Financing Foreigners

Summary: This article chronicles the extent of the exploratory discussions among our leaders, as the need to help those who were not Americans moved from theory to urgent practice. Again and again, specific cases challenged our general principles. Though circumstances within our partnership are so diverse, Navigators have largely avoided the evils of dependency and […]

International Associates

Summary: Navigators first called Missionary Associates and later became known as International Associates flourished throughout the 1980s. This designation served primarily to open a path for disciple-makers to serve cross-culturally without the requirements placed on International Trainees. Associates were not classified as staff. They secured employment in their professions and, usually, worked closely with our […]

Military Ministries

Summary: The Navigators ministered among the members of the US military in the late 1930s alongside our extensive work among teenagers. At the end of 1941, as the US entered World War II, ministry on ships and bases spread rapidly. We were stretched and God abundantly blessed. After World War II, so much changed. Thousands […]

International Leadership Conference 1980

Summary: This conference marked a pivotal point in our history. Having recognized that global planning from the center was no longer appropriate, we moved to a much more democratic approach by calling together many of our leaders from around the world. It was a radical shift in concept but proved to be only partially successful. […]

Global Planning 1976 –

Summary: This article picks up where “Global Planning 1966-1975” left off. It takes us through the adjustment phase of the mid-1970s after which we began to encounter stress prompted by the rapidity of our earlier expansion. Therefore, our international leadership conference in 1980 presented two faces: a welcome and fresh commitment to what was internationally […]

The CoMission

Summary: From 1992 through 1996, the US Navigators were powerful actors in a complex drama set against the extraordinary organizational and spiritual evolution of what had been the Soviet Union. The decision of the US Navigators to participate energetically in The CoMission generated both profound excitement and strong opposition within our movement. It tested the […]

The Allocation of Cross-Cultural Missionaries

Summary: Given our commitment to the nations, it is important to follow the thread of how we worked at prioritizing and placing our limited supply of new cross-cultural missionaries. This article traces our trend toward sharpening our criteria for new sending in the 1970s, followed by a broader emphasis on large ethno-religious blocs in 1982. […]

Cross-Cultural Missions

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 […]

Surge and Stress: Missions in the 1970s

Summary: The 1970s were a transitional period. We emerged with remarkable speed from the American sending program of the 1960s into an urgent challenge to our strongest “receiving” countries to join in becoming “sending” countries. Despite these efforts, it soon became clear that even within the US we were unable to sustain the level of […]

Directors’ Conference: 1951

Summary: This brief article consists of excerpts from the earliest directors’ conference, held on February 22-24, 1951 in San Francisco. It reveals how we were thinking about how best to minister outside the US, and the beginnings of our publicity within the US. Attention at the conference was given to servicemen Conference Participants Directors Dawson […]


Summary: This article is the second in a triad of articles: Nationalizing, Internationalizing, and Contextualizing. Having raised up staff to serve as nationals in their own countries, to what extent would they join in reaching and discipling those of other nations? This was our urgent hope as we worked towards what we called “sending countries.” […]

The Nations

Summary: This article discusses how we gradually developed an understanding of the scriptural terms describing the nations, and how this was then used internationally to assess our progress among peoples, languages, countries, and cities. These four facets were seen by us as concrete and accessible ways of approaching the general term “nation” (ethnos). The text […]

Management by Objectives, 1968-1974

Summary: In 1961, our leaders committed to demonstrating that our vision “worked” through the multiplying of disciple-makers, “producing reproducers.” This led naturally to assessing our progress. Lorne Sanny was attracted to the emerging secular tool called Management by Objectives (MBO): It offered a disciplined approach and standards that should keep us on track. After all, […]

Overseas Policy Conference 1961

Overseas Policy Conference 1961

Summary: This conference was historic because it was the first occasion on which Lorne Sanny called together the directors of our young ministries outside the US. We needed to take stock of how best to connect with other agencies and churches, and to distill the essence of the Navigator contribution to God’s purposes. Our five […]

International Trainees

Summary: This article describes the early phases of short-term Navigator missions, beginning in 1962. Young short-term missionaries, usually single men and women, were first called “staff trainees” and later called “international trainees.” The article also documents what leaders saw as the benefits of the program for our cross-cultural work. Contents Beginnings IT Program Benefits New […]