Seeking God’s Heart with the Ethnic Ministry Commission
Ethnic Ministry Commission Members
Top Row: Doug Nuenke, Mike Jordahl, Rich Berry, Abu Mannar, Rob Daniels, Eddie Broussard, Steve Rugg, Roland Ramirez, Marvin Campbell, John Sipple
Bottom Row: Becky Neumann, Luis Villarreal, Delphina Johnson, Kyu Ho Lee, Moni Miyashita
Inset: Edie Vega, JT Hardy
In continued efforts to foster ethnic diversity within The Navigators, the Ethnic Ministry Commission (EMC) met early in May for their second task force meeting. A broad ethnic group joined in a passionate purpose, representing both staff and non-staff laborers, unified in the sense that God Himself was at work.
The Navigators Associate U.S. Director Eddie Broussard and U.S. Director Doug Nuenke launched the commission to strengthen the efforts of The U.S. Navigators to see our Calling fulfilled among the diverse ethnic cultures of the United States. The EMC’s hope is to help move The Navigators forward as an increasingly multicultural and ethnically diverse ministry.
Eddie reminded the group that reaching the nations is God’s mission in the world, described from Genesis to Revelation:
• God promised from the beginning to bless all nations (Genesis 12:3, 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, 28:14, 28:14).
• God says that it’s too small a thing to reach only people we’re familiar with (Isaiah 49:6).
• The Name of the Lord Almighty will be great among the nations (Malachi 1:11).
• Jesus did not look at the disciples—He looked through them to the nations of the world (John 17:20-23).
• Jesus commanded His followers to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20).
• In the last days, every nation, tribe, people, and language will stand before Jesus’ throne and worship Him (Revelation 7:9).
“In short,” Eddie says, “The Navigators need to become a more diverse place because the nations are dear to God’s heart.”
The Current Reality
Growth in the area of ethnic diversity is an ongoing need for The Navigators, EMC leaders say. The number of ethnic staff in The Navigators grew from around 8 percent in 2000 to around 12 percent in 2013—still well below the demographics of our ministry contexts.
“Anglo-majority ministries can limit cross-cultural awareness and perspectives,” Doug says. “This was revealed in around 600 survey responses and interviews we conducted with staff in our research. There were only three ethnic Navigator leaders in 1998, four in 2005, and 26 in 2013. We all need to keep in a posture of learning from one another if we are to fulfill our Navigator Calling in the diverse context of the United States and beyond.”
There are numerous reasons for this lack of diversity involving culture, finances, and development opportunities.
“Inadequate funding models and development opportunities result in an inability to recruit and retain qualified ethnic leaders,” Eddie says. “The U.S. Navigators ministry is often not attractive for many ethnic leaders because of these challenges.”
Casting the Vision
The EMC is setting their sights high, encouraging The Navigators to build a distinctive reputation for disciplemaking among all people, and aligning all Navigator Missions and leaders in this focus.
Where and how will this progress be made? The EMC taskforce sought God in unity, identifying and beginning to address three initiatives or strategic goals. Work on these initiatives will continue after the
EMC taskforce is complete (after their third meeting in mid-July). The three goals/initiatives being researched are:
1.New funding models—The Navigators will develop new, equally-valued, parallel, and workable ethnic funding models, producing significant, dependable funding for ethnic staff members.
2.Increased multicultural awareness—The Navigators desires a measurable and substantial intercultural competence for all staff and leaders at all levels, as well as a culture that encourages cross-cultural and multi-cultural engagement.
3.Develop a pipeline and process for ethnic leader development—We want to see a diverse group of ethnic men and women being developed for leadership roles in every part of The Navigators through quality, tailored leader development programs.
A Vibrant Future
“As we move forward, we celebrate what God has already done through The Navigators among the diverse ethnicities of our country,” Doug says. “He is calling us to the next step in reaching the whole world with the Good News of Jesus. It is with enthusiasm that we will take important next steps. We recognize the inevitable challenges, but we are God’s people, and He has called us to reach the nations.”
Read the Call to Action and Plan of Action document from the June meeting.