Yesterday was the communications department quarterly offsite meeting at the Penrose House. Below is our team photo, including my summer intern Anna.
The Navigators Communications Department exists to assist Navigator staff serving around the world by helping them communicate effectively to others in their ministry and by providing them with the administrative information they need to minister at their best. Since 2016 I have worked there, serving as the strategic communications manager.
Last month I joined representatives from nine ministries in Orlando for the fourth annual Communications and Marketing Summit. The ministries attending included The Navigators, Cru, Intervarsity, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Young Life, Wycliffe, Youth for Christ, Athletes in Action, and Coalition of Christian Outreach. In a spirit of partnership each ministry shared insight on their successes and setbacks in the realm of communications and marketing in ministry at a national level.
My favorite session was titled “Moving Marketing into the Heart of your Mission.” One of our biggest challenges as marketers in a Christian ministry isn’t the actual marketing; it’s educating our ministry staff on what we mean by the term “marketing” (it’s not a dirty word!) using non-industry jargon. The end goal is twofold. First, we want to see staff take advantage of all that marketing can offer their ministry efforts. Second, we want to demonstrate that marketers in a ministry context are equally passionate holders of their ministry’s vision who simply specializes in a particular function.
The three panelists leading this session provided the group with several practical steps someone in a role like mine can take to bridge this gap with the people we’re serving. Now back at Navigators headquarters, I’m looking for opportunities to apply what I’ve learned. As I write this update I’m helping to shape three major communication initiatives, including the roll out of a new strategic plan for our staff. I’m hoping that, in the midst of all the tactical planning, I’m able to influence our staff toward a more positive opinion of marketing within the work of The Navigators.
Today our communications team tried out something new on our Facebook page. For the first time we published a Facebook Live video interview. It’s something I’ve wanted to try out for a long time since live video has been shown to be one of the most engaging forms of content on Facebook (plus Facebook shows those posts to more people than any other kind of post we would publish). I’m really excited to have taken the plunge.
Starting today roughly 230 Navigators will be gathering at Glen Eyrie to participate in the National Leadership Community Gathering (NLCG). I am fortunate enough to be one of them. For the next four days we will be seeking the Lord together on the subject of spiritual generations of laborers.
The word “laborers” is a key part of The Navigators calling: To advance the gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom into the nations through spiritual generations of laborers living and discipling among the lost. It’s a word used in passages of Scripture like Matthew 9:35-38, in which Jesus states that there are too few laborers for the harvest. The Navigators believes one of its biggest contributions to the world is to raise up generation after generation of laborers through Life-to-Life discipleship.
At the NLCG, we will be asking the Lord and each other what He would have The U.S. Navigators do to focus on and be fruitful in:
- Continuing to raise up new laborers in all our diverse contexts.
- Working together across our Missions, Cities, Networks, businesses, and headquarters functions to develop, resource, and connect laborers sent out by Navigators in the past.
Specific Prayer Needs
Will you please set aside some time to lift up the following requests for us?
- Pray each participant will listen closely to the Lord and to other participants during the NLCG.
- Pray God will be honored and glorified by our interactions, our humility, and our faith.
- Pray we will end the NLCG with:
- An increased understanding of the realities and challenges of sharpening our focus on laborers.
- Several good ideas about how to reach and stay engaged with lifelong laborers.
- A better understanding of the preparation required (technology, training, systems, people, and so forth) to raise up new laborers for the future and to connect, develop, and resource laborers already sent out.
Thank you for taking the time to intercede on our behalf!
Today at Glen Eyrie The Navigators honored the life of Jim Downing, who passed away last month at the age of 104. Jim was one of the original Navigators who ministered with our founder, Dawson Trotman, as well as a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor. We live streamed the memorial service on YouTube and Facebook. You can watch the replay below.
More About Jim Downing
Jim’s obituary article was published on The Navigators Blog.
In this video update I talk about the brand new logo for The Navigators. I show the state of our organization’s visual representation up to this point, then share how this logo aims to simplify things. I also go into the science behind the new design.
More on The Navigators refreshed brand
This is the fourth of four video updates I produced covering The Navigators brand refresh. Click the links before to view the other updates.