Summary: From the beginning, Navigators have had the world on our hearts. Where should we focus and why? This article follows the increasing depth of our engagement with foreign cultures. Companion articles explore our understanding of the nations: our systems for allocating resources among competing cross-cultural needs, our emerging contextualization. Then, an article on “The Fundamentals of Navigator Missions” looks at how our principles and practices were sharpened in response to the rising diversity stimulated by our evolution into a Worldwide Partnership.
Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.
Navigator Origins and the Nations
Changes Under Lorne Sanny’s Leadership
Surge of Sending, Well-Being of Missionaries
Strengthening Our World Vision, 1970s
Assessing, Allocating, and Preparing Missionaries
Developing a US Missions Strategy
Non-American Cross-Cultural Missions
Missiology and Navigator Missions, 1990s
Navigator Origins and the Nations
From the beginning in 1931, Dawson Trotman was claiming God’s promises in prayer. With his friend Walt Stanton, he had laid down sustained prayer outward into the nations. Isaiah 49:6 was a specific statement that infused his heart for all of humanity.1
However, he was much occupied with ministries among school children and, increasingly, with work among navy personnel. It was not until near the end of World War II that his heart for the nations could be activated. What is believed to be his earliest published article2 appeared at the end of 1944, entitled “America’s Responsibility in the Post-War World.” He laid out the need: “There are 2,700 nations, countries, or tribes in the world, each having a different language. So far, the Bible, or portions of it, has been translated into only a little over a thousand languages.” The task, he wrote, was:
- Getting missionaries ready
- Sending missionaries to the field
- Enabling missionaries to stay on the field
After supporting these three objectives with many scriptures, he ended with a stirring appeal: “Oh, Christian, what is our obligation? It is to go all out for the Lord Jesus by helping to deliver the peoples of the world from the clutches of the deadly enemy of souls.”
When WWII ended, 1946 to 1948 were years of readjustment and realignment for The Navigators. Nav principles were drawn out from the Word and defined. It was a time of great struggle and misapplication on the part of some. Finances were very low. Dawson’s trip around the world crystallized and climaxed the thinking, prayer and trauma of those three post-war years.
Roy Robertson was the first missionary to go out as a Navigator, leaving by ship for China at the end of 1948. Roy had three priorities: a strong devotional life, ministry, language. This sequence carried him forward during his time in Shanghai. He was able to stay there for around eighteen months and reported that 1,200 individuals had become involved in Bible studies and scripture memory. He had seven key men whom he trained. Toward the end of 1950, Trotman asked Roy to leave China. Had it been a few days later, he might well have been imprisoned.3 Roy then worked on follow up in Formosa (Taiwan) and undertook a similar program in Japan under Dave Morken of Youth for Christ.4
In the US, those leaving the military were scattering in all directions. Thus, in the absence of a strong summons to our organization, churches asked for some of our best men, and agencies requested trained men. We gave or loaned to many.5 In fact, we pushed them out. Thus, because most of our best people were serving directly with other missions, there was no need for an overseas coordinator.
The first Log published after World War II was devoted to recommending Christian works into which our men could be channeled.6
However, Daws came back from his world trip in 1948 with an illustration he called the Big Dipper,7 a summary of what God had been teaching him and laying on his heart. He had composed his outline by looking at the pattern of the stars, while in Paris.
Daws declared, “I really believe we should start beating our drum on what God has laid on our hearts.”8 What he had seen as he traveled convinced him of the great need for our particular emphases.9
Our vision was sharpened and confirmed. However, we were also discovering that various agencies wanted us to conform to their principles rather than to pursue our calling through those we had loaned to them.
Sanny later10 recalled that we still resisted becoming our own missions11 agency. “We fought it.” Indeed, we offered an “allocations service” to help ex-GIs find the right agency or place of ministry. Scores of men filled out the allocation questionnaire and were given personal counsel by Daws as to their future. He steered them to Wycliffe, Africa Inland Mission, China Inland Mission, and other boards that were in need of qualified laborers. Some examples:
- Bill and Jeanette Fletcher settled in the UK in 1950 to assist evangelists in follow-up and correspondence courses and were then loaned to Missionary Internship in Detroit (1954) after which Bill became field secretary for the Christian Servicemen’s Centers of Greater Europe.
- Doug Sparks moved to Formosa in 1951 to support Overseas Crusades, then to Kenya in 1956, then appointed as our Europe director based in The Hague, in 1959.
- Noel Nelson ministered from April 1961 in West Pakistan (Lyallpur), serving two years with the United Presbyterian Mission.
- Don Hardy served in Singapore with Youth for Christ.
- Dan Piatt, who was our Europe Director until summer 1958, was then loaned to the Graham organization as associate director of follow-up.12
- George Sanchez moved to Costa Rica in August 1957 after five years with HCJB. He assisted Ken Strachan in training classes for Evangelism in Depth, beginning in Nicaragua.
- The Murks were loaned to Missionary Internship in 1957.
Nevertheless, a combination of our fuller vision (as seen in the Big Dipper illustration) and the tensions of trying to pursue this vision through other agencies and the sheer immensity of the needs throughout the world precipitated our decision to send out men under our own flag.
A faith-filled commitment was announced at our Star Ranch staff conference in 1952. Six pioneers13 were to be sent as missionary Navigators with no arranged commitments to serve other agencies:
- Byron Ryals (Yokusuka)
- Dick Scott (Tokyo)
- Warren Myers (Hong Kong)
- Waldron Scott (Cyprus)
- Jake Combs (Formosa)
- Doug Cozart (India)
It was the custom in the early 1950s to announce personnel changes at our annual seminars. In June 1953, for example, some eighty such changes were announced without distinguishing home and overseas assignments. This surprisingly large number included transfers to Glen Eyrie and promotions from assistant to area leader. More significant for the roots of our cross-cultural missions was the accompanying statement from Daws:
As we realize what God has done in the last four and a half years since our first foreign representative, Roy Robertson, went to China, with the second one, Rohrer, going three years ago and now some twenty-eight representatives abroad, we might have reason to sit back and feel that much has been accomplished. And yet it wasn’t so long ago that I told many of you I wouldn’t even begin to start to commence to be satisfied until we had seen basic Nav NT principles operating successfully in two hundred separate areas of the world. It is not on my heart to pray that this will be accomplished immediately, but that we will move steadily in this direction. I believe a basic plan of God is to allow His soldiers to gain only the ground which can be held after it is once gained . . .14
Influential Books and Articles, 1950s
Roy Robertson wrote a fascinating paper in 1954 on “Basic Principles of Missions.”15 He took relevant principles from Roland Allen’s seminal work.16 Allen had noted how the apostle Paul established fellowships among four centers of influence: Roman, Greek, Jewish, commercial, but that his drive to go where Christ had not yet been preached caused him “to by-pass” some of the chief cities.17 Roy makes clear applications from Allen in terms of what we had so far done and should in future do. Indigeneity is given a thorough treatment, and Roy sheds light on the likely success of what we and others were pursuing. At that time, one focus for us was the individual training of “Timothies” and Roy ends with five current examples, telling the story of each:
- Stan Harries (France)
- Walter Lawrence (England)
- Ito San (Japan)
- Stephen and Nancy Jung (Hong Kong)
- Lily Lin (Formosa)
Roy’s paper is valuable in that it shows a breadth of understanding of missions, especially in Asia, even though it would be several years before we began extensive debate in our first Overseas Policy Conference.
Also, in 1954, Daws was strongly influenced by an article by R. E. Thompson on “The Preparation of Accepted Candidates for the Mission Field.” Thompson’s observations included:
The mission fields of the world have proved to be places of physical, mental, and spiritual testing. . . . The greatest strain is in the realm of the spiritual. . . . Nationalism in many lands is a factor the missionary has to accept. Indeed it has to be admitted that there is often a deep-seated aversion in the east to those of us from the west. . . . The day of the supremacy of the white man in Asia has passed. . . . My share is, under the direction of God’s Spirit through the ministry of the Word, to lead the (missionary) candidate into a deeper experience of Jesus Christ as his Life, so that there may be growth towards spiritual maturity. . . . We should have evidence here at home that a candidate is a witness before we are justified in allowing him to go forward. . . . We are preparing men and women to live Christ.
Daws recommended Thompson’s paper for study and observed that, “One of the main reasons for securing Glen Eyrie is to provide a training center to carry out some of the same objectives. . . . Not everyone who comes to Glen Eyrie will be going to the foreign field, but we believe the training for full-time workers and lay workers would be similar to that of missionary candidates and similar weakness will show up.”18
Sanny’s thoughts in 1960 have a similar cast:
New personnel going overseas need to be experienced and mature. Responsibility in one or two state-side areas is advisable after Glen training before an overseas assignment. The Navigators have a reputation far above our production. We cannot start quietly. . . . We are supposed to be specialists. Therefore, production is expected immediately. The average missionary is generally free from intense ministry and social pressures his first term on the field. This is not true of a Navigator representative; therefore, greater maturity and experience are needed before going to the field. . . . Another growing conviction with me is that our people must concentrate on the language if they are to build disciples.19
It was at the 1960 staff conference in Hong Kong that Sanny became persuaded that learning the languages of the receiving peoples would render our progress faster and deeper. Unfortunately, very few of us had the linguistic gifts of William Carey who wrote: “It is well known to require no very extraordinary talents to learn, in the space of a year or two at most, the language of any people upon earth, so much of it, at least, so as to be able to convey any sentiments we wish to their understandings.”20
During our first twelve years of sending missionaries internationally (1948-1960), we had generally assumed that the ministry could be done in English. This worked, partly because we were largely functioning as a service organization, helping other agencies and churches in the area of the Nav basics.
Language, of course, was only one vital component of culture. For example, when Jim Petersen began in Brazil in 1963, he tried to replicate the ministry techniques he had practiced successfully in the US, but they did not work. A generation later, Travis and others in Argentina tried to replicate what had subsequently proved successful in Brazil, but it did not work! Gradually, we were learning other aspects of what later became known as contextualization. (See separate article titled “Contextualizing.”)
Changes Under Lorne Sanny’s Leadership
Primarily, when Sanny took over in 1956, the philosophy of the overseas work was still mass follow-up. In 1957, he and Rod Sargent traveled around the world21 and concluded that our work was not effective in producing men. So, we pulled out of Formosa (Taiwan) and ended our involvement with Overseas Crusades. Back in the US, Eims was influencing our ministry to focus on universities, on evangelism, and on recruiting “good men” out of grassroots ministry. This emphasis gradually spread overseas.
Sanny appointed Doug Sparks to be our first overseas coordinator (1956-1958), succeeded by Waldron Scott. During the next few years, the responsibilities of the embryonic overseas department were handled by a senior furloughing missionary until 1962 when George Sanchez assumed the role on a more permanent basis. When Bob Hopkins returned from West Germany in 1966, he took on the duties which eventually evolved into the job of international personnel administrator.22
Jim Downing directed the servicemen’s work and was our business manager in 1960. During that period, Nav men worked primarily with servicemen in nineteen US areas as well as three bases in Germany and one base in Italy. Meanwhile, Chuck Farah coordinated leadership training programs at the Glen.
Charles (Bud) Adamson was the first Glen trainee to go overseas, spending four years in Hong Kong.23
Our ambivalence lasted through the 1950s. On the one hand, we continued to serve other agencies; on the other, we sent our own, often nominally attached to existing agencies. Daws also committed us to what became a huge investment in the Graham crusades.24
Our work in the Middle East began in September 1960 when the Waldron Scott family established a home in the mountain town of Zahle, Lebanon. Scotty took a position teaching English at a high school sponsored by the local Armenian church (Presbyterian). The work began rather slowly; it was fifteen months before fellows began turning to the Lord. “At the end of four years, we had about a dozen fellows who seemed to be down to business for the Lord.”25 He returned in 1974 to teach a seminar on indigeneity which resulted in a decision to learn Arabic in order to reach hearts and minds in the Middle East.
Overseas Policy Conference 1961
In 1961, our first and seminal Overseas Policy Conference (OPC) debated our missions strategy.26 The overseas leaders around Sanny for this exhaustive and exhausting gathering which lasted for three weeks were: Rod Sargent, Roy Robertson, George Sanchez, Bob Boardman, Doug Sparks, Waldron Scott. One refreshing aspect, given our later tendency to veer towards a certain insularity, was that the first series of OPC sessions explored God’s overall objective for the world. After several days of discussion, we summarized this as:
- Calling out a people for His name (Acts 15:14)
- Consolidating . . . building them into a habitation for God (the Church) (Ephesians 2:21-22)
- Conforming the called-out to Christ’s image (Ephesians 1:12)
We went on to establish a biblical basis for a fellowship of people outside the organized church. While recognizing that the (organized, local) church is God’s chief means of accomplishing His objective, we saw scriptural grounds for a fellowship of people (e.g. The Navigators) called to a specific purpose outside the organized church, but noted that, because there is one Lord and one Spirit, there should be some relationship between these two aspects, namely local congregations and specialized fellowships.27
Out of this flowed a description of how The Navigators fits into God’s overall objective, what the objective of The Navigators should be; specifically, what should it be during the next ten years. We settled at the OPC on affirming that our objective “in the next ten years is to demonstrate producing reproducers in the countries where we decide to operate.”28
Important consequences flowed out of this objective.
Prominent was a double recognition: that our Reps had diverse gifts, as is true of the entire Body of Christ, and that consequently we needed to move towards missionary teams: “If only one or two members of a needed team of four to six men are present in a strategic area, they must double and triple their output and often fulfill a ministry that is not their specialty . . . . This can be a waste of specific gifts, and can and probably has led to frustration and accompanying discouragement.”
The discussion explored whether entering “key”29 countries was primarily to position ourselves for the next decade (the 1970s) or for the direct impact on our aim during the 1960s of “producing reproducers.” These are, of course, not mutually exclusive but the various opinions reveal us feeling our way forward in the face of far more opportunities than we could meet. However, one thing was clear: “We cannot continue to expand into all the countries of the world from Glen Eyrie. . . . We will have to produce reproducers in other nations to carry on this job. The cultural aspect is a heavy factor . . . .”30
We were on a steep learning curve. Recognizing this meant that we would be wise “to concentrate more personnel in key areas,” the OPC leaders zeroed in on five factors that move a place towards being such an area:
- Geographical location
- Size, population, language
- Political stability
- State of the national church
- Potential outreach from that people
For us, this was quite radical. Indeed, the first problem was that “we have not done it this way before.” Instead, we have acted as if “having a man or a couple in a country with our particular vision means that country is occupied.” The echoes of this debate—what is an occupied country—would still be discernible a generation later.
In 1961, however, this was so new that the OPC leaders identified such questions as:
- Choice between entering with a correspondence course or as trainers of men
- Implication that we may have to acquire property
- Fewer countries, which may not sound as good to the public (!)
- Should we continue to wait for invitations?
Because of our investment of resources in various countries, there were strong currents of opinion as to how much to regroup and concentrate. This was exacerbated by the recognition that we had sometimes moved missionaries too frequently. As the discussion became more emotional, the men went to prayer.
The decision of this conference in 1961 to demonstrate producing reproducers in selected countries, to be practitioners more than preachers as regards spiritual reproduction, set the stage for the 1960s. By 1962, twenty out of forty-nine American Reps were serving overseas.31
This OPC was the natural venue for starting to identify our priorities worldwide. We dealt only with what appeared to be the most strategic32 countries to focus on during the next decade, without assigning a sequence. Nevertheless, it was the start of what would evolve by the 1970s into a complex scale. As we saw it in 1961, the countries for occupation in the 1960s are shown below
- Europe: England, Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Netherlands, Southern Europe
- Africa: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Northern Rhodesia
- Asia: Japan, Hong Kong, India, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore
- Latin America: Costa Rica, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina
The next step was to clarify some guidelines that would help us determine our geographic priorities, given that the above list of countries was in no particular sequence. The Overseas Directors Conference (ODC) of 1964 agreed on ten such guidelines:
- English language
- Christian heritage
- Grow out from our centers of operation
- Characteristics and history of the people to be disciple
- Potential for expanding to other parts of the world
- Workable pools of manpower
- Receptivity to the Navs
- Areas in which God is already working
- Personal call to a Nav staff member
At the same time, we affirmed again that we will “grow our own” rather than recruit from Bible colleges or seminaries. And, importantly, that we would not normally expand into new countries until we are at least three deep in the countries where we were now operating.33
Realistically, we also developed in 1964 some guidelines for determining when to withdraw from a country, organizationally.34
The final innovation, at the 1964 ODC, was to decide how many Reps were needed in each strategic country: no names yet, but the numbers seen as required added up to forty-two men and eight women, plus a secretary for our Europe HQ.
Criteria for Entering Countries
On what basis should we enter a country? Robertson recalled in 1961 that, until he entered China, we believed that we should enter under other missions.35 However, in 1948, Daws had interviewed TEAM36 and CIM37 and found them too inflexible for accomplishing our Navigator objectives within their societies, and thus the first Nav Reps were sent out. Then, urged on by Clyde Taylor38 in 1954, we swung toward entering as The Navigators. However, we continued to depend largely on invitations, first from other missions agencies and then also from national churches.
Jim Downing observed at the 1961 Overseas Policy Conference that we had been connected with national churches but not “ruled” by them: We must preserve liberty to work with students or the military, he said. Sanny added that, when we entered under the auspices of other organizations to help them evangelize and also to train our own people, our “desire to help had been misinterpreted.” For example, Dan Piatt was told that we “infiltrate” other organizations, and Cec Davidson was told that we proselytize among servicemen at the servicemen’s centers.39
The conclusion of the 1961 OPC was that we should in future enter countries under our own name, closely related to the church but with freedom to develop our own ministry.
In the five years leading up to the OPC, we had moved in the Orient from operating almost entirely under Orient Crusades and Youth for Christ to where we were strictly on our own.40
At this point, it may be helpful to mention the foundational promises from the book of Isaiah that were claimed by both Trotman and Sanny, especially in relation to our progress into the nations. They were: Isaiah 42:6-8; 43:4-7; 45:11-14; 54:1-3; 58:12; 60:22.
Surge of Sending, Well-Being of Missionaries
The determination of the OPC to push forward into the nations was accompanied in the field by a surge in sending in 1960. Twelve new missionaries were sent to join the seven who were still on the field. Thus, in one year, the missionary force of The Navigators more than doubled.
As 1960 ended, we had twenty career missionaries (nineteen men, one woman) on the field. From 1961 to 1970, forty-five new career missionaries (including one woman) were sent while twelve returned, leaving a total of fifty-three on the field at the end of 1970, a decadal growth rate of 165 percent.41
In addition, we launched our international trainee program, beginning in 1966. These were to be young single disciple-makers sent as short-term missionaries on two or three-year assignments.42 By the end of 1970, a total of thirteen had been sent. International Trainees supported our long-term missionary Reps. By the early 1980s, ITs accounted for 34 percent of our American missionary force but only 13 percent of our American missionary budget. This very successful program lasted through the 1980s.
During the 1960s, as the volume of requests for new cross-cultural missionaries continued to expand, our overseas directors clarified their assumptions, confident that it was possible to identify strategic locations and needs. Most importantly, they decided, we were committed to using teams, adequately led and able eventually themselves to raise up people and resources for the nations. We dreamed of many “sending bases” and missionaries of many nationalities.
But how did we prioritize, in light of the above assumptions? By 1968, we were using nine guidelines, somewhat refined since 1964. Among the most influential were:
- Areas in which God is visibly working already (which implied surveys)
- Accessibility (which we would later extend)
- Likely capacity of a country, evidenced by such factors as population, GDP per capita, education, responsiveness
This exercise, given much prayerful debate, helped us conclude that during the next fifteen years we would seek to enter:
- Australia – 1967
- Finland – 1970
- Spain – 1970
- Ghana – 1973
- Argentina – 1973
- Venezuela – 1975
- Zimbabwe – 1984
- Zaire – 1985
- Colombia – 1985
- Taiwan – 1971
- France – 1972
- Iran – 1973
- Egypt – 1975
- India – 1976
- Italy – 1984
- Chile – 1985
- Pakistan – 1993
- Morocco – 1994
The above countries are arranged in the sequence in which we entered, with the actual years of entry shown. So, starting with Finland in 1970, we did indeed enter ten of the eighteen “strategic” countries within the space of fifteen years,43 from 1968.
Up to the end of the 1960s, all decisions on placing new missionaries were made at international headquarters.
The underlying assumption was that, in order to advance into the nations, the US Navigators should continue to focus on the sending of missionaries. Thus, at the end of the 1960s, we find that “the primary objective for the American ministries should continue to be the production of representatives and money for the worldwide work of The Navigators.”44 This is a significant statement. It views the US Navs as a production unit for the rest of the world. While this function was indeed imperative, the outworking of such demands did cause occasional tensions between the requesting countries and the US. Understandably so, given the caliber of new missionaries that were sometimes requested.
However, our movement into new countries was actually much more energetic. In 1967, as we entered Australia, we already had ministries in twenty-one countries and, during the coming fifteen years, we also entered another nineteen countries that were not “planned” as of 1968.45
There are also a few countries from which we had to withdraw, owing to factors such as governmental hostility (Uganda, 1973), or the death of our leader (Iran, 1977).
In any case, the net result was that we were ministering in fifty countries by the end of 1982. This date is also significant, because it heralded the fiftieth anniversary of The Navigators in 1983. We will discover that the central idea of our “Strategy for the 70s” was “to position Nav staff in key places around the world by 1983 so as to enable us to make a truly significant impact for Christ on our world by the year 2000.”
This sounds impressive, and so it was in terms of sacrificial energy and commitment. However, all was not well with our missions program. One alarming reality highlights this: Eighty new missionaries were sent by the US Navs between 1974 and 1982, but eighty-one returned, with many of them defeated, depleted, and disillusioned. It became painfully clear that Representatives were being sent with little attention given to their calling, gifting, or other qualifications that would equip them to serve overseas.46
Waldron Scott’s Long-Range Objectives
Waldron Scott had submitted a visionary paper to the November 1966 Overseas Directors Conference on “Our Long-Range Objectives for a Given Country or Culture.” Specifically, he thought about where God might lead us during the coming twenty-five years ending in 1991. He summarized our basic objectives for a country as a Nav ministry that was genuine, indigenous, and related:
- Genuine: The work should be identifiable and recognizable in its patterns and organization to other Navigators.
- Indigenous: It should be self-sustaining, able to carry on by itself when necessary, reflecting the special features of the culture of that country.47
- Related: It should in no way be isolated from other Nav works, but tied to the worldwide fellowship of the Navs.
In what might be seen as a dream of the enabling Global Society, which we fashioned in the 1980s, Scotty wrote:
Our overall structure must be flexible. Rules and regulations will have to be kept to a minimum, and we need to resist the temptation to make the methods and practices of the Navs in one area of the world (which have grown out of their special history and culture) the standard for other areas. . . . There will be alternate ways of relating to The Navigators International, as well as to the Church. . . . This should not spell anarchy. We should be able, under God, to foresee and anticipate most of these possible alternatives and to discipline our thinking, as well as structure our organization, in such a way as to maintain the above balance.48
Strengthening World Vision, 1970s
In February 1969,49 the newly developed US regions were consolidated into three divisions under the leadership of LeRoy Eims, Jack Mayhall and Skip Gray. The “sponsorship” of cross-cultural missionaries was divided among them according to the geographical division from which they had originally been sent. Such sponsorship, at least in theory, included full responsibility for the sending and care of US missionaries. By the end of the 1960s, all but one of our overseas representatives were still Americans, but a decade later, 25 percent of such missionaries were non-Americans.50
Sanny’s presentation on planning to his divisional directors in November 1969 declared that our keyword for the 1970s would be “sending” and affirmed again that “all the world” embraced cultures, races, nationalities, languages. For that period, this was a perceptive understanding of ta ethne, the nations.
Three Stages: Development, Sending, Impact
Our zeal for world vision was accelerated in the 1970s by both internal and external forces. Internally, Scott’s “Strategy for the 70s”51 had an energizing bias in favor of ministry from rather than to (in the sense of within) the US. In light of the desperate needs of a lost world, and the favored position in which God was seen to have placed the US, one could almost view our ministries within the US as merely a means to an end: discipling in our Jerusalems would raise up laborers for the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).52 Doug Sparks took a less aggressive position, but was at one with Scott in pressing the US for men and women of capacity. However, it was always accepted that, eventually, our US ministry would be able to concentrate on stage 3.
Because of the importance of this framework of three stages, I’ll quote Scott’s description of the stages, which had already been in use for several years,53 from the first chapter of his “Strategy for the 70s”:
The first stage we may label Development. The overriding object in this stage is to create a situation where disciple-makers are being produced on a sustained basis.
The second stage might be called Sending. In this stage, the region or country producing men regularly is expected to contribute a high percentage of its men (that is, of those of its men called to work full time with The Navigators) to the international work with a view to establishing a worldwide staff. Parenthetically, we may note here that Navigator staff are not recruited, for the most part, from Christian seminaries or Bible institutes. We “grow our own.” We believe God has called us to produce more laborers for the harvest, not simply to utilize laborers developed by other institutions.
The third stage we will designate Impact. Having contributed its “share” of men to the international ministry, a country may be released, as it were, to bring the bulk of its resources to bear on its own society, perhaps in cooperation with churches and other organizations.
It may be argued that the second and third stages should be inverted—that The Navigators should attempt to make an impact on a large scale in a given area before moving out to the ends of the earth. There is some precedent for this approach in the book of Acts. But we face a different situation today. . . . Sound strategy today requires not one, but many centers of evangelical outreach—not one but many “home bases” for the world mission. This is one of the chief reasons we have given priority to establishing a worldwide network of Navigators.54
Externally, the 1974 Lausanne Congress55 brought the needs of the nations into focus, nations understood not as countries but as ethno-linguistic peoples. Especially influential was Dr. Winter’s paper on “The Highest Priority: Cross-cultural Evangelism.” Soon after, Dr. Winter was our guest at our International Council.56
The “Strategy for the 70s,” as quoted here, “was the first comprehensive attempt at surveying the whole world and developing a strategy and priority for placement of Navigator missionaries. Every country was given a priority rating by assessing the variables that seem significant and important to our ability to develop a fruitful ministry. The guiding strategic concept introduced was the development of “sending countries.”57
In order to try to gauge which countries would be the most likely to become sending countries, the strategy scored every country according to the sum of fourteen criteria58 which, as shown below, earned a maximum of either five or ten points. Thus:
- 5 Population
- 5 Contiguity
- 5 Universities 1,000-10,000
- 5 Christians
- 5 Universities 10,000+
- 10 Religion
- 10 Training
- 10 Politics
- 5 Alternatives
- 10 Culture
- 10 GNP per capita
- 10 Experience
- 5 Constituency
- 10 Zonal
This exercise yielded a notional maximum score of 110 points. The resultant scores showed the ten countries with the highest number of points to be:
- USA: 103
- Canada : 89
- Great Britain: 87
- Australia: 80
- Netherlands: 78
- Sweden: 78
- New Zealand: 75
- Mexico: 75
- Singapore: 74
- Japan: 72
This “Strategy for the 70s” was prepared in support of our corporate aim for the 1970s, namely, “to create a broad enough base geographically and deep enough in personnel and support to carry the Navigator ministry into every nation of the world in the 1980s.”
Resonating with this corporate aim, the purpose of Scotty’s strategy was “to position Navigator staff in sufficient numbers in key places around the world by 1983 to enable us to establish self-sustaining disciple-making ministries in every nation by the year 2000.”59
No strategy is written in a vacuum. Scotty provided ample context in support of what he believed we were called to do cross-culturally in the years ahead. The opening chapter of his strategy rehearses the challenges facing us in light of our commitment to the nations:
- Western cultures increasingly “sensate”
- Threat of nuclear holocaust
- Rapid increase in population
- Communism, a Christian heresy
- Virulent nationalism
As a consequence of the 1972 strategy, there was a surge of new missionary sending and the opening of new countries during 1973-1974. However, the pressure to send missionaries was so intense that resistance set in. The rating scales and timetables in Scott’s strategy were gradually relinquished and the guidelines were no longer operative by the end of 1974. The worldwide inflation spiral set off by the oil crisis in 1973 compounded the stress upon our missions program. The decision by President Richard Nixon to “float” the US dollar in 1973 also had an impact.
Sanny pointed out during the December 1973 Corporate Planning Conference that “we pay for a missionary three times: the obvious cost of his ministry, the cost of the position he has left, the cost of furlough, travel, etc. . . . As a result, much of this productive time is lost.”60
He also declared a moratorium on entering new countries for three years, starting in October 1974, so that we might focus on strengthening ministries in those countries to which we were already committed. At the same time, a new “allocation system” was introduced, more pragmatic and flexible than Scott’s projections and more sensitive to the actual capacity of the US and other sending countries.61
Nevertheless, the crisis which had its origins in the early 1970s was upon us.
The slippage in our net sending in the late 1970s flowed out of the idealistic, indeed grandiose, projections and targets that we had sought to meet. In the table below (click on the link), for example, is the pattern for American men who served as missionary Reps and CS.62
Never before had we gone into reverse, in our zeal for the nations. The premature or ill-chosen sending of quite a few missionaries who lacked cross-cultural skills was a mark of the early 1970s (especially 1972 to 1975) that came back to haunt us a few years later as they returned home discouraged after only one term on the field. During the above three periods, the sending of single women ranged from 0.6 to 1.4 per year. The size of our female missionary force excluding wives was essentially static.
In his report to the April 1979 International Leadership Team, McGilchrist summarized experience to date in the 1970s and noted that a US Missions Council was being formed under the leadership of Jack Mayhall as acting human resources manager. By then, the need was acute.63 A small committee including George Sanchez and Lorne Sanny worked with McGilchrist in summarizing what they perceived as the primary reasons for American representatives who had returned between January 1970 and August 1978. Thus:
- Straightforward: 20 (38 percent)
- Call/Philosophy: 6 (11 percent)
- Immature/Ineffective: 22 (42 percent)
- Conflict: 5 (9 percent)
- All: 53 (100 percent)
Church Growth Movement
The sponsorship of our missionaries by our divisional directors persisted, although the spread of field directors64 within the US and the increase in missionaries meant that the support given by sponsors to Americans overseas varied according to the degree of interest and was often tenuous. Our diminishing performance was explicitly recognized in 1980 as our leaders formulated strategic imperative 5: “We must improve our selection, orientation and placement of missionaries in obedience to our Lord’s command to go to every nation” (Acts 13:1-3).65
During the 1970s, evangelical agencies placed increasing emphasis on the extent, insofar as it could be measured, to which peoples were responsive or resistant to the Gospel. The influence of the Church Growth Movement was very strong. The aspect that could have influenced us the most was expressed by Dr. McGavran as: “Test the soils . . . identify the resistant homogeneous units . . . focus on the responsive units.” But it did not, because we were suspicious of homogeneous units, except as a social reality, and because our strategy was not simply to go first to the most responsive peoples.
Our “Strategy for the 70s” had used as many as fourteen criteria in assessing which countries might have the most potential for developing and sending missionaries. Our focus, as a transnational organization, was on adding to our sending countries. We were not seeking to plant local churches. However, the energy and innovation of the Church Growth Movement was active in the background to our ministry.66
Also in the 1970s, we gave focused attention to international students, first in the US and later more widely as we found this to be a responsive segment.67
Assessing, Allocating, and Preparing Missionaries
By 1978, Waldron Scott was serving as general secretary of the World Evangelical Fellowship. At a congress in Southeast Asia, he delivered a fruitful series of five talks68 on “Biblical Foundations of Missions and Evangelism.” These covered the Old Testament, the Gospels, the New Testament and went on to discuss the “Gospel in its Environment and Cooperation in Missions & Evangelism.”
It is important also to note a thoughtful study by Ian John on how Australia could develop into a strong sending country. He makes recommendations on selecting, recruiting, training, sending of laborers. He concludes that disciple-making in any culture will not achieve its full potential when the ministry patterns used are not indigenous to that culture. This was a solid and instructive paper.69
During his stint as PAN director, Scott sought to expand the horizons of our staff. Deciding, for example, that he should acquaint them with the general field of cultural anthropology and help them apply insights, he organized a Southeast Asia development seminar70 in September 1970 on crossing cultural frontiers. Participants were supplied in advance with The Church and Cultures by Louis Luzbetak. Daily lectures were given by Ann Wee from the University of Singapore. The general sense, apparently, in assessing the value of the seminar was that our knowledge was increasing faster than our ability to apply what we were learning.
Meanwhile, Warren Myers was outlining from his experience best practice for “Selecting Overseas Personnel.”71 He dealt with spiritual and natural qualities, expanding especially on the latter which he saw as sensitivity, flexibility, emotional maturity, physical and emotional capacity, language aptitude. These are “a matter of natural make-up and background, a blend of heredity and development, and they seem rather firmly set by the time one is twenty-five to thirty-years old.”
By 1978, we had sent potential American missionaries to the Toronto Institute of Linguistics (TIL) for some six years. Fifty-five Nav staff (husbands and wives) had gone through the one-month course whose “central purpose is to help people join another community through learning its language and culture.”72
It emerged that we had erred by presenting TIL as a selection tool instead of an instructional tool. This had led us to put staff through TIL at least one year before potential overseas assignment, thus dissipating much of TIL’s benefits in the early years of motivation to learn, tools and techniques, confidence in one’s success. TIL staff pointed out that we tend to send people to linguistically easy countries, but tend to produce the most mature and motivated students that TIL receives.73
Framework for Allocations
By the late 1970s, a challenging period which is described more deeply in my article on “Surge and Stress in the Seventies,” our basic process for assigning new missionaries had settled into a focus on our core resources of Reps and contact staff. We had developed a “framework for allocations.”74 This highlighted the importance of determining which countries would be strategic in terms of our Aim and what supporting evidence would be required from receiving supervisors and what criteria would free a person to fill such an allocation. Five criteria had to be met: he or she should be capable, replaceable, acceptable, available, affordable.
However, the heart of the framework was a sequence of priorities which continued—though less exclusively—our emphasis on leaders and teams with good potential to eventually generate sending countries. This sequence of priorities is instructive:
- To ensure adequate leadership in countries in which we believe we should maintain a staff-led Navigator ministry.
- To provide the initial team necessary to get a ministry going in such countries.
- To replace a key missionary, where this is needed to maintain ministry momentum.
- To provide the specialized resources necessary to advance a growing ministry significantly, such as staff developers, women Representatives, 2:7 staff, administrators, etc.
- To expand ministry in countries with adequate leadership which are strategic for internal sending.
- To expand ministry in countries with adequate leadership which are strategic for external sending.
- To enter new countries.
Borrowing from Isaiah 54:2-3, strengthening the stakes was at that time more important than lengthening the cords.
Nevertheless, such comparative decisions were difficult in practice and certainly debatable. How, for example, should one rank the relative needs of Australia and Canada? Would it be better to release one of our strongest leaders to open Argentina or South Africa?
Our focus had evolved from entering those countries most likely to become sending countries (1972 strategy) to embrace also those which offered the best soil for the ministry of evangelizing and discipling.
Clearly, we had to become more “professional” in our sending program. Two initiatives therefore took shape during 1981 to move us forward.
The first had to do with the “supply” side: a project on the selection, orientation, and supervision of missionaries.75 This was sponsored by George Sanchez, actively collaborating with Marvin Smith.
The second had to do with the “demand” side: a project to improve our assessment of geographic priorities.76 This was to be sponsored by Donald McGilchrist, working closely with Sanchez and Smith.
These two projects, taken together, were intended as responses to strategic imperative 5: “We must improve our selection, orientation, and placement of missionaries in obedience to our Lord’s command to go to every nation.”77
Our progress at the end of 1981, our baseline for these projects, was that we were ministering in thirty-four languages through twenty-seven nationalities of staff in forty-eight countries. There was still, indeed, much “land to be possessed” (Joshua 13:1 KJV).
We recognized, of course, that our normal pronouncements as to “ministering in x countries” could communicate a misleading optimism.78 To say that one is “in Russia” when in fact we might have only a precarious beginning in part of a single city such as Vladivostok might carry a tinge of triumphalism. In general, at least internally, we were realistic, although our drive to communicate progress into the nations may have unintentionally misled our constituency.
Developing a US Missions Strategy
It was becoming clear that the US Navigators lacked a Missions Strategy. For some years, they had been responsive to what our global leaders (including the US director) determined as our sending priorities. In 1985, Gert Doornenbal saw this clearly. He told the IMLT:
The fact that IHQ has carried on missions functions for the USA has worried some other brothers within our society . . . because they wonder whether the same constraints will eventually be placed upon them. Psychology and ethos are crucial.
Another debate in the same year, this time at the US Missions Task Force, asked:
Is our objective to have a ministry to the campus or on the campus? The USLT recently discussed this. The three divisional directors think that we have gravitated towards ‘to’ the campus . . . that is, winning the campus more than raising up laborers to spread elsewhere. The USLT wants to reverse this trend. . . . In terms of our Aim, our strategy must be to go where we can raise up laborers to send.
To give context to the emergence of our intent for the US to have as a country their own missions strategy, it may be helpful to note that for the ministry year 1983-1984, the contribution79 of the US Navigators, numerically expressed, was that they:
- Accounted for 64 percent of our Representatives and contact staff
- Raised up, within the US, 56 percent of our new disciple-makers
- Accounted for 74 percent of our staff missionaries
- Raised 80 percent of our gift income
Terry Taylor sponsored a project80 on developing a US missions department, consulting with Marvin Smith whose master’s thesis81 concluded in 1983 that the principal route to strengthening our effectiveness cross-culturally was better selection of the right types of missionaries and adequate orientation for new missionaries going to the field.82 His projection was that, if implemented, his proposals would raise from 61 percent to 90 percent those missionaries who completed nine years or more of service on the field. His research confirmed that increased sending in recent years had been counterbalanced by high attrition. He therefore detailed ten qualities essential for cross-cultural adjustment and six qualifications for successful job performance, proposing designs for pre-field and on-field orientation.
The US Navigators faced increasing complexity in the demands placed upon them for missionaries, as well as an internal need to clarify the division of responsibilities among the US field leaders and their overseas counterparts. It was well understood that much humility was required—and usually provided, with grace—from the US Navs, in view of the reality that their cross-cultural contributions outpaced those of all our other countries of ministry combined. The US was the indispensable engine of our global progress. However, what was less noted was that: “The US needed the freedom to be a full partnering country, rather than being perpetually condemned to send everywhere, without the autonomy and selectiveness which much smaller countries were now assuming.”83 Could we do a better job of distinguishing our American from our global interests? This, of course, was one of the drivers for the emergence of our Global Society.
Marvin then wrote an extensive but specific “Proposal for a Missions Department” for the US Navs in July 1984,84 and his department formally began work in August 1984. He set out responsibilities for:
- Director of missions
- Director of pastoral care
- Missions administrator
In the first four months of this department, twenty-one prospective missionaries were interviewed and a retreat for furloughing missionaries was successfully conducted.
The new director of missions reported to the special ministries director who served on the USLT.85
As our first US missions director, Marvin worked at building relationships that sought to align the international and US segments of The Navigators. To give one basic example, international would specify priority needs and the US would select and sponsor missionaries. The purpose, unsurprisingly, was “to increase the effectiveness—both quality and quantity—of our staff missionaries.”
As part of the project, Marvin compared reasons for returning from the field with an earlier study covering the period 1970-1978, grouping reasons into three broad categories, as shown in the table link below.
This shows significant improvement. Straightforward or normal reasons had risen from 35 percent to 60 percent.86
Our fourth International Nav Council (INC 4) in January 1985 received the work done on what was by then called the “Missions and Missionaries Project.” It was now complete.
In March 1985, Jack Mayhall presented an outline sketch for a comprehensive US missions strategy87 and was asked to design a missions strategy task force.
Our underlying concern was that a declining percentage of our global budget was going to cross-cultural missions and that our assessment should ideally extend into internal88 as well as external sending to peoples other than our own. Countries other than the US were finding the sending of new missionaries to be increasingly difficult, as their spiritual climate cooled. Few were now being sent. Therefore, Alan Andrews was asked to make recommendations after analyzing the general sending patterns of established countries other than the US.89 There were three objectives:
- To have determined the key factors in the development of a national ministry that lead to external sending.
- To determine possible strategies to be developed that will facilitate external sending around the world.
- To have sensitized Established Countries to the possibilities for external sending around the world.
Alan’s paper explores our history, hindrances and positive factors. He lays out the kind of ministry that is likely to lead to sending and ends with some twenty recommendations.90
INC4 also accepted McGilchrist’s paper “Towards Every Nation” which led, as detailed lists of peoples and languages were obtained, to our strategic target of 440 major nations of more than one million persons.91
Complexity had deepened in the years leading up to 1984. For example, the tension between the two strands of ministry “to” and ministry “from” the US was ongoing. The former became more prominent through objectives such as “deeply impacting” the US and played out in new ministries such as CDM and International Students and several ethnic strategies.
Mayhall arranged for the IMLT to be consulted on the general approach that a US missions strategy should take. These leaders were unanimously enthusiastic on the US intent to join, at last, the ranks of our other established countries by developing their own strategies, including home missions. A few of their comments:
- Developing home missions will strengthen US experience and thus the caliber of missionaries being sent elsewhere (Doornenbal).
- We can establish (plural) ministries in a country, using a different name and structure (White).92
- We must strike a balance between the urgency of the lost without Christ and the tender but vital flowering of our existing ministries. Sending a missionary team into the Caribbean would not cause concerns (Petersen).
- If the US presents itself as a peer in the sending of missionaries, it will have great and wise influence (Andrews).
- The US should grow into the world rather than deploying into it. This implies more care in sending missionaries to existing Nav countries (Petersen).
- We have to grapple with the reality of a rising disenchantment with Americans, around the world (several people).93
Clarifying the US Missions Strategy, 1980s
From 1985 to 1989, Marvin Smith assumed the principal responsibility for clarifying and sharpening our embryonic US missions strategy. One of his first steps was to distinguish helpfully between missions as the sending of missionaries into cross-cultural ministry and mission as whatever the Church is called to do in obedience to our Lord’s command. Ultimately, this flows from God’s own work in Christ, the missio dei. Thus, missions is one aspect of our total mission.94
He also defined how responsibility for a missionary would be divided between his US sponsor and his overseas supervisor, and what supportive tasks the new US missions department would perform.95
One perennial concern was to ensure that overseas Americans (often with longer experience than the country leaders to whom they reported) received adequate shepherding. A US director of pastoral care was appointed.
By 1986, it was becoming urgent to hand back to the US Navigators those administrative functions that Bob Hopkins had for years performed so well. Not only would this be in line with the tenets of our Global Society but, sadly, Bob’s health was failing.96 Meanwhile, several other insightful studies were carried out by Marvin Smith.97
Having founded a department, a US missions strategy needed fleshing out. This appeared in January 1986.98 It pursued five broad characteristics:
- Comprehensive, because we embrace both home and foreign missions.
- Controlled, because we believe in the extra value of a disciplined approach to allocating and integrating resources.
- Cooperative, because we team together with other Nav countries . . . and as part of the larger Body of Christ.
- Committed, because we focus upon the Aim of The Navigators. Therefore, a steel thread running through our strategy must be equippers.
- Contextual, because we must respond flexibly to the shifting needs of our targets and the fluid range of demands upon us.
This strategy was an advance, conceptually. It analyzed four basic scenarios and then set several major objectives such as entering ten new nations in the next five years (see the table below).
We also saw gift income flowing to US missions increase from $8.3 million to $12.8 million, or 9 percent per year.
These targets are set out here to provide a sense of where we had reached and the progress that the strategy envisioned. The attached “Quinquennial Trends” extend the lineaments of our progress from 1983 to 2008.
Also, for the first time, the strategy integrated ethnic ministries within the US, having the benefit of recommendations from the US ethnic consultation of November 1985.100
Missionary Withdrawal from Countries
In assessing our progress into the nations, we must take note not only of the countries which we have entered but also the countries from which we have withdrawn. There are several ways of understanding this, of which the simplest is to review such movement by decade. The following table is a summary, based on the latest (indeed the only) analysis101 which was done in 2008. This is shown in the link to the table below.
At the end of 2007, we may therefore say that 66 percent (103 ex 156) of the entries that we have made into new countries had endured. By the end of 2017, we had a continuing Nav presence in 115countries.
However, the above table disguises the fact that we had entered twenty countries102 twice and two countries103 thrice. Therefore, perhaps a more useful statement is that the number of distinct countries which we have at some point entered is: 156 – 20 – 2×2 = 132 so that we are present in 78 percent (103 ex 132) of the countries which we have at some point entered.
There are, of course, a variety of reasons for withdrawal such as lack of fruit, political peril, or the transfer of our leader. Also, our regional directors are sometimes loath to declare countries closed until after all signs of a functioning Nav ministry had dissipated. This partly explains the surge of withdrawals in the 1980s and 1990s, even though the flow of returning missionaries had risen in the late 1970s.104
By the 1970s, we understood in principle that crossing cultures did not require travel to another country. What the US Navs now call “Nations Within” were clearly included in the mandate that Jesus gave his disciples. Nevertheless, it was not until 1991 that we routinely sought to capture such activity in our annual staff census.105
Meanwhile, our ministries in India had spread cross-culturally into quite a few peoples and languages, and had even begun to cross the Hindu-Muslim divide.106
From Everywhere to Everywhere
Missiologists recognized that cross-cultural ministry was now “from everywhere to everywhere.” In fact, much of the future of global missions would belong to missionaries from the global South. Recently, this has been accentuated by the surge in diasporas moving across borders towards better or at least safer futures.
A 2011 article by Sam George in Missiology colors in this reality. Thus:
Some of the largest churches in Europe are led by Africans. A Nigeria-based church has now five thousand parishes in eighty countries. Korean missionaries are everywhere from Argentina to Zimbabwe; in fact, South Korea alone sends out as many new missionaries each year as all Western nations combined. Chinese missionaries from the underground churches are going overseas in large numbers. Indians have one of the largest cross-cultural missionary forces in the world, now increasingly turning overseas. An African pastors the largest church in Europe (in Kiev, Ukraine). Haitian missionaries are in Toronto, and Indo-Fijian missionaries in New York. There is Sindhi outreach in Hong Kong, and there are South African Black Anglicans in Scotland. Filipino women have gone to Muslim countries and Brazilians are in Japan, Russia, and Australia. Kenyan church planters are in Germany, while Mizos of Northeast India are sending Bibles to Wales!107
Marvin Smith’s Influence
In view of Marvin Smith’s impact on our US Missions, described in these pages, it seems appropriate to summarize his career in missions. As a gifted champion of cross-cultural ministry, he played a leading role in shaping the strategy and structures by which the US Navs reached out into the nations.
He joined our staff in 1964. He and Georgette (married 1966) served as missionaries in New Zealand, Australia, Kenya, and Ghana from 1967 to 1981. He ended as our Africa director.
Upon returning to the US, he became deputy to our International Ministries Director George Sanchez (1981-1983) during which time he completed a masters in missiology from Fuller School of World Mission and wrote foundational papers on how Navigators should strengthen their cross-cultural programs.108
Marvin Smith had a strategic mindset coupled with a penchant for detail. In 1989, for example, he identified seventy-eight functions and responsibilities that he and his small staff were being asked to perform, as well as twenty-six other items which should be initiated! Fortunately, he soon proposed that these be grouped into half a dozen clusters, the principal ones being selection and placement, orientation, missionary care, liaison, and leadership.109
Selection was refined and strengthened, as the most urgent priority.
The design work that Marvin Smith was pushing forward in USHQ intersected with recommendations from the US ethnic consultation. Inter alia, these urged the appointment of a director of ethnic ministries to serve on the USLT with identified leaders for Black and Hispanic Americans.110
It was accepted that the embryonic US missions strategy should take shape under the umbrella not only of our Primary Aim but also, importantly, of the overall US strategy that was being restated. Among the more significant aspects of the rationale for a missions strategy were:
- Our grasp of contextualization was driving a need for skilled and sensitive missionaries.
- Our bloc strategies were becoming more insistent as regards the caliber of men and women required.
- We were increasingly committed to the major ethnic groups within the US.
- The vast field of China was now accessible, after many years of virtual impenetrability.
- Our understanding of the nations as ethnic rather than geographical revealed more of the dimensions of our task: There were some 440 major nations, and we had a presence, through God’s grace, in only around one hundred such nations.
The rationale ended with a telling Scripture: “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). It seemed that we were poised to see God do new things as he asked us “to lengthen the cords.”
New Statement of Missions Strategy, 1989
A fresh statement of our US missions strategy was produced in October 1989, under the guidance of Marvin Smith. Following the generic approach of the USLT, this strategy affirmed that our missions task was:
To equip and serve disciplers for a lifetime of knowing Christ and making Him known among the lost in every nation.
It continued with the faith direction to “prepare and creatively send many types of missionaries to the nations of the world.”
It then took the three phrases in our international understanding of an established country and committed “to help plant and develop a Navigator ministry that is biblically rooted, culturally relevant, and continuously effective111 in every major Nation.”
This strategy is noteworthy for embracing and detailing the nations within the USA, and working closely from the lists of major languages and peoples and countries that McGilchrist had recently developed. As was fitting, it lobbied vigorously for the sending of more Americans into the nations, noting that the percentage of American Nav staff ministering outside the US had fallen from 20 percent in 1981 to 18 percent in 1988.112
If peoples rather than countries lie closer to the nations as understood in the New Testament, to what extent have our field leaders consciously pursued this?
Crescent Venture certainly made the twelve principal peoples (excluding ethnic Russians) of the “stans” their focus during the 1990s, a continuing example being our ministry among Uighurs. In Africa, peoples have been an important focus.113 Our ministries in India have been channeled by religion and caste, though neither reality has blocked cross-cultural initiatives within this vast and complex country. Obvious examples of where we have distinct ministries to more than one people include Canada and South Africa. And, of course, the recent surge of ministry in the US to the “nations within.”114 In China, we have a few initiatives directed at ethnic minorities.
So, the picture is somewhat encouraging. The large number of languages in which we minister reveals more of the targeting of our work among peoples.
By the late 80s, external sending from our countries was on a plateau or, as we have seen in the case of the US, suffering a gradual decline in relative terms. As the spiritual climate cooled in most of the world, our national leaders responded by drawing in their ambitions to send missionaries. A few countries, such as Germany, settled on no external missionaries as a policy, while most merely stopped sending.
One of our concerns, as we began to function as a Global Society (see separate article), was to understand the key factors that promoted or hindered external sending by countries other than the USA within our partnership. We knew that a declining percentage of our overall expenses was being invested in cross-cultural missions. Therefore, Alan Andrews undertook a thorough and realistic assessment115 of the factors and constraints that our countries faced. Among his recommendations was to appoint an international missions specialist leading a department of world missions. He proposed developing a seminar to help our established countries increase their sending, with a view to motivating and facilitating the countries most likely to send cross-culturally. He recognized that a focus on the nations had historically created tensions for us in The Navigators. In the early 1970s, we over-emphasized external sending which placed excessive pressure on countries that did not have the internal maturity to sustain such a commitment. Then, in the mid-1980s, the rise of secularization had lessened commitment and some countries needed to recover a healthy emphasis on developing a national vision.
Alan added that crucial success factors included importunate prayer (Luke 10:2) supported by at least one leader in every sending country uniquely tasked with stimulating cross-cultural enthusiasm, enhanced by motivating communications and drawing from the wealth of our research on the nations.
Non-American Cross-Cultural Missions
We turn now to examine cross-cultural missions by those who were not Americans. The first such staff person was Joe Simmons who, with his wife Marie, left the UK in 1953 for New Zealand, after a motivating conversation with Daws. He was appointed as contact staff two years later.116
Before looking at individual countries, what had been the general trend? The table at the end of this article traces the quinquennial history of our numbers of staff, both Americans and others, for the period since we first began to prepare an annual census.
During the twenty-five years from 1983 to 2008, our foreign cross-cultural missionaries increased by 126 percent to 923, somewhat faster than the increase in our total staff of 103 percent to 4,647. These non-American cross-cultural missionaries broke down between:
- Americans: + 81 percent to 510
- Others: + 229 percent to 414
By 2008, all cross-cultural missionaries (foreign and home) accounted for 26 percent of Americans and 29 percent of others. Of these numbers, cross-cultural staff serving in their own countries (home) were 27 percent of American missionaries and 24 percent of other missionaries, though these percentages are less reliable.
Annual records of the names and numbers of staff were maintained from 1971 through 2008. In the latter year, nationalities with more than ten foreign missionary117 staff, showing this also as a percentage of their total staff, were:
- Americans: 510 (19 percent)
- South Koreans: 141 (46 percent)
- Britons: 38 (34 percent)
- Canadians: 25 (21 percent)
- Singaporeans: 26 (33 percent)
- Kenyans: 25 (45 percent)
- Malaysians: 22 (36 percent)
- Nigerians: 17 (118 percent)
We turn now to look at sending from the above countries, other than America. These are vignettes, graciously provided by Navigators familiar with their national programs.
First, Singapore, for which I rely heavily on the history118 provided by Jim Chew.
Evangelism and missions came alive in Singapore in the 1950s, stimulated by missionaries from the China Inland Mission (later OMF) who made Singapore their base after they had to leave China. Also, Warren Myers had worked with Joe Weatherly119 in India and thus it was that in April 1957 Warren, who was then living in Saigon, was invited to teach at a YFC Keen Teen Crusade in Singapore focusing on The Wheel illustration. We sent Don Hardy to Singapore to handle the follow-up of those who made “decisions.”
Jim Chew was then a university student focused on disciple-making on the campus, increasingly influenced by Matthew 28:18-20 and Matthew 9:36-38. Warren invited Jim to live with him for five months in Saigon after he graduated in 1960. Then, Jim returned to Singapore to serve as follow-up director with Youth for Christ during 1960-1963.
After the decision at our Overseas Policy Conference in 1961 to demonstrate producing reproducers by “growing our own” staff, Lorne Sanny invited Jim and Selene Chew for training at Glen Eyrie in 1963 and they were appointed representatives in December 1963, our first from the Asian continent.
Meanwhile, Roy Robertson and family had arrived in Singapore in August 1962. Jim became one of his “key men” who had been discipled mainly in the context of the ministry of Youth for Christ. Roy trained them through village evangelism (working with OMF) and city-wide crusades.120 As this ministry grew, the Robertsons recruited key young people and called them “30 Mighty Men” and “30 Godly Girls.” Many became the first Singaporean Navigators.
Having returned from the US in 1964, Jim’s conviction was still to focus on disciple-making among students. After a year, he secured permission from Lorne Sanny to open our work in Malaysia.
Dave Dawson became the leader of the Singapore Navigators in 1968. His passion was the Great Commission. He rallied a “hard core” team and laid foundations both for local and for cross-cultural missions. He often pointed out that within two thousand miles from Singapore were the huge harvest fields of India, China, and the Muslim and Buddhist worlds. Furthermore, Singapore provided an ideal training context with its multicultural, multi-religious population. Meanwhile, Warren Myers became our Southeast Asia director in 1970 and set up his base in Singapore. He developed a thorough orientation program for missionary candidates, drawing elements from the OMF headquarters and from Marvin Smith.
Waldron Scott became PAN director in 1967, based in Malaysia. In line with his “Strategy for the 70s,” he increased the pressure on Singapore and Malaysia to become sending countries. His China Task Force strategy saw Malaysians and Singaporeans joining the multinational team in Taiwan, preparing under the leadership of Jake Combs.
The missionary exodus from Singapore had begun. The Chews were sent to New Zealand in 1970, Han Su Kim and Irene to Japan, Robert and Phek Tin Goh to Taiwan (CTF), Wong Kim Tok and Dolly to India. In the vocabulary of the time, staff entering closed countries would be non-organizational, finding access through their professions. In 1980, for example, Toh Kai Hua went to East Asia and Seto Wing Hong to Hong Kong. Short-termers to India included Raj Mannar, Mogan Mannar, Sri Chander.121 David Lee went to Surabaya, Indonesia. Tom Lee went as a contact point to the Philippines.
Jim returned to Singapore in 1975, serving on the PAN leadership team. There were fresh cross-cultural lessons to learn. Issues of contextualization122 were becoming important. Our missionaries in India especially (with a multinational team) faced relational and other on-field tensions. Several returned to their home countries including Wong Kim Tok and some Singaporean short-termers.
When Doug Sparks became PAN director in 1979, based in Singapore, Jim became his Deputy, and also served as national director for Malaysia and Singapore.
In 1982, there was a crucial “consultation on special groups” in Malaysia which brought fresh perspectives on issues of contextualization. Later, consultations on unreached peoples continued to clarify our approach. As our expansion led to several countries having more than one Navigator initiative, “Guidelines for Launching Cross-cultural Initiatives”123 was introduced.
Jim and Selene moved to New Zealand in 1990, under medical advice for her health. However, Jim continued as Asia missions facilitator. As well as attempting to open a work in Pakistan, he contributed strongly to an Asia vision forum (1994), and led in two Asia missions consultations (Penang, 1996 and Johor Bahru, 1998). Indonesian Badu S. became our first Asia director124 in 1996.
Many Asians attended university in Melbourne, Australia, where we built a fruitful Asian ministry. Singaporeans who gave leadership included Tom Chua, Kuek Chung Lee, Shirley Loh, Chan Cheow Pheng and Soh Eng. Chung Lee went on to serve in East Asia.
International student ministries have been strategic in raising up Asian laborers and leaders. For example, T.K.H. was discipled in New Zealand as an international student, and has served in East Asia since 1980, as did other Singaporeans as professionals.125
Singaporeans Royston K. and L.S.M. (resident in East Asia) have led a virile expansion of the 2:7 Series into East Asia, training many pastors and leaders. Many Nav-trained associates and alumni from Singapore have served in East Asia.126
Other Nav missionaries from Singapore have included Oliver Kelly (Tanzania), now serving with Navteens, and C.S.M. (later married T.K.H.) in Eurasia, and C.S.F. Jane Ng and Chong Ching who went to New Zealand with ISM.
Singaporean P.C.127 has a huge apostolic ministry in Asia (Philippines, Indonesia, East Asia, and South Asia). David B. has assisted him with ministries among Muslims and our Filipino staff with ministries among the poor and marginalized. Several Nav-trained laborers are on his staff.
Southeast Asia has several somewhat independent Nav initiatives. Our sister agency (name removed for security purposes) has invested much in this region. Singaporeans R.G., L.T., and S.W. have participated.
Other countries in which the Gospel has benefited from Nav missionaries include (some names removed for security purposes):
- Philippines: William Tew
- Hong Kong: Seto Wing Hong
- US: Abu Mannar and Susy
- Canada: Raj Mannar and Adarsh, and Victor Koh and Peck Hoon. Also, Paul Tan Sek Howe
Singapore is a country with a high percentage of cross-cultural missionaries from both agencies and churches. Navigators have certainly played their part sacrificially, but we have yet to see multiplying ministries in the more challenging countries of Asia. We have come to realize that it takes decades to lay strong foundations for a generational ministry. Questions of injustice and poverty confront us. How are we to penetrate the main religious blocs? Our emphasis in Singapore on strengthening student ministries, as well as the cultural shifts, militate against long-term commitments. In the past decade, Singapore has sent only one long-term missionary, William Tew, to the Philippines.
Meanwhile, R.G. is our current missions director.
Next, we look at Malaysia, where David B. and Jim Chew have been my guides.
Jim Chew opened our ministry in Malaysia in 1966 with a focus on students in Kuala Lumpur. This was fruitful and, when Waldron Scott introduced his “Strategy for the 70s” in 1968, he had already identified Malaysia-Singapore as a resource for his China Task Force, and Australia-New Zealand as a resource for missionaries to India. Warren Myers initiated the thrust to India and led our expansion into East Asia. Given these vast targets, the excitement of our Malaysian contacts was palpable.
Malaysia produced a steady stream of missionaries, averaging two per year for the decade starting in 1974. Indeed, most of our older Malaysian staff went overseas. Destinations: Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa. This sustained surge was exciting, fanned by our early leaders Jim Chew and Paul Hensley. Scotty himself, as director for the PAN division, had been based in Malaysia for several years. However, most of these missionaries were short-termers or trainees or support personnel. Two became contact staff.
Those with a longer investment included Sik Ming Chong, who joined the CTF in Taiwan, met and married Mei Mang and later went to East Asia. Later, Bruce and Grace Ting went to Taiwan as Nav Reps and later to East Asia. Wee Hui Ming and Alice went to Taiwan as professionals and are still there. L.P. and his wife M. were the first Malaysians who managed to enter East Asia as professionals and are still there with a huge generational ministry. A.T. and S.L. followed in the 1990s, as did A.S.T. and B.K. and C.Y.N. and C.M. A.L.128 and H. went to East Asia as a professional and being an evangelist, led scores to Christ and planted a church, before his sudden death in 2012.
A.Y.K. went to Eurasia around 2000 as a missionary from East Malaysia, after a fruitful ministry in Thailand for several years.129
Doug Sparks became PAN director from 1979. He focused on the transition to national leaders, and on a biblical basis for missions. Because there were few staff left in Malaysia to send, we worked on rebuilding the local ministries. Doug provided a qualitative impetus and the biblical basis for claiming God’s promises.
Then, in the late 1980s, Doug began to advocate for our established countries in Asia each to adopt one other. This set the stage for the Malaysian adoption of Bangladesh. A training institute was launched in a city in Southeast Asia that was not overtly Christian but provided excellent opportunities for connecting with students who desired to improve their English and receive training in management. It was authentic and gave added value to young people in the mainstreams. It was led by a Malaysian team and became our missions platform for more than twenty years.
Although Malaysia recently did not have an aggressive missions strategy, we should note that it has tended across the years to produce cross-cultural leaders. These include: Alan Ch’ng (IET), K. Chee Hoe (Asia-Pacific regional director), M.W. (East Asia leader), Tan Teng Yang (ISM, New Zealand), and David B.130 Of these, only Tan Teng Yang was “sent.” The others benefited from the missionary legacy of our previous leaders and the emphasis of the Asia vision.
As with Singaporeans, there are a host of Malaysian alumni who continue laboring in cross-cultural ministries. In the Australian city of Perth alone, Jim Chew and Mike Johnson spent time with some fifty such Malaysian alumni during a visit in 2008.
Next, a summary of the missions program of the Korean Navigators, taken from my article on South Korea, after consultation with John Ha.
During the 1980s, we placed our focus on developing Korean leaders. International resources such as Doug Sparks, Alan Andrews, and Paul Stanley provided timely help through various seminars and training programs. By 1980, Korea was our largest ministry outside the USA.
By the 1990s, Korean leaders were ready to focus on world missions. Many missionaries were sent to many other countries. There was an outpouring of men and money into the nations. In addition, they felt some internal pressure because we had already “occupied” most Korean campuses. So, how did our Korean sending program develop? One can discern four approaches:
- Other countries requested Koreans. For example, Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines.131
- The International Navigators made known opportunities and encouraged Korean sending.
- Koreans secured secular employment, often with the overseas branches of Korean Companies, and went as salaried employees.
- Korean students went abroad to study and were able to develop campus ministries in their host universities.
The international Navigators, of course, had certain geographical priorities in mind. Although Korean leaders wished to send in harmony with such priorities, there were some who found this a little frustrating. After all, the Korean program was growing fast and it seemed that they should have freedom to choose their own receiving countries or cities.
The impetus driving our Korean brothers and sisters to reach the world did not always align with the desires of some other countries which already had Nav ministries. This is understandable, but sometimes it required work to agree on a harmonious path forward.132
What is indisputable is that The Navigators was a strong element in the highly committed Korean thrust to implement world vision.133
Leaders from our IET were frequent visitors to Korea in the late 1990s. When Mike Treneer returned from preaching in Korea in 1998 and 2000, he reported that their leaders described their main challenges as:
- Supervising staff versus developing local ministries
- Maintaining a balance between diversity and unity
- Adding some functional leaders to their unified geographical hierarchy
However, their missions program was recovering well from the decision of several senior leaders to leave our movement and set up a new missions agency.134 In addition, Mike emphasized how much the Koreans had that would be fruitful to share with others in our Global Society.
It is important to note that Korean missionaries are sponsored and sent by their staff leader, rather than by the national team as a whole. Their leader continues to mentor and visit them, where practicable. This is an unusual arrangement within The Navigators, but it does promote a sense of grassroots excitement about “our” missionaries and it fits well within the high cultural value attached to loyalty. However, each Korean missionary is sent with the Korean leadership team’s prior approval; it is a rule that the administrative focal point for all Korean missionaries is the country leader.
In summary, the Korean ministry is easily the largest that we have, apart from the American ministry. It has the strongest commitment to sending missionaries to other countries: 46 percent of their staff were so serving in 2008.135
Qualities that are an example to the rest of the Navigator world include commitment and sacrifice, flowing from a deep commitment to the lordship of Christ. Koreans have an evangelistic fervor which their changing culture has not dimmed. For example, during their first phase of sending missionaries, there was competition within Korea to be selected for the hardest places in the world!
The sending of Nav missionaries from the UK has sixty years of history. In the 1950s, two couples went out at the invitation of our international leaders. Our UK ministry was in its infancy and these were mature leaders in the Christian community, recruited to our vision and responding to God’s call on their lives to serve abroad.
Ted Pilling served as our first international missions director in the UK, appointed in 1997. Before then, missionaries had been looked after by the local ministries from which they set out and, as some ministries closed, by their friends on our UK staff. This was unsatisfactory.136 What follows is Ted’s account of our UK sending history.
The 1960s saw an amazing growth in our UK ministry, initially with business people and nurses. Joyce Turner was the first Navigator staff to move to Britain and, because of her influence, many mature Christian women were helped. During this decade seven women from London and Manchester took overseas assignments.
Missions in the 1970s and 1980s benefited from ministry growth in the 1960s and early 1970s, so that twenty-one couples and twenty-seven singles went out into the nations. However, the transition from pioneering to established ministries was difficult, so that by the early years of the new century, there were only eleven couples and six singles serving overseas.
During the 1970s, “world vision” was high on the agenda of the Navigators, internationally. In the UK, times of prayer focusing on Japan and east Asia and Africa were a normal part of our student ministries. European student training programs were annual events. Expectant faith was strong and there was an outward-looking perspective.
However, changes in the student culture led some to question the effectiveness of our ministry methods. As this spread, our vision became somewhat introverted which eventually slowed down the sending of missionaries.
Our country leader was initially responsible for overseas missionaries, but this became an impossible task. Thus, as responsibility shifted to local ministries, some of them were less focused on this aspect so that some missionaries felt isolated. Therefore, not only was a missions director appointed but linkages were forged with the US and Canada and the UK benefited from the sharing of their experiences. The UK connected with some US international programs as well as initiating some of their own.
Ted points out that the missionary zeal of the 1970s made some nervous. There was a need to focus on the wellbeing of our staff in the UK. In addition, the tightening of government constraints on charities meant an increase on management procedures for the UK board and staff. Changes in the culture led to decreasing fruit, so that missionaries had to come from a smaller pool of laborers.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the many new countries in which we pioneered required experienced and mature leaders, of which the UK seemed to have a good supply. In fact, fifteen of our missionaries were country openers/leaders. However, as national staff emerged in such countries, missionaries were required to serve alongside rather than to pioneer. Another factor was that authentic professional identities were increasingly needed, especially in the hard places of the world.
Within the UK, local churches have moved to develop their own procedures for sending missionaries and become more vocal in communicating with agencies such as The Navigators. At the same time, the increasing influx of foreigners naturally led some of our UK staff to reach out to the nations resident in the UK.
Ted concludes his account by underlining the goodness of the Lord over many years, as His people have paid a high price for their commitment to His commission. He writes: There has been death and violence, illness and false accusations, but here is the heart of it:
I will send some of those who survive to the nations—to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations (Isaiah 66:19).
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me, declares the Lord (Isaiah 54:17).
Paul K.137 has contributed the story of Nav missions in and from Kenya. His account, which follows, is informative and encouraging.
The Navigator Kenya ministry began as a short-term exploratory mission to Nairobi, Kenya, in 1956 when Doug Sparks led a team of Americans to preach the Gospel and conduct initial follow up amongst Mau Mau prisoners of war who were considered terrorists by the British colonial government, but honored as freedom fighters by the Kenyan populace. This was the first Navigator presence on the continent of Africa.138
Doug and his team prayed through Genesis 22:17-18 believing that God would raise up a disciple-making movement from all over Africa. Through this first missions team in Africa, many of the prisoners came to faith, a few young Kenyans were recruited to continue the follow up and a seed of disciple-making was planted on the continent.
In 1968, Jim and Jeri White moved to Nairobi, to pioneer a ministry amongst university students and added Genesis 12:1-3 and Isaiah 60:22 to their prayers for the nation and the continent. This period from 1968 to 1986 laid a foundation amongst the Kenyans whereby the “least became a thousand” and the “smallest became a mighty nation” and an indigenous and missional disciple making movement was born and began to grow! Bruce Van Wyk was the last139 pioneer missionary leader in Kenya.
By the time Kenyans took over the leadership of our movement in Kenya in 1986 with Mutua Mahiaini as the first national country leader, they were pregnant with the vision of reproducing this ministry into the nations. The promises of Genesis 12:3, Genesis 22:17-18, Isaiah 60:22, Isaiah 54:1-3, and Psalm 2:8 burned in their hearts as they believed God to give them the nations. Mutua had by then conducted a survey in Ivory Coast, and Dennis Tongoi had done the same in Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. These Kenyan leaders believed God would use them and other Kenyans in pioneering disciple-making movements in these countries.
Not surprisingly, the handover from the missionary leaders in Kenya to the nationals coincided with the setting apart of two young women, Becky Harawa (nee Asiachi) and Jean Kiviu as missionaries to Zimbabwe where they served for about three years. God sent them to be part of a multinational pioneering team in the country and both women were greatly influenced by the call to missions arising from the above survey trips and from God’s call in Isaiah 49:6. Kenyans were committed to taking the Gospel into the nations of the world!
The sending of these women missionaries was a very significant moment for the Kenya Navigators for five reasons.
First, under the leadership of Mutua and his leadership team (NLT), “sending into the nations” became a distinct part of the DNA of the Kenya disciple-making movement. A growing burden for missions gave birth to a missions team in 1994. The team’s mandate was to serve the NLT in the preparation, sending and shepherding of missionaries, as well as to cultivate a cross-cultural missions mindset in the national ministry. Becky and Jean served on the pioneer missions team that was led by Paul K., who himself later became a missionary in a local cross-cultural context. As we shall see, over the years, Kenya has been a sending country contributing to the advance of the Gospel in many nations in Africa and beyond.
Secondly, Kenya set the tone for the partnership of men and women in the sending of women missionaries, including the sending of not a few single women, reminding one of the biblical phrase “including not a few prominent women!” (Acts 17:12). God has subsequently sent more Kenyan women to several countries including Becky Asiachi, who went to Malawi soon after her service in Zimbabwe; Priscilla A., who served as an equipper for the women’s ministry in Nigeria (1991-1994); Laura Mautsa (nee Maleya) who served as an equipper for the women’s ministry in South Africa (1998-2001); and Esther Waruiru who served on the Africa regional team (1990-2002) and on the US NLT and International Executive Team (2004-2014). Esther, it should be noted, also played a pivotal role in the equipping and sending of Becky and Jean, and was herself “scattered” by God among the nations! In 2017, a single Kenyan woman is preparing to join the Caribbean pioneering team in the next two years.
Thirdly, their example inspired many others in subsequent years to follow the Lord’s call into the nations as workers in the kingdom. As the Scriptures so nobly commend many for whom time would fail to tell of their faith exploits (Hebrews 11:31), so also time will perhaps fail to tell of the impact and lives of all the Kenyans who have responded to God’s call in cross-cultural missions. The list includes Mutua and Stephanie Mahiaini who moved to the Ivory Coast (1995-1998) to lay the foundation for the handing over of the ministry to Ivorians, before assuming the leadership of the Africa Regional ministry (1998-2011). They moved to be part of the International Executive Team in 2012 in the US and Mutua now serves as our International President. God had used them as leaders in Kenya to send missionaries and then He also sent them into the nations! The promise of God in Zechariah 10:4-5 has been on their hearts.
Some others that God has sent into the nations include Noel and Rhoda Owuor, who served in Uganda (1997-2006); Albert and Monica Nandi, who joined a multi-national team in Tanzania (1993-1996); Adam and Sarah Mutonga, who have been pioneering missionaries in the same country since 2003; Andrew and Faith Sibairo, who joined them between 2006 and 2010; David and Agiso Odhuno, who pioneered a ministry amongst the Batswana people in 2005-2012; and Peter and Lydia Agwa, who emigrated to Canada in 2004 and served as Canadian Navigator staff for several years. Felix and Mercy, a young couple, moved to Mozambique in 2013 and are grappling with the burden of planting a ministry in the midst of poverty. Their sending is a unique partnership between the Kenya ministry and the South Africa ministry. Currently, there is a couple serving in a local cross-cultural context, preparing to move to the Caribbean.
Fourthly, it should be noted that Becky and Jean moved to Zimbabwe as high school teachers and not as typical missionaries supported by gift income, because the newly independent government of Zimbabwe was averse to traditional missionaries. So this act of faith and obedience led the growing foundational community of disciple-makers in Kenya to not only deepen their vision and heart for the nations, but to also believe God to use them as kingdom workers within their vocation. Disciple-making was not only for ‘specialized’ full-timers. Paul K. and Catherine N., a young couple, were inspired in 1988 to emigrate to Zambia as disciple-makers with Paul working full time as a quantity surveyor. Most recently, God led N.V. to move into a closed country as a missionary student amongst a people traditionally closed to the Gospel. Her sister Ciru M. is a missionary student in New Zealand. Their two brothers believe that God is calling them to take the Gospel to Germany and have travelled there for short-term missions through their church.
Fifthly, during the last ten years, Kenyans have taken the burden of contributing to the Navigator global missionary enterprise not only through the sending of missionaries, but also through releasing mobile alongsiders serving cross culturally and contributing to the advance of the Gospel in nations beyond Kenya. These mobile alongsiders include Wanjau and Stella Nduba, leading the Africa wing of the Global Enterprise Network; Stanley and Patience Mukolwe, who served as the Africa Church Ministry leaders for a number of years; Noel and Rhoda Owuor, who served as funding coaches for the Africa work for several years; Nick and Flo Wanyoike, who served many years as leader developers in the Africa work; Sarah M., who in the early years traveled to Nigeria (1983-87) to coach the foundational generation of women ministry leaders. She currently serves as the Africa women’s ministry leader, traveling to many countries in Africa to equip and encourage women. P.K. and his wife currently lead the International Connect Group bringing capacity to our world-wide ministries to Muslims. Prior to that, they served as regional leaders overseeing seven Navigator country ministries in Africa.
So then, that small seed planted by Becky and Jean, under the leadership of the first generation of Kenyan country leaders, has continued to germinate and bear lasting fruit among the nations.
The following paragraphs draw from an account supplied by Tanko M. and drawn from the 2009 history of our work, entitled “Taking Root in the Land” which was edited primarily by John Mamman.
Missionaries were initially sent out by the Nigerian Navigators in response to requests from the Africa office and the availability of persons ready to go. During the early 1990s, the Nigerian ministry adopted the policy, as a sub-strategy, of sending out a missionary every two years. Bulus Silas Bossan moved from Kaduna in the north west to Bauchi in the northeast to help establish the embryonic ministry there, and then in 1994 moved to Lagos to formally lead the ministry as national director, in succession to Chris Oliobi. Several couples relocated within the country to start student ministries and, in one case, to assume take on new leadership responsibilities.
Within Nigeria, missionary sending was a continuous activity. In 1990 Chris Oliobi, the then National Director, and his family also relocated from Kaduna to Lagos along with the Headquarters of the ministry. In 1994, however, having served his tenure as National Director for ten years, Chris Oliobi was appointed to the Africa Regional Leadership Team for sub-Saharan Africa and moved with Chi and their four children from Lagos to Nairobi, Kenya. In 2001, he was appointed Zonal Director of The Navigator ministry in Southern Africa and moved to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Now for some other Nigerian staff who pioneered among the nations.
Viashima and Rachael Agu were the first missionaries sent out by the Nigerian Navigators. They went to Uganda to help pioneer the work of The Navigators in that country in 1986, immediately after their two-year training in Kenya. The Agus, with their children, served in Uganda for two years, before returning to Nigeria in 1988. Shortly after their return, and in line with the national strategy, they relocated to Makurdi, Benue State to start a community ministry there. Alongside their ministry commitments, Viashima was suddenly appointed as sole administrator of Benue Links, a state government-owned bus transport concern. After serving their turn in Benue Links and sowing the seeds of a Navigator community ministry in Makurdi, the Agus moved to Kaduna to lead the ministry there.
I.M. and his wife were the second pair of missionaries sent out. They went with their children to Kenya in 1987. I.M. was at first Africa regional administrator and later Africa co-ordinator of the Church Discipleship Ministry. The couple lived in Kenya for twenty-one years. The Lord later led them to join another ministry and they have relocated to lead that ministry from a Nigerian city. The couple’s current ministry seeks to increase the harvest through revitalizing churches, starting with the renewal and empowerment of leaders.
Between 1988 and 1990 several other Nigerian missionaries were sent out to other sub-Saharan African countries. John and Nester Kilani moved to Nairobi, Kenya in June 1989 as missionary associates, teaching at Nairobi University. At present, they are in Lesotho, in Southern Africa.
Dr. B.G. trained as a medical doctor and qualified as a consultant general practitioner. He was discipled by The Navigators. He turned his back on medical practice and joined the staff of The Navigators. His elder brother had been killed in Zaria and Blessed became the eldest male in the family. The call of Christ beckoned, and he was not hesitant or disobedient. He moved to Zambia as an international trainee. He returned from there after two years and moved to a city in the southeast of the country, where he stayed for over eleven years, taking over leadership of the southeast zone when American missionaries, Andy and Patty Hunt left to work at the National Office in Lagos. Dr. B.G. later became the northwest zonal leader. He is now national missions coordinator and national coordinator of the Church Discipleship Ministry.
Dr. F.K. was sent out in 1990 to Cote d’Ivoire. In 2001 he and his wife, relocated to a Francophone Africa country, where God used them to build a hospital which is serving as a platform for ministry. Along with their children, the couple has now been serving in this second mission field for eighteen years.
Okorie and Chinyere Kalu and their children moved to Ibadan in January 1993 and from there moved to Lusaka, Zambia in September 1994. The Navigator work in Zambia had stalled and needed fresh impetus to move forward. There was need for rebuilding and to raise new men and women.
The nation was also rebuilding after twenty-seven years of fruitless Communism that brought empty ideals, gloom, and despondency. They formed a new national leadership and trained and equipped people. Today the Zambian ministry of The Navigators has grown and has sent out missionaries to Namibia, Japan, South Africa, and Botswana. The Kalus returned to Nigeria in January 2003.
The Kalus have experienced many hardships, but they have emerged from these experiences with a deepened knowledge of God and His faithfulness. Friends stood with them in prayers and encouragement. “The danger of evil is its desire to conform a person into its image,” was Okorie’s new found philosophy of avoiding bitterness and seeking revenge. The Kalus learned to love and forgive their enemies and to pray for them. Okorie and Chi Kalu now coordinate the Navigator work in English West Africa and student ministry throughout Africa.
E.O. influenced A.A. influenced T.M., who met The Navigators in his first year in college in the 1973-1974 session. On graduation he started work in his profession and returned to his university on an in-service program to finish his master of science degree. He met his wife at a conference in Kenya and they were married in 1980. They have three children. The choices that Moses made as recorded in Hebrews 11:24-27 greatly impacted Tanko, and when the call for country openers for a sensitive African country came they answered and moved in 1998. The promises of God, especially Psalm 2:8, Isaiah 41:16-17, Hebrews 6:11-20, and Isaiah 49:24-25 have continued to anchor the faith of T.M and his wife.
F.D. also met The Navigators in college. N.S. and Bulus Silas Bossan were very helpful in his early years in discipleship. M.Y. would visit and share about various needs and challenges. Isaiah 41:17-21 spoke deeply to his heart. He met and married a woman who was then a staff of the Great Commission Movement of Nigeria. The family moved to to another Nigerian city and ministered alongside T.M. from 2000 to 2006. They are now ministering to students and trusting God to rekindle the fire of discipleship at their former university.
Z.B. first met The Navigators at the College of Advanced Studies through his brother. He was invited to a meeting where M.Y. was the speaker. On gaining admission into college, Y.W. invited him to a meeting that E.P. was leading; later M.M. took over the leadership of that group. Z.B. met and married his wife. They served in Cameroon from 2000 to 2003. They returned briefly to Nigeria and then moved to Chad in October 2004.
Bulus Bossan prayed to receive Christ on his own in his room in his first year at ABU in 1976. D.J. befriended him and brought him to a Bible study that included M.Y., Viashima Agu, Okorie Kalu, T.M., L.T., and John K.P.F., his chemistry lecturer, gave him one-on-one help and he began to experience major transformation, especially over his use of foul language and anger. From the Bible studies he received a purpose for his life. After graduating and his national service he taught briefly at a college and later joined a business team. He enjoyed his profession of quantity surveying. He and a friend studied hard for their professional examination. It was in the course of this preparation that God made it clear to Bulus that his future did not lie in quantity surveying, but in building up men for the kingdom of God.
In 1982, he was invited to attend a training program that greatly impacted his life. Fred Horrox also helped him spiritually. In 1984 Bulus became the administrator for The Navigators and left the following year to Britain for a cross-training exposure. When it became obvious that he had to join The Navigators full-time, fears gripped him, not for a career loss or for his upkeep but for his mother. Bulus is her only son. During one quiet time God spoke to him through Psalm 37:5-6: “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” That settled it for him. Bulus is married to Salama, one of B.G.’s sisters, and they have four daughters.
Bulus moved from administration to field ministry and became national director in 1994, in succession to Dr. Chris Oliobi. The Bossans led the Navigator work for ten years and handed the mantle to Zach and Grace Barki. Bulus, as of 2017, was serving as Regional Director for Africa.
U.I. and his wife G.I. packed their belongings and, like the Treneers earlier, waited for the signal to move. The plan was to go to Namibia. Prayers were mobilized across the face of the globe. Hope was high and short visits were made to Namibia. However, application for a residence permit was denied. Days turned to months and to years. Did God no longer have the heart of kings in His hand to turn them like a water course wherever He desires? Then in exhibition of His sovereignty and wisdom God answered and the door opened to South Africa, no longer as country openers for Namibia but as Southern African zonal coordinators. Work permits were quickly issued and the family moved to South Africa in 2006. God closed one door and opened another. Prayer does not twist the hands of God but rather aligns itself to His plans and purposes.
Sending from Canada began in 1970 when Paul and Helen Lappala moved to Finland.
Irv Augustine has provided a list of those who went out subsequently as Nav missionaries, amounting impressively to forty units distributed to the following regions of the world.140
- Central Europe (10)
- Latin America (6)
- China (5)
- Africa (5)
- USA (4)
- Caribbean (2)
- Other (8)
Sending was strongest during the years that Alan Andrews served as Canada’s country leader.
Missiology and US Missions, 1990s
As mentioned, a US missions strategy was presented in November 1989, strongly geared to the research that had been done on major nations. The objective of this strategy was “to help plant and develop a Navigator ministry that is biblically rooted, culturally relevant, and continuously effective in every major nation.”
After some preliminary definitions and explanations, this strategy laid out some overall projections for the year 2000, as shown in the table below.
After reflecting on the nations within the USA and outlining a rationale, the strategy arrived at some comprehensive objectives that would carry us forward to penetrating 175 major nations with a combined population of 5,567 million, or 89 percent of the world population, by the year 2000. This expansion, according to the strategy, would depend on four principal initiatives.
In June 1990, Al Bussard, the then director of our Eastern European ministries, wrote a widely circulated paper on “Tension in Mission: the Dilemma of Western Energy.”141 His thesis was that the remarkable energy being poured into the missionary task by missions of Western origin was a “dubious blessing” when set alongside the “courageous creativity in contextualization on the part of many developing world disciples and low-profile Christian leaders” because their fragile efforts at times are overcome by the sheer momentum and resources of the western missionary movement. He used the word “dilemma,” rather than problem, because the issue is extremely complex.142 Clearly, missions of Western origin are full of sincerity and most have no other motive than the service of God’s purposes in the world. They continue to be deeply needed; however, their future role “is sure to be so distinct as to be almost unrecognizable from the comfortable and gratifying dominance of the past.”143
The Church as a Failing Community
The following year, David Bosch published a monograph on “The Vulnerability of Mission”144 in which, as a South African missiologist, he quotes Bishop Tutu: “I fear that we have all been so seduced by the success ethic that we have forgotten that, in a very real sense, the Church was meant to be a failing community.” Bosch commented that a church that follows the model of the victim-missionary is one that is called to be a source of blessing to society, without being destined to regulate it. It knows that the Gospel ceases to be Gospel when it is foisted upon people.” He argues, following Koyama, that Christianity tends to exhibit a “crusading mind,” not a “crucified mind;” and it suffers from a “teacher complex.” Bosch explores passages such as 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 and 1 Corinthians 4:9-13. His argument is that “the cross must be seen for what it is: not as a sign of strength but as a proof of weakness and vulnerability.” It is a useful reminder.
So, what was the trend in our US missions during the 1980s? A paper prepared for the National Ministries Council reported that:
Our strategy was to supply missionaries requested by overseas leaders. But this was passive and the thrust of US missions was not as strong as desired due to lack of strategy and vehicles to allow participation by US leaders.
We reached a peak in sending in 1987 with 446 new career missionaries. But there was a decline in subsequent years, with 26, 26, 22 reaching a low of 14 in 1991.
In September 1991, the US Navigators moved to an entity structure within which the International Ministries Group (IMG) was formed to pull together in a synergistic way all the various functions of missions that were operating independently. This included access to restricted countries, missionary associates, the missions department, and ministry to internationals.
For the US missionary, there had been little sense of belonging. Now, the IMG would be a place to call home.
US Constellation Concept
This new US entity structure was named the Constellation Concept, “an organizational model which allows for maximum decentralization and specialization of ministries and for focusing and releasing creative energy at the point of contact. It is also a model for unifying diverse entities around some common commitments.”145
By 1993, the US International Missions Group146 was well established, led by Ray Hoo. The group had five segments:
- Recruiting: The Center for Global Opportunity (Rod Beidler)
- Intercultural Selection and Preparation (Chuck Broughton)
- Missions Personnel (Jim North)
- Professional Resources (Bruce Van Wyk)
- Missions Communications (Paul Hensley)
Their mission was to recruit, plant, and sustain reproducing Christ-centered discipling teams in the major nations147 of the world, in partnership with the Global Society. This, therefore, was an extension of our Primary Aim: “to multiply laborers in every nation.”
Our overall progress into the nations, as of 1993, was summarized as 3,327 staff of forty-nine nationalities ministering to 125 peoples in eighty-nine countries ministering in 113 languages including 731 cross-cultural missionary staff.
Ray Hoo had posed five questions to the International Executive Team. An extensive response from McGilchrist on behalf of the IET was presented to the US IMG.148
- Where are we as a Global Society?
- Where do we want to be in three-to-five years and beyond?
- What are some priority needs or opportunities for the US to consider?
- What are some other needs the US Navigators should consider?
- What role do you see the US Navigators playing in our Global Society?
It will be seen from these questions that there would be considerable content, both detailed and strategic, in the IET responses. Among their attachments were pages on:
- The State of Missions in our Global Society: 1993
- Some Current Initiatives (as many as twenty-three) in missions
- Canada/US Missions Interests by Ross Rains
- Summary of Concerns by Gert Doornenbal
Toward the Fundamentals of Navigator Missions
Earlier in the same year, the International Team had developed some assumptions and guidelines on “Launching New Cross-cultural Initiatives.” It would be several years before these were routinely followed (see attachment A).
Even when observed, these simple assumptions and guidelines proved not to be robust enough to channel the energy that was springing up in many separate initiatives launched by missions-minded field leaders from a variety of countries. During the next two years, our new International Team engaged in intense discussions of tensions and opportunities, using case studies.
Then, in 1995, our International Council endorsed the need for what we called a “Philosophy of Missions.” To aid in shaping this, thirty-two of our most experienced missionaries of thirteen nationalities contributed their “philosophies,” which were amalgamated into an embryonic “Theology of Missions.” Into this mix also flowed “Our Commitments” that had been distilled from what our countries had drawn out from the process of the Scriptural Roots of Our Ministry (see attachment B).
Debate continued. Could we even develop a transcultural theology? What would best serve our field missionaries? How might we best strengthen our advance into the nations?
Eventually, after much work, our International Council received and embraced in 1999 what we then called our Fundamentals of Navigator Missions. The detailed account of how we distilled these fundamentals after a process which lasted for most of the 1990s should be read in the separate article on the “Fundamentals of Navigator Missions.” It would be redundant to duplicate such an extensive journey in this article.
Work by the US IMG
Meanwhile, the US IMG perceived that more collective ownership of the way ahead was needed among the various US Entities. . .and more coordination. Therefore, Ray Hoo convened several meetings of a US International Missions Council,149 in 1993 and 1994, which put forward criteria for a viable strategy in the changing circumstances and a vision statement for consideration by the National Ministries Council. Their February 1994 meeting generated seven commitments which, inter alia, reflect a desire to avoid the unilateral energy which had been such a feature of US participation in The CoMission. Thus:
- We will foster and encourage spiritual reproduction to the third generation.
- We will send teams of laborers to minister interdependently.
- We will ensure the support and shepherding of those we send.
- We will seek the advice and mentoring of experts in the target groups.
- We will seek to integrate and promote the missions initiatives of the US entities.
- We will respect our partners in the Global Society and their ministry philosophies and plans.
- We will consult with the International Executive Team.
As well as the very large thrust of The CoMission (see separate article) running for five years from 1992, several active examples of US entities and field leaders pursuing various initiatives included:
- US Military Ministry, after successfully hosting a conference in Moscow for 550 Russian military officers in April 1993, established a Russian team (RMMT) that made at least four trips into Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine to follow up contacts. They had unmet invitations to conduct Christian values training at additional Russian military academies. Five US couples were considering a move to Russia or Ukraine to establish permanent ministries,150 using LTI (Paul Stanley) as an access vehicle.
- As for US CDM, the Schneiders were living in Riga, Latvia training German Lutherans in disciple-making, supported by visits from Covell, Kemmerer, Repko. Southeast Asia: Denny and Carolyn Repko had both visited every nine months since 1982, when first invited by Jim Chew.
- Dave G. was requesting help in recruiting team leaders for the remaining ten major peoples in the Eurasia targeted (out of twelve) by the venture.
- The African-American entity had arranged short-term missions in Uganda for Jackie Holland and Mike Henderson.
- Siberian Ministries (later Sequoia Unlimited) led by John Advocaat, was already ministering in four cities.
In fact, both senders and receivers were engaging in a remarkable variety of initiatives in missions. At our International Council in February 1993, twenty-three current initiatives were identified. Some resulted in evident stress. For example, Ross Rains drew attention to the need for clarity in Canada/US missions interests and provided examples of how Canada felt under-consulted.151
Because most of our countries that desired to send missionaries were only able to release one occasionally, an interesting development arose in the 1990s, best described as the adoption152 of a single receiving country. For example, Malaysia adopted Bangladesh.
As a result of significant work from 1996 to 1999 by a team153 that had Neil G. as their project engineer, we developed a draft “Theology of Missions” which led into our international Fundamentals of Navigator Missions which provided several resources including six topical studies on aspects of missions, in May 1998. This FONM is explored in a separate article.
It was often claimed that, with the center of gravity154 of the Christian faith continuing to shift southwards, there are now more cross-cultural missionaries from the global South than from the North. This was not (yet) true. Larry Pate published an excellent book titled From Every People (MARC, 1989) which highlighted the remarkable growth of such sending, but his data counted missionaries both domestic (cross-cultural) and foreign from the global South, but only foreign missionaries from the rest of the world, and he assumed that missionaries from the global South would maintain a constant rate of increase (rather as we Navigators had improbably done in the early 1970s!).
However, if we compare “apples with apples” by looking only at foreign missionaries, here is the best estimate for the year 2000 (see table below).
In 2007, Rod Beidler wrote an excellent paper entitled the “Evolution of the US Navigator Missions Program: 1949-2007.”156 He used four broad periods:
- The Early Years (1949-1960)
- The Expanding Years (1970-1983)
- The Quiet Years (1984-1990)
- The Modern Era (1991-2007)
Rod presents the impact of the formation of the US IMG in 1991 as “organizing for the first time a US ministry entity dedicated to international missions:
The greatest impact of this change was to place all missions-related functions unique to the center under one recognizable, specialized “department,” providing greater stability, continuity and consistency for both the sender and receiver. The greatest single advantage of the structural change was in allowing overseas “receivers” to communicate and coordinate with one “sender,” rather than with many “senders,” as was the situation when the US divisions, regions and states were responsible for recruiting, sending and supporting missionaries.157
Under Rod’s guidance, the years between 1996 and 2003 saw the US IMG progressively developing specialized functional expertise with a view to enhancing consistency and both the quality and quantity of staff sent overseas. The functional areas within the US IMG were:
- Mobilization and recruitment
- Candidate assessment/appointment
- Pre-field preparation and training
- Staff care
The 9/11 attacks on the US in 2001 had a debilitating impact on missions sending until 2006. Recruiting to what were now considered the most dangerous places in the world was extremely difficult for three years. Only since 2005 did recruiting experience a significant turnaround. Starting in 2001, the US Navigators formalized their international risk and crisis-management policies and procedures.158 The US IMG trained and maintained two crisis-management teams and signaled that they would also be supportive should a crisis affecting non-Americans develop anywhere in the world.
In 2007, Waldron Scott donated his missions library of more than one thousand volumes to our Worldwide Partnership. They are shelved in our International Building and available for use by our staff.
In the same year, the IET sponsored a consultation for major sending countries:159
Purpose: To support, connect and strengthen our four partnering countries with the strongest demonstrated capacity to send laborers into the nations, as they work out their contributions to our Calling
Focus: How can we develop as partnering countries in which our Core is well planted and flourishing and in which we are partnering by sending and supporting missionaries who are living out The Core effectively in their receiving contexts?
The prefatory papers noted that “we want to ground our discussion in the realities experienced in each of the four countries. What has gone well and why? What has not been successful and why not? What is ‘good’ sending?” In other words, what are the marks of a country that is successfully and sustainably advancing into the nations?
This article has outlined the story of our engagement with the nations. Deliberately, however, little has been said about developments after the birth of The Core in 2002.
Missionary work was born in the counsels of the Triune God where it was decreed that, by the preaching of the Gospel to all people, there should be brought to eternal glory a great multitude which no man could number from every tribe, people, and language.
Confession of the Waldenses, 1573
How might we form an overall view of the principal shifts in our cross-cultural programs, especially during the 1970s through the 1990s?
Drawing from the mass of detail which this article contains, there are several ways in which we can summarize.
Attachment D is a simplified chart of eight phases in our International Evolution.
Can we reduce this even more, by focusing only on the sending of missionaries?
In very broad terms, we see the emergence of additional sending countries in the 1970s, on a small scale but beginning to advance their own priorities; continuing dependence on the very large US missionary force in the early 1980s; freedom recovered by the US in the late 1980s to develop their own sending strategy, as other countries had done a decade earlier; the profusion of cross-cultural initiatives in the early 1990s; the consequent refocusing from the center that gave us the Fundamentals of Navigator Missions in the late 1990s.
These five trends mask many important developments but outline the overall rhythm of our cross-cultural progress from the perspectives of the senders (see table below).
By Donald McGilchrist
See also articles on:
Navigators Among the People of God
Overseas Policy Conference:1961
Global Planning: 1966 – 1975
Global Planning: 1976 –
Surge and Stress in the Seventies
Returned Missionaries: 1970-1978
Our Enabling Global Society
Several Ministries in One Country
The Allocation of Cross-Cultural Missionaries
Fundamentals of Nav Missions
Link to Attachments
Launching New Cross-Cultural Initiatives
Phases in our International Evolution
- See article on “A History of our Calling.”
- Christ’s Ambassadors Herald, the Assemblies of God, December 1944, p. 11. An editorial note introduces him as “Head of the Navigators, that wide-awake aggregation of Christian servicemen who are always busy with their Bibles.”
- Lee Robertson’s history of his father Roy, p. 10.
- In 2002, Roy published Developing a Heart for Mission which is a challenging account of the missionary friends whom he calls the “Powerhouse Five”: Dave Morken, Hubert Mitchell, Dick Hillis, Bob Pierce and, of course, Dawson Trotman. Roy had met these men during his training in the Trotman home in Los Angeles.
- Sanny to couples July 17, 1959, p. 1.
- Downing: Paper on “Objectives and Strategy” for OPC 1961, p. 5. He goes on to say that “in our publicity, we mention the fact that men of The Navigators are serving more than forty missionary organizations.”
- See Daws, p. 292, 302, 311 (the last star being world vision).
- Source: Daws, p. 295.
- Sanny quoted Daws to this effect at the Overseas Policy Conference in 1961: notes of session 12 on January 12, 1961.
- Speaking to Couples: July 17, 1959.
- Missions or Mission? In 1952, the ecumenical gathering at Willingen of the International Missionary Council (IMC) sought to remedy the false dichotomy between the Christian West and the “heathen lands” by proposing to abandon the word “missions” in favor of a broader word “mission,” which would include Christian concern and service by all Christians everywhere, a mandate as wide as the church itself. Then, in 1961, the IMC merged with the World Council of Churches (WCC) when they met in New Delhi. From this union, two years later, emerged a formal report entitled “Mission in Six Continents” which, in the minds of the writers, officially abolished the outdated idea that only one part of the world was mission territory. Mission, in the broad sense, was the responsibility of church structures, and interdenominational missions agencies were no longer invited to the gatherings of the WCC. Nevertheless, they have held on to the plural form of the word—missions—which breathes decentralization and excitement and retains a place for what would soon be labeled sodalities. Mission in general—sometimes called the missio dei, God’s intent in the world—would certainly work as biblically presented, but cross-cultural missions was the distinguishing term for most sodalities. For the intricacies of this debate, see Ralph D. Winter’s The Twenty-Five Unbelievable Years (Wm. Carey Library, 1970), chapter 4. See also article “Mission and Missions” in Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, (ed. Scott Moreau, Baker Books, 2000). One may also note that Stephen Neill, in the conclusion (p. 572) to his magisterial History of Christian Missions (Penguin, 1964) has a different take on these slippery words: He asserts that “the age of missions is at an end; the age of mission has begun.” He explains that “mission” has traditionally meant the going forth of the Gospel into those areas where it has never previously penetrated at all—beyond the utmost frontiers of the Church into the wholly unknown. This is the sense in which it has been used in this book.” This has echoes of the Catholic language of “the missions.” My series of articles retains our customary understanding that missions (plural) is ministry among a people different from one’s own, whether or not this takes place outside one’s country.
- Sources: Log April 1959, April 1961, April 1958, March 1959.
- See Daws, p. 338.
- “Dear Gang” July 16, 1953. Daws used Deuteronomy 7:22 to support the thrust of this statement.
- This was the syllabus for the Glen Eyrie Training Program in the fall of 1954. It runs to thirty compact pages.
- Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours? (1912). Allen, a prolific missiologist, lived from 1868 to 1947.
- Interestingly, as Allen points out, Luke and Paul speak constantly of provinces rather than cities.
- R. E. Thompson was personnel secretary for the Far Eastern Gospel Crusade, after serving in the China Inland Mission. Daws distributed his paper on April 15, 1954.
- “Dear Gang,” November 17, 1960.
- William Carey, An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians, 1792, p. 57.
- To nineteen countries. The Formosa ministry was now in the hands of Chinese nationals.
- Source: “Roles and Responsibilities for Missionary Sending and Care,” Marvin Smith, September, 1989.
- Sources for the above personnel moves are mainly Log issues 1976-1987. The first African-American Navigators to go overseas were Joseph Hobbs and Lou Jackson to Indonesia in 1974.
- See Article on “Navigators Among the People of God.”
- This description was originally intended as a letter of information on the Middle East and takes the Middle East story up to at least 1967. In June 1967, Scotty wrote to the nationals that he had raised up six men (names removed for security) to encourage their hearts as war had broken out and both Lebanon and Syria had broken off diplomatic relations with the US and the UK. The work would now rest on the shoulders, at least temporarily, of the nationals.
- OPC session 17 on January 14, 1961. See separate article, “Overseas Policy Conference: 1961.”
- This summary taken from the OPC conclusions dated February 6, 1961. Later, of course, the two manifestations would often adopt the Catholic vocabulary of modalities and sodalities.
- This objective can be found in Trotman’s preaching. However, the new element was that, rather than merely advocating this to others, we would ourselves show that it could be done.
- This metaphorical use of “key” as broadly equivalent to “important” or “strategic” has become very common in our dialogue. Figuratively, the dictionary defines it as “something which affords entrance or possession.”
- OPC Session 18, comment by Scott.
- Rod Beidler, Evolution of US Navigators’ Missions Program 1949-2007. Draft 2, February, 2007.
- The 1960s were a period of defining many things, as Sanny organized and sharpened our philosophy. In a 1966 OPC list of 77 Definitions, Strategy was the “overall, long-range planning and directing of personnel and resources toward accomplishing the organization’s objectives.” Informally, Sanny would simply say “Strategic = that which affects our point of focus.”
- For the first time, this approach was supported by some simple guidelines for evaluating and considering personnel. Previously, such assessments had been conducted in a variety of ways. Confirmed in November 1969, DDC Personnel Policies and Guidelines 5C.
- During the 1970s, for example, we withdrew from Denmark (April 1970), Uganda (January 1973), Lebanon (October 1975), Iran (July 1977).
- One example: Dick Hightower to Africa under the Africa Inland Mission. See Daws, p. 270.
- The Evangelical Alliance Mission.
- China Inland Mission, later Overseas Missionary Fellowship, later OMF International.
- Dr. Taylor was a valuable resource in our discussions, especially during OPC 1961. He served as general director of the National Association of Evangelicals from 1963 until 1976.
- Extracts from OPC session 20 on January 16, 1961.
- A friendly critic, Dr. Ralph Winter, writes of how he perceived us (and IVF and Campus Crusade) during the 1970s. Thus: “All three are heavily involved in ministries on college campuses, where they function almost as “surrogate denominations” but, despite good intentions, do not really try very hard to sustain or nourish the denominational relations or backgrounds or foregrounds of the students they touch. None of them, for example, produces or routinely employs any literature that would explain the different denominational traditions to students . . . even though all three are active publishers . . .” See “Protestant Mission Societies: The American Experience,” Winter’s presidential address to the ASM in 1978 in Missiology, April 1979.
- Source: McGilchrist, 1980 study.
- Launched May 1966 with two single Americans to the Philippines. January 1975 paper on the “Concept and Procedures” was revised as regards program benefits in January 1982, and as regards rationale in June 1986. Fifty-five American MITs and thirty-eight had returned in the first decade of the program. Leading receivers were Japan, Philippines, Germany. There were also thirty WITs of whom eighteen had returned. ITs were much used by our Travel Training Ministry based in Vienna and traveling into the restricted countries of Eastern Europe in the 1970s and 1980s.
- Source for planned entries: November 1968 Overseas Directors Conference, reproduced in April 1975, DDC papers.
- Policy agreed to by the divisional directors in November 1969. Nav leaders promoted missions with the stance: “Unless God specifically calls you to remain in the US, He wants you overseas” (Beidler loc cit).
- Namely: Croatia, Slovakia, Uganda, Austria, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Thailand, Russia, Latvia, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, China, Myanmar, Slovenia, Ukraine, Liberia.
- See articles on “Surge and Stress: Missions in the Seventies” and “Returned Missionaries: 1970-1978.”
- In missionary writing, “indigenous” usually means a self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating church. Later, self-theologizing was added. See article on “Nationalizing.”
- Scotty also advocated “A mixed staff of nationals and foreigners. This objective is valid partly because of the supranational character of the Gospel and partly because it would promote harmony in our work and protect us from heretical variations. . . . At the same time, we may legitimately expect the leader of the work in a country to be a national of that country.” See discussion in December 1973 CPC notes 2.2.7, p. 33.
- The following paragraphs draw from a December 1989 paper by Marvin Smith on “Roles and Responsibilities for Missionary Sending and Care.” See McGilchrist archives, box 9.
- 1969: forty-six ex forty-seven; 1979: eighty-five ex 113. Source: “Ministry Performance” by McGilchrist, prepared in April 1980.
- Final version presented to our divisional directors in December 1972.
- Although a reaction developed later in the 1970s, the US was visibly and sacrificially releasing many of their best into the nations, at considerable cost.
- It is likely that the earliest reference is in 1961, when the overseas directors took note of the sequence that Scott advocated: strengthen production in the US, strengthen certain overseas areas, planned expansion in the US and overseas. This was an embryonic version of the stages. Source: OPC 61 notes, session 34.
- Extracted from chapter 1, page 12 of Scotty’s “Strategy for the 70s.” He does add later that “we have actually taken steps (sc. in the US) that lead in the direction of stage 3. We have appointed a number of Reps whose prime responsibility is to minister to laymen outside the collegiate/military context. In a couple of instances, we have initiated special programs designed to minister to the broader public (e.g. the German Lutheran Church in Brazil, TEL in Asia, Shamgar in Australia).” See articles on “Community Ministries” and “Navigators Among the People of God.”
- Paper presented by Dr. Winter to the International Congress on July 20, 1974. Subsequently published as “The New Macedonia” which helpfully contains in part 2 Winter’s responses to his various critics. Only a dozen Nav staff were participants, among the four thousand at this congress. However, at least Eims and Scott and Sparks and McGilchrist were influenced and fired up by the event. A highlight of the plenary opening session was a video presentation on “The Task Before Us” by Scott. The Lausanne Covenant and, to a lesser extent, the series of LCWE papers that followed carried the momentum forward to a new generation.
- This took place in January 1975. At the same time, Dr. Winter was making clear the distinction between modalities and sodalities which we adopted in our Fundamentals of The Navigator Ministry (November 1978 and April 1982). His article on “The Two Structures of God’s Redemptive Mission” is in McGilchrist archives, box 9 under US Missions Task Force 1986-89.
- Scotty was assisted in the details of his strategy by Rich Chin, John Ridgway, Marvin Smith.
- For explanations and definitions, as well as scores for every country, see chapter 4 of the strategy, p. 46-53. Discussion of alternative options to proceed and inclusion of field experience by the relevant divisional directors may be found in chapter 5.
- Corporate aim as expressed by the divisional directors on June 12, 1970. Purpose of strategy taken from November 1973 explanation of the “Strategy for the 70s.” In view of the criticism often leveled against Scotty’s strategy, one may note that it offers a significant relaxation of the timeframe proposed earlier in our corporate aim!
- 12/73 CPC Note 1.3.3, page 12.
- Coincidentally, the larger evangelical world had been grappling with the proposal for a moratorium on sending new missionaries promoted by John Gatu, General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in East Africa, because the continuing influx was “a hindrance to the Selfhood of the church.” See the discussion in my article on The Allocation of Cross-Cultural Missionaries.
- Source: US Missions Strategy by Smith/McGilchrist and Task Force, January 10, 1986, appendix E.
- McGilchrist noted that the major study of our Personnel Administration Requirements; 1973-83 by Marvin Smith in December 1972 had exposed structural weaknesses that still largely existed. Decisive action was required.
- The rapid turnover in our field directors meant that a long-term missionary had to relate to a succession of sponsors. In two years towards the end of the 1980s, for example, the occupants of half of our divisional and field director positions changed in the US.
- Our eight strategic global imperatives were shaped at our international leadership conference in February 1980. They avoided the numerical targets of a decade earlier.
- Waldron Scott wrote for our leaders a superb analysis (undated, c1974) entitled “The Navigators and the Church Growth Movement” in which he explained the tenets of the movement and suggested where we might learn from them, after his time at the Fuller School of World Mission. Regrettably, it does not seem that we discussed it. Parenthetically, the pendulum among evangelicals committed to the nations swung from the “most responsive” in the 1970s to the “least reached” in the 1990s.
- As early as 1951, we find that Nick Kalivoda was moving to LSU, partly to reach the large group of foreign students. However, our American ministry began in 1972 when Nate M. realized how many Lebanese were studying in the US. See article on “International Students.”
- Undated. For Asia, see paragraph 1 of talk 4. See also Scott’s letter to Sanny of August 9, 1978. Filed in McGilchrist H2010 series under cross-cultural missions.
- “Sending Laborers Project,” October 1978, Ian John, located in McGilchrist archives, green binder of missionary papers.
- Singapore, September 20-26, 1970, proceedings in archive box WS4. In the same box WS4 is Marvin Smith’s September 1969 paper on “Essentials for an Effective Ministry in a Different Culture.”
- Draft 7 dated June 1979 by Warren and Ruth Myers. See McGilchrist missionary papers in green notebook. In January 1980, Warren produced a sister paper on “Orienting Overseas Personnel” which describes his orientation program for India.
- Source: Evaluation of TIL by Alan Healey for Jack Mayhall, January 1977. See also Smith loc cit December 1972 Section 4.5.2. Our first TIL attendees were Carl and Barbara Fretwell and Jean Douglas in June 1972, bound for South Korea.
- Source: McGilchrist letter of June 13, 1977. The US regional directors decided in February 1977 that they would limit the TIL experience to area representatives. In December 1978, Bob Hopkins provided the specific performance differentials of our students tuned to some extent to the difficulty of the languages that they would be encountering. See TIL file in McGilchrist archive, box 4.
- See, for example, the July 1981 IET text. A further refinement can be found in my article on “Global Planning: 1976 – .” See also the article on “The Allocation of Cross-Cultural Missionaries.”
- Doug Sparks had presented some formative ideas on this to the December 1978 ILT conference which were “warmly endorsed, subject to detailed refinement,” but relatively little progress had subsequently been made. International project 4. See November 1981 description.
- This project required us to define the term “nation” and, having done so, to define the ministry that we desire in a nation and to select those nations in which we want to see such ministry. How will we raise up the needed resources, gradually closing the gap between what we have and what we need? International project 2. See November 1981 description. Nations were understood to comprise peoples and languages as well as countries. See article on “The Nations.”
- Eight strategic global imperatives had been formulated in February 1980 at our international leadership conference.
- Dr. Ralph Winter, in his presentation to the Lausanne congress in 1974 on “The Highest Priority” labels this “people blindness” if it blandly assumes that working within a country means that one has penetrated the constituent cultures, languages, peoples.
- Source: historical series for 1983-1984.
- Terry was emphasizing that the US needed both an “overseas” and a “home” missions strategy. His task force met first in July 1985. Launch members: Mayhall (chair), Blake, Gray, McGilchrist, Price, Smith. See McGilchrist archives, box 8.
- On “The Sending and Orientation of Missionaries for The Navigators,” Fuller SWM, May 1983.
- Several valuable studies were subsequently carried out by Marvin Smith, who had returned from Africa in May 1974 with a burden to deepen our advance into the nations.
- McGilchrist letter to Cauwels, November 14, 1997.
- Response to global project 2b. Sponsor: Terry Taylor. See McGilcrhist archives, box 9. Marvin also defined responsibilities for the US senders and the overseas receivers, a precursor to the “Outline of Missionary Tasks” which Neil G. brought to the International Council in 1997.
- Marvin did not overlook what we then called “home missions.” We find that a home missions task force was active in 1985.
- “Normal reassignment” included successful completion of assignment tasks, lack of additional ministry opportunities, unavoidable health or family considerations. These cases could be considered “successful.” Thirty-five percent is basically the same as the 38 percent in the previous study in 1978. See Marvin’s paper “A Study of American Missionaries Returning from the Field: 1970-1984” dated January 10, 1985, for INC4.
- See USLT minute 6.6 of March 1985.
- The successor to this desire is now formed by the US mission Nations Within.
- This became a new project 5 on sending by established countries. Andrews, working especially with the leaders of our commonwealth bloc, produced a report in August 1987.
- This paper flowed from “The External Sending Globally-Coordinated Project.” It extends to twenty-six pages and quite a few appendices. To some extent, it was overshadowed by the coming focus on designing our Global Society.
- Explained in successive editions of his paper “Towards Every Nation.”
- This came back to haunt us in the 1990s. White was doubtless responding to Mayhall’s question on why not send a team of missionaries to (e.g.) Mexico.
- These comments taken from McGilchrist to Mayhall of July 27, 1985. McGilchrist archives, box 4.
- Webster’s Dictionary supportively defines missions as “organized missionary work” and mission as “a ministry commissioned by a religious organization . . .” Though this is straightforward, it still tended to cause occasional confusion. Source: Smith’s “Introduction to US Missions Strategy” of September 23, 1985. See also note 11. See also Transforming Mission, David Bosch, Orbis, 1991, p. 389-393.
- This was superseded by the Fundamentals of Navigator Missions in 1998, especially the outline of missionary tasks developed by Neil G.
- Most of Bob’s work related to American missionaries and other American staff, so that passing back his responsibilities to the US Navigators would also be in line with the principle that Jack Mayhall had laid down in 1975. See article on “IHQ-USHQ Relationships.” Bob passed away in April 1987.
- Source: “A Study of American Missionaries Returning from the Field: 1970-1984,” Marvin Smith, January 1985. Note that the number of women missionaries was so small that trend data would not be fruitful.
- Jointly by McGilchrist and Smith, with a task force of Mayhall, Blake, Gray, Price. See McGilchrist archives, box 9. A response to strategic imperative 5: “We must improve our selection, orientation and placement of missionaries in obedience to our Lord’s command to go to every nation” (Acts 13:1-3). It was updated in October 1989.
- Nations continued to be understood biblically as the generic umbrella term, within which our grassroots focus was increasingly on ethnic peoples. See successive editions of “Towards Every Nation,” a biblical and strategic study of our position on the meaning of nations. For the next two decades, the broad assumption was that there were, as defined by us, some 440 major nations in the world.
- Ethnic participants: Bob Adame, Jane Berry, Rich Berry, Gene Burrell, Armando Madrid, Nate M., Jackie Holland, Charlie Speight.
- Source: “Launching of Ministries by Decade” as at January 10, 2008 by McGilchrist, showing name and nationality of country openers by year. Countries which no longer exist such as Macau (Robertson 59-61), East Germany, Yugoslavia, are not counted.
- China, France, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Cyprus, Venezuela, Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Finland, Uganda, Denmark, Panama, Vietnam, Tanzania, Chad, Estonia, Cambodia, Sudan.
- Austria, Lesotho.
- Incoming regional directors often take a different view of countries where ministry is quiescent or dormant.
- Issues of definition continued to render this the least reliable aspect of our census.
- See article on “India.” John R. had stimulated this creative expansion by Indians.
- Missiology, Volume XXXIX.1, January 2011. Some caution is necessary. For example, it is doubtful that “South Korea alone sends out as many new missionaries each year as all western nations combined.” Refer to Larry Pate’s study, mentioned on my page 48.
- Marvin (and Georgette’s) missionary service included New Zealand 1967-1969; Australia country leader 1969-1971; deputy director PAN 1972; Kenya 1973-1974; Ghana 1974-1978; Africa director 1979-1981 while attending Fuller SWM. In founding the US missions department in 1984, he significantly enhanced our orientation, administration, and staff care.
- Source: Smith’s summary of September 26, 1989. See McGilchrist archives, box 9.
- Source: Recommendations drawn up on December 18, 1985. Though Bob Adame and Armando Madrid participated, the majority view was that the broad category of Asian Americans would not be served by a similar single leader. The argument was that Asian Americans are a small population, when compared with Blacks and Hispanics, fragmented into many ethnic groups and, in our case, coming generally from nations in which God had already blessed us with strong ministries, such as Korea and the Philippines and the Chinese diaspora.
- These three criteria originally appeared in the description of an established country, called “partnering countries” from May 1997.
- October 1989 US missions strategy. It contained a history of US Nav missions strategy in six phases.
- In Nigeria, a determination to weld the many peoples into one country, especially after the tragic Biafran War, has meant that this needed sensitivity.
- Preceded by ministries among African and Asian and Native Americans.
- It had the rather daunting title of “The External Sending Globally-Coordinated Project,” August 1987.
- Simmons sent July 1953, appointed June 1955. We would have to wait until 1970 for other non-Americans to be officially sent as missionary Reps or contact staff (Chew, Lappala, Munro).
- Source: Worldwide staff census. The above numbers include all staff of the specified nationalities ministering in a country other than their own., even if not “officially” sent. Spouses are included, such as a Japanese woman married to an American man resident in the US. While this yields higher numbers of missionaries than sending countries record, it has the benefit of consistency in assessing trends across the years. Each year, names are listed in the census, for verification. Home missionaries are those crossing cultures in their own countries, and are separately tabulated.
- Detailed account provided by Jim Chew in May 2017.
- Weatherly represented Youth for Christ. His passion was to see “the Gospel preached to every person in every nation in each succeeding generation.” He also saw the importance of “conserving the fruit” and invited Navigators to help.
- Roy formed Asian Evangelists Commission (AEC) with other mostly Asian evangelists and conducted mass rallies throughout Southeast Asia. In 1970, he launched Training Evangelistic Leadership (TEL).
- Chander and other Singapore doctors joined World Vision and set about rescuing Vietnamese refugees. He continued giving medical leadership for three decades and also mentored some World Vision country leaders.
- When the FOM was introduced internationally in 1978, the accompanying “profiles” helped grow our ministry but had also caused tensions with the emphasis on Management by Objectives. How relevant was this approach when crossing cultures?
- See attachment A.
- By the 1990s, Asians were leading our ministries in Asia. Alan Andrews replaced Doug Sparks as leader of the established countries of Asia in 1992, serving only for one term, after which Badu S. became our first indigenous Asia director.
- For a complete list of names, please contact the US History Department.
- For a complete list of names, please contact the US History Department. Related laborers depended on annual conferences outside the country for development and discussion on our strategic directions. Jim Chew continued to shepherd a number of Singaporeans and other Asians.
- Related to a Navigator leader in Asia-Pacific.
- A.L. met Christ in New Zealand through Simon Chow who led many Malaysian students to Christ in Wellington.
- Y.K. is single. He was discipled as an international student in New Zealand in the 1980s.
- The ministry to our neighbors in Malaysia is separate from our traditional work. However, ministries among our neighbors in Malaysia by churches and agencies have spread and grown. Source: Alan Ch’ng, conversation in June 2017.
- L.S.J. was the first short-term Korean missionary. He served in Indonesia during March 11, 1973. Peter Hong was the first Korean missionary Rep, based in the Philippines from April 1981.
- Because Korea is mostly a homogeneous culture, at least to outsiders, cross-cultural work is challenging. Also, because we were largely organized around the world in countries, there was an international preference to avoid several “brands” of Navigator launching ministry in the same country. This usually works well, until the ministries reach a certain visibility. Then, questions can arise. See my article on “Several Ministries in One Country.”
- In general, more than half of the twenty thousand Koreans serving overseas today minister in Asia, with an emphasis on countries with an Islamic majority and a focus on traditional evangelistic work. Source: “Missions from Korea 2013” by Steve Sang-Cheol Moon, in IBMR Vol. 37.2.
- John Pyun, Mark Han, Andy Oh formed Segero in 1999.
- Other developed countries with at least 40 percent of their staff ministering cross-culturally include: Kenya 49 percent, Nigeria 45 percent, Philippines 45 percent, UK 41 percent; but, these percentages include cross-cultural sending within their own countries, which is an option not open to the homogeneous Korean culture. Source: Table H of December 2008 WW staff census.
- From 1997 to 2009, Ted and Linda visited Britons working cross-culturally. At that time there were thirty-five in fourteen countries as well as seventeen working in the UK. Ted prioritized his visits on the criteria of isolation, danger, lack of facilities.
- Compiled by Paul and agreed with our current Kenya leader Chris Amulo, June 2017. Minor adjustments by Esther Waruiru.
- In June 1956, five Nav staff opened a Bible study and scripture memory course office, invited by the Pocket Testament League and Africa Inland Mission. Dean and Gene Denler preached in Mau Mau detention camps and trained African evangelists. Nearly 2,500 first-time decisions were recorded in 108 meetings. The last Nav missionary in this early work left Kenya in January 1965.
- After Jim White (1968-1973), leaders were Marvin Smith (1973-1974), Noel Nelson (1974-1977), and Bruce Van Wyk (1977-1986).
- For detailed list, see my H2010 missions file. Excludes recent additions of Nicki Horne and Cara Johnstone.
- During the same fertile period of his study at Regent College in Vancouver, Bussard also wrote (May 1990) a paper on “Missions for the End of the Twentieth Century.”
- A more acerbic paper was “The Two-Third World Church and the Multinational Mission Agencies,” Samuel and Sugden of the OCMS, undated. See McGilchrist archives, box 9.
- Paper presented for discussion by Regent College faculty on March 5, 1990, quoting from draft 2.
- Occasional paper 10, Selly Oak Colleges, 1991.
- These paragraphs taken from a working paper on “Coordinating our US Missions Thrust” dated June 22, 1993; specifically, the section on a history of US NavMissions strategy. Source: McGilchrist archives, box 8, US Missions Council. See also responsive comments by McGilchrist to Hensley dated June 25, 1993.
- The IET asked that this be labeled as “US” in order to avoid confusion. Indeed, some staff assumed that the IET was a section within the IMG! Rod Beidler, who had by this time replaced Marvin Smith, graciously agreed and it became the US IMG. Sadly, Marvin passed away in January 2007.
- “Major” was understood as those nations which would have at least one million people by the year 2000.
- Responses to questions from Ray Hoo, November 19, 1993, six pages and attachments. Material may be found under tab 4 of November 1993 US IMC. Ray presented his paper on “Enhancing Missions” to this gathering of the US IMC, in his capacity as the director of the International Ministries Group. See McGilchrist archives, box 9.
- November 1993, February 1994, November 1994. US IMG participants in February 1994: Advocaat, Beidler, Broughton, Hensley, Hoo, Nikaido, North, Ronka, van Wyk, from which the above mission is taken. The US IMC purpose was “to provide coordinated effort for the total US missions endeavor.”
- Mike Schmid to Ron Nikaido, October 27, 1993.
- The specific concerns of Canada are in Section 4 and a description of various initiatives are in Section 5 of the preparatory book for the November 1993 USIMG.
- This was not exclusive and did not imply comity.
- Neil G., McGilchrist, Petersen.
- Source: Atlas of Global Christianity, Johnson & Ross, Edinburgh University 2009. Page 53 shows how the statistical Center of Gravity of Christianity has moved geographically in the last 1900 years and is now near Tessalit in Mali.
- Source: Article by Michael Jaffarian in July 2004 IBMR (Page 131), based on Edition 2 of the WCE (Oxford 2001) by Barrett, Kurian, Johnson: Table 1. Operation World by Johnstone & Mandryk would yield similar data: see Jaffarian’s Tables 2 and 3, though their basis of measurement is more limited.
- US IMG February 2007. See McGilchrist archives, box 9.
- The only departure from this decision was that The CoMission was kept financially and administratively separate from the USIMG.
- These were formalized in August 2006. The policies addressed the safety and security of American missionaries; the procedures addressed the US response to crises.
- February 28 to March 3, 2007 in Seoul, Korea. Twenty-eight participants from Canada, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States, as well as Asia region and the IET.