Celebrating the Past, Inspiring the Future
The Navigators Singapore turned 60 on 27 Aug, 2022! (Isaiah 60:22)
By Viloane Ko, National Director of The Navigators Singapore
60 years ago, The Navigators Singapore came into existence with a mission entrusted to us through Roy Robertson, the first Navigator missionary.
The history of the Singapore Navigators is part of a much larger movement — the Great Commission. Disciplemaking in Singapore progressed from a third-world setting to a first, eventually contributing to global missions.
Many have come to faith in Christ, matured in discipleship, and have embarked on cross-cultural missions in the past 6 decades. As we celebrate our past 60 years of spiritual generations, we would also like to inspire you about our future.
Today, the challenges in disciplemaking and global missions remain.
Our Founder Dawson Trotman asked one question in the 1950s just before his death: When you look at your world today, what do you see as the need of the hour — the most pressing need, that needs to be a high priority?
When we look at the 2020 census and compare it with the previous data in 2010, in the last 10 years:
- Christianity has plateaued: 18.3% to 18.9%. (81.1% non-Christians)
- More identify as having no religion (20%), especially the younger people
- Decline in percentage of Christian universities and polytechnic graduates.
When we look at Asia, the needs of the nations are much greater.
Only about 9% are Christians in a 4.8 billion continent, with about 60% of the population unreached: 2.8 billion. And this is happening amid a plateaued and ageing global missionary workforce — only a 0.35% annual growth rate of long-term cross-cultural labourers from 2000 to 2020.
What is the need of the hour?
An NUS graduate labourer resigned from her job this year to go on a 6-month mission trip to a city in South Asia. The very week she touched down, the whole country went into political and economic turmoil, which resulted in protests and violence.
When asked about the country’s food and fuel shortages, this was her reply:
“Spiritually, the hearts of the locals have become more responsive to the gospel now (as a result of the crisis).
There is a great shortage of labourers.”
Sounds familiar? Indeed, the most pressing shortage the Navigators must see is what Jesus spoke of in His time in Matthew 9:36-38:
We need to send out labourers from all walks of life (like Peter, Paul, Barnabas, Mark, Timothy, Titus, Prisca, Aquila and Epaphras) who will be the seed that matures and multiply to advance the gospel.
Today, ordinary field labourers who know the way of discipleship and can lead others to the path of righteousness are few —few in all the ages and still few today. But they shine!
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens,
and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”
— Daniel 12:3
This is what the Navigators must see and do – to see the lost and commit to pray, labour and invest their lives in making disciples with a generational vision.
And how do we do it? We do it through life-to-life discipling with:
Prayer, Scripture, Love and Example. (P.S.L.E.)
There is an unprecedented urgency in our world today that is plagued with pandemic, geopolitical tensions, economic crisis and climate change.
I wondered out loud: Could these heightened turmoil in our world today be a sign that the end times is near and the return of Christ imminent? We need to be ready and focused.
These convictions and hope should change our hearts and galvanise our dedication to the future work of our mission.
What is our future like?
Our future will be about the Lord blessing the nations once again, from Singapore to Asia and to the ends of the earth. Our future will be about the Lord bringing renewal, by raising generations of labourers to advance the gospel among the lost and into the nations. Our future will be as bright as the promises of God:
Remember Roy Robertson’s prayer for Singapore during his prayer walk in the 60s:
“Lord, just as these ships carry cargoes out of Singapore,
I pray that You will one day send dedicated men and women
from here all over the world with the gospel of Christ.”
We are a small nation state with a lot to give to the cities in Asia and beyond.
Both our campus and community ministries need to enlarge our faith to work together to send labourers out into the nations to advance the gospel.
We want to invite you to continue this meaningful journey ahead with us, to stand with us by investing and sharing in our future — Vision 2030:
A New Wave of Disciplemakers for Singapore, Asia and Beyond
We need your continual support to bring renewal among the current and next generation — a renewal that burns off the dross (2 Tim 2:21) and raises sanctified disciplemakers equipped with character, vision and skills, who will go make disciples among the lost and into the nations.
It will be a renewal that brings forth a new wave of passionate, pioneering, partnering culture and a commitment to our movement with our Calling:
To Advance the Gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom into the Nations
through Spiritual Generations of Labourers Living and Discipling Among the Lost.
Here are a few things we desire to see for The Navigators Singapore, from our Navigators’ Vision Statement:
Ordinary people, in many walks of life, are joyfully leading integrated lives.
They live as fruitful insiders among the lost.
There is perseverance in the face of hardship and suffering.
Around the world, many are coming to faith.
As they become established in discipleship,
some grow to be foundational for further generations.
The gospel spreads naturally and powerfully, as believers share Christ,
life upon life, family to family.
Crossing cultures into new cities and nations, teams of mobile pioneers
intentionally proclaim and embody the Good News of Jesus Christ,
in such a way that transformed communities multiply.
We need to enlarge the place of our tents in these strategic domains:
And we need you.
We need you to “enlarge the place of your tent” right where you are to help bring renewal to our life-on-life mission across campuses and communities.
May the Holy Spirit breathe new life into us and “enlarge the place of our tent” until it can contain the nations to usher in a new wave of disciplemakers for Singapore, Asia and beyond.