction.
1. “…LOVE ONE ANOTHER…” – BEING COMMUNAL
We understand that this command is not just telling our brethren “I love you brother! or I love you sister!” but this is more than words that we say. Later John explained how this should be done.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1Jn 3:16-18
Portion of our Unified Ministry Direction says ” We envision LOVING communities...” This communal characteristics of the community should be happening in our SBC’s and in the bigger Loving communities, the Entity Loving Community (ELC) and the Permanent Loving Community (PLC).
2. “…JUST AS I HAVE LOVED YOU…”. – BEING TRANSFORMATIONAL
Jesus wants us to love as He does. We know that at the onset, we can not do it by ourselves, the only hope we have is when we are transformed to be like Jesus. So in our Loving Communities we should be studying the Word of God and seek to obey and apply it in our lives and in the community. We believe that the Word of God is the main agent of transformation.
We are discovering and knowing Jesus more and more as we study, memorize and discuss the Word of God. There are encouragement, exhortations, corrections and even loving rebukes that are happening as we study and apply the Word of God together.
We connect our present situation to the Word of God. We learn to obey together and even struggle together.
Then we always pray for His Kingdom to come in our midst, we pray together for one another and for others. We want to see God alive and very much involve in each in everyone of us. We believe that these prayers also transforms us because when we pray we put ourselves in the very presence of God.
We want to see the fruit of the Spirit being manifested in our lives, then we can say that we are being transformed into the likeness of our Lord Jesus. We call this the transformational characteristics of our communities.
Portion of our Unified Ministry Direction says “.… leading to the transformation of hearts and lives, families and nations..”
3. “…THIS IS HOW EVERYONE WILL KNOW…” – BEING MISSIONAL
The loving community that Jesus wants from His Disciples are not just for their own benefits, BUT it is also for others to know. Jesus wants the people next to us to know. These people are in our network of relationships, family members, office mates, classmates, friends, neighbors and even strangers who do not know Jesus as their personal Lord and savior yet.
When the people next to us will see what is happening in our Community they would desire to join because the like what they see. and when we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, they would see it attractive because they see its effects in out lives and our community.
So we do not build loving communities just for us but it is actually a venue where together we can continue to advance the Good News of God’s Kingdom. This is the missional characteristics of our loving community.
Portion of our Unified Ministry Direction says “...proclaming the the Gospel of God’s Kingdom…”
4. “… YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES… ” – BEING GENERATIONAL.
Jesus wants to display to the world that we are His diciples. He wants the world to know what He did to us. How He saved us and is transforming us into His likeness.
Within our loving communities, discipleship must be happening. After sharing the Gospel to someone we immediately help him get established in his faith so that the process of transformation can continue as he joins a community and slowly equipping him so that he will also get involve in advancing the Kingdom together with the rest of the Body.
The loving commnity therefore should get involve in 3 E’s, the very thing that we are doing as we partner with God in raising up laborers. Evangelism, Establishing and Equipping. As we continue to this process we are praying that there will be a continuous flow of laborers that will come out in our communities from generation to generation. Laboring not only in the Navigators but for the rest of the Body. This is the generational characteristics of our loving communities.
Portion of our Unified Minstry Direction says ” ...Laborers…from one generation to another.”
The Bibilcal Basis of Laborers
Our Calling says ” To advance the Gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom into the nations through spiritual generations of LABORERS, living and discipling among the lost.”
Our calling is the reason why the Navigators exist. Our founder, Dawson Trotman saw the need to help peole find Jesus and grow in his faith. Then later he and the next leaders saw that the real need are Laborers who can help people find Jesus and grow in their relationship with Him and equip them to do the same.
There are two passages in the Bible that serve as the bases of our calling. The first one is when Jesus moved by compassion for the crowd. In this passage we see the tremendous need for Laborers.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out laborers into his harvest field.” Mat 9:36-38
The second basis of our calling is the Great Commission itself, where Jesus commissioned the same group of people that He earlier gave His Great Commandment.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mat 28:18-20
This passage is deeply rooted into the plan of God which He revealed to Abraham to blessed all the nations on earth with His ultimate blessing who is Jesus.
So, let’s be passionate in pursuing our unified ministry direction. Let’s get involve. Let us pray for it, Let us find a loving community or let’s start building one. In the campuses, in the marketplaces, in communities and in your churches.
If you feel we can not do it alone because of gifting, then let’s find a partner or team up with others so that we can start a small loving community. Let’s offer to the Lord whatever gifts, talents, skills and resources the Lord has entrusted to you and let Him use it for the advancement of His Kingdom in the context of Loving community. Then let these loving communities get involve in raising up more laborers that God can send into the harvest.