Consider Becoming a Leader

I have an interest in student ministry, where do I start?

The best place to start is on your knees in prayer. Seek the Lord’s guidance and blessing along with other like-hearted believers. Then contact us! We also have tools on how to start a campus ministry and more on starting a ministry.


How can I meet students if I am not on university faculty/staff?

There are several valid ways to meet and connect with students even if your not on university faculty or staff.

  • Connect with churches in area surrounding the campus. Talk to the pastor/church leaders about the ministry. Establish a relationship with the youth pastors in the area.
  • Follow up on referrals through your ministry, professional or relational networks.
  • Attend campus athletic, entertainment or social events. Make sure to respect campus policies on student privacy and facility access.
  • Take a class, join a club, coach a sport or volunteer on campus.

How can I equip student leaders to minister on campus?

Jesus said: “I am the vine, you are the branches, He who abides in me, and I in him, he is it that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 The first and foremost priority in equipping student leaders to minister is a vital abiding relationship with Jesus. Make sure each leader is enjoying regular time with the Lord in His word and prayer. Next, make sure the leaders are growing in the marks of a disciple themselves for a disciple, when fully taught, becomes like his teacher. (Luke 6:40) Listen to “Marks of a Disciple”, (MP3) by John Crawford and other relevant talks on www.discipleshiplibrary.com.

Finally, help the student leaders to develop knowledge and skills in the areas of evangelism and establishing through bible study, teaching and practice. Give them a copy of “The Lost Art of Disciplemaking” by Leroy Eims and “The Master Plan of Evangelism” by Robert Coleman and read them together. Help them to develop one-on-one lesson plans and learn to build discipling relationships with growing Christians. Visit other Navigator ministries together and attend their leadership and ministry meetings. Take advantage of staff conferences and training opportunities available through your coach or Navigator staff contact.


What training is available to me in ministry and leadership skills?

As a Navigator NavFusion campus leader, the same training opportunities are available to you as Navigator staff commensurate with your time and availability. These include staff conferences, bible studies, workshops and summer training programs. In addition, your coach will be able to provide you with and/or make available to you training opportunities to fit your schedule and time constraints. These opportunities include the collegiate staff-training curriculum on the following topics.

  • Advancing the Gospel
  • Community
  • Love of God
  • Discipling Our Generation
  • Leaders and Laborers
  • Identity in Christ
  • God’s Design for Sexuality
  • Laying Foundations
  • Mobilizing People into the Nation and Nations
  • Promises of God and
  • Sovereignty of God

What should a ministry calendar look like?

Here is a sample calender for a medium sized ministry where the campus leader has some time or some help to put together a lot of activities. Remember, however, the ministry is more about relationships than activities. If you see something in the calendar that just isn't going to happen, just skip over it. This calendar is to stimulate ideas, not provide a rigid policy.

April - May
  • Select next year’s leadership team, provide leadership responsibilities to them
  • Plan for leadership retreat prior to Fall classes
  • Plan out any major Fall events (Fall retreat, lectures, guest speakers)
  • Recruit small group leaders for Fall semester
  • Plan outreach initiatives for freshmen, upperclassmen
  • Suggest summer reading list and give a brief overview of fall plans before people head home for the summer
  • Meet with rising upperclassmen about how to prepare for the next academic year
  • Reserve fall retreat location and speaker
June-August
  • Visit/call/write key students at home or summer training programs, as appropriate
  • Reserve meeting room space
  • Prepare freshmen orientation outreaches
  • Prepare Navs brochures, update Navs website and bulletin board postings
Late August – Early September
  • Leadership/prayer retreat prior to classes beginning
  • Pray together
  • Envision together & cast vision
  • Clarify calling and mission ideas
  • Agree on details and responsibilities for meetings, events & activities (themes, speakers, planning team, worship team)
  • Revise student e-mail distribution list
  • Organize and initiate small groups/Bible Studies
  • Identify Bible study and discussion resources
  • Provide training to leaders
  • Have small group leaders personally invite as many people as possible to their small groups
  • Carry-out Fall launch/Freshmen outreach activities
  • Clarify evangelistic opportunities and initiatives
Fall Semester
  • Have large group, small groups and one-to-one meetings
  • Hold Fall retreat
  • Identify & recruit seniors or graduate students for EDGE Preview
  • Plan spring break trip, begin to cast vision for it among students
  • Plan laborers retreat for January break & identify and ask prospective laborers to attend
  • Hold Christmas party
  • Review progress with ministry leaders to adjust plans for spring semester
January Break
  • Hold laborers retreat to train prospective ministry workers
Spring Semester
  • Have large group, small groups and one-to-one meetings
  • Recruit, Attend and Support Regional Conference
  • Recruit and go on spring break service project/missions trip
  • Recruit to summer training programs
  • Hold end of the year party to celebrate everyone’s involvement

How do I plan a retreat with my students?

Here's a sample way to approach a retreat. If your group is smallish, or if you don't have anyone to share responsibility with, you can pare down the suggested ideas and do what meets the need and is possible with the available labor force.

In concert with advice and counsel from the ministry leadership team. prayerfully consider the needs of the ministry against the functions of evangelism, establishing and equipping and evaluate how a retreat might help meet those needs. Contact NavFusion coach as needed.

Identify primary objective(s) of the conference on a variety of maturity and strategic levels as appropriate. Possible objectives could include:

  • To build relationships with interested seekers and share Christ
  • To focus on personal growth in one of the marks of discipleship (spokes of the Wheel Illustration, fruits of the Spirit, armor of God, etc.)
  • To cast vision with student leaders and/or equip them for the work of the ministry on some ministry topic
  • To give prospective students leaders an opportunity to recruit and lead a team.
  • To give leaders an opportunity to speak, lead a workshop or perform some task or responsibility.
  • To pray and plan for the ministry

Then identify applicable population to recruit to the retreat (all students, growing Christians, prospective leaders, leadership team).

Next, develop a punch list of tasks and agreed upon responsibilities considering the following functions, as appropriate:

  • Director: Overall coordination of Program, Operations and Registration/Housing, location registration, financing, speakers
  • Program: Retreat schedule, meeting plan, workshops, worship/music, brochures, publicity
  • Operations: Meeting setup, audio/visual, equipment, logistics
  • Registration/Housing: Collection of registration and payment, assigning housing.

How can I work in harmony with other ministries on my campus?

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:12

We are called in Christ to serve in community with other believers. We need to be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace in all lowliness and meekness, forbearing one another in love. But just as the parts of the human body are not all the same, but serve together best when each part works properly at its specialized function under the skillful coordination of the master, so it is in Christ. Our unity is expressed not in our sameness but in the coordination of our distinct specialties orchestrated by the Holy Spirit for the common mission (the Great Commission) as we serve our One Lord, Jesus Christ. So we should be careful not to dissolve our organizational distinctions, but rather find ways to operate synergistically with honor and brotherly affection. Here are some ideas on how to do this:

  • Always speak well of other organizations and ministries, with sympathy for hardships and joy at successes. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. I Corinthians 12:26
  • Practice the “one-anothers” from scripture, e.g. – outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 15:2)
  • Support common activities and faithfully attend agreed upon joint meetings such as campus ministers council meetings.
  • Pursue and practice the calling, values and vision of The Navigators acknowledging with honor, humility and teach-ability the strengths and core competencies of the other ministries on campus. When appropriate, embrace opportunities to provide or receive training/instruction/advice in each other's specialties.
  • Find a way to serve another ministry each year. Be an asset to other Christian organizations seeking to establish ministry on campus, not a hindrance.
  • Pray together with other ministry leaders for campus revival and awakening.

How can I help a graduating student continue to walk with God after graduation?

From one point of view, nothing. If the graduate doesn’t have a heart to walk with Christ before he dons his cap and gown, you’ll be heard pressed to keep him walking the walk once you’ve lost regular face to face contact. However, assuming she wants to walk with Christ already, you can have a profound influence.

Lance Armstrong was arguably the best cyclist to ever ride the earth. Nevertheless, he could not have won even one Tour de France without his team. His team was dedicated to getting Lance across the finish line first. Lance, even with all his desire and ability, could not have done it himself. The opposite is also true. No matter how good your team is, if you don’t have the desire and ability, you won’t cross the line first. You need desire and ability. And you need a team.

So, if a person has been discipled so that, as a student, they know how to connect with God in Word and prayer, how to seek out and open oneself up to fellowship, and how to listen to the Spirit, they have a great chance of continuing to walk with God after graduation. These abilities are part of the winning equation.

If that person has a hunger to walk with Christ, is committed to dealing with temptation and sin in Christ-honoring ways, and is willing to sacrifice other things to keep Christ first, this desire will go a long way toward helping a student remain connected with Christ.

Finally, he or she needs a team. Even from a distance, you can be part of that team: Phone calls, emails, visits, an occasional gift like a Christ-centered book or CD, attending a Christian conference or concert together. These and many other things will provide some of the team support necessary to be victorious. Just like Jesus, don’t just focus on the spiritual. Show interest in every aspect of life – career, marriage, parenting, friendships, sports and other interests. Every additional area of life that you share together increases the chances of a graduate continuing to walk with Christ.

While valuable, you being a part of the support team will rarely be enough. So, if you can facilitate networking with other believers wherever your graduate is heading, this can be huge. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Eccl 4:9,10) Ongoing regular contact with other Christ-focused believers is vital. This may simply entail encouraging your graduating student to connect with good fellowship. It could mean that you track down like-hearted 20-somethings who might be a welcoming committee. It could mean researching the churches in the area and making a recommendation.

The Navigators have several options to help a graduate stay solidly connected to Christ. There is EDGE Corps, an internship for young adults to learn more about faith and ministry. There is the 20s Mission in major cities all over the US providing a great landing pad for graduates arriving to start a career. Offering fellowship, support for a budding career, and wisdom on how to walk with Christ in the workplace and advance the Gospel there in a relevant and attractive way, 20s Mission is a fantastic way to keep a person connected to Christ. There are short-term missions opportunities with NavMissions. There are even opportunities to connect a graduate with a NavFusion coordinator for coaching and resourcing if he or she wants to be involved with students at a nearby campus (please contact us).

Finally, you can pray for a graduate. Ongoing prayer may make the difference between a fizzled walk with Christ and one that is vibrant and victorious.


How can I reach out to other ethnicities on our campus?

When I think about intentionally reaching the nations around me I have found seven principles very helpful in translating this desire into reality. Theses seven principles are: Pray, Watch, Listen, Learn, Act, Serve and Love.

Pray
Prayer is the beginning and the foundation that sustains the journey. Pray specifically for wisdom and understanding, against barriers, for opportunities to meet ethnic minorities, for authentic progress in relationships, for God to give you favor with those you are seeking to develop relationships and bear witness of the Lord Jesus and His kingdom. Psalm 127:1 says, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it….” Prayer expresses our dependence on God to build His work through us.

Watch
Watching is an expression of faith. As we pray let’s look for where God is working and be prepared to move. Watching is something that should be done in prayer. Ask God for eyes to see where He is at work, when He begins to answer.

Listen
Proverbs 18:13 says “He that answers before listening - that is his folly and his shame. ” Hearing is not always listening. Listening has as its goal to understand another. The goal of understanding faces obstacles within us. Listening is deeper than we think.

Learn
Listening is not necessarily learning. This means that my motive in listening is to understand another person, their needs, their world, how life affects them.
Proverbs 18:2 says, “a fool has no delight except in airing his own opinions.” In relationship I need to be a learner. This means learning to suspend judgment. The learner should assume that he or she is missing part of the picture…because you are!

Act
Acting means there comes a time when I must take initiative to do something to connect with another person, invite a person to something or challenge them in some area. When I act it should be in faith (rooted in God’s Word), in love (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a), in humility (Phil. 2:5-8).

Serve
To serve I must be observant to look for the needs of others and seek to meet them. In the case of an interethnic relationship it means to go and meet them in their world, not force them to always come into your world to receive spiritual help.

Love
Remember, “Love covers a multitude of sins” 1 Pet. 4:8. When we authentically love someone the genuineness of our love covers our cross cultural blunders. The challenge is to love people genuinely. Those who come from ethnic minority backgrounds are especially attuned on the issue of authenticity.



As an Alumnus, how can I help establish or rekindle a Navigator ministry at my alma mater?

Many times the Lord gives His people a special heart to bless the people associated with their family or historical roots. So God may be laying it on your heart to establish or rekindle a Navigator ministry at your alma mater. If so, the passion you feel for reaching these students and your personal experience as a student can be an incredible asset and powerful incentive to believe God for great things and to overcome tremendous odds. Here are some ideas:

  • Pray and seek the Lord for His help and guidance in reaching students for Christ, connecting with available, nearby Christian resources and bringing a Navigator ministry to your alma mater.
  • Visit the campus next time your in town or during your next reunion or homecoming. Do a prayer walk through campus. Connect with Christian friends or alumni still living in the area.
  • Begin to gather together like-hearted believers out of your alumni connections around the idea of establishing or rekindling a Navigator ministry. Keep up to date with the Alumni Directories available for your institution.
  • Host a Navigator alumni reunion at your house and invite as many old ministry friends as you can find. Arrange for your former ministry leader to give a talk. Bring photo albums, reminisce about the past and dream about the future.
  • Invest financial and prayer support for campus ministry and Navigator initiatives at your institution.
  • Consider whether the Lord may be leading you to get personally involved as a coach, champion, volunteer campus leader or full-time Navigator staff at that campus, and contact us.

I was previously involved with The Navigators and would be interested in exploring ministry as a volunteer or full time staff. How do I find out more?

There are several doors to knock on as you explore ministry opportunities with the Navs.

Let’s first look at full-time opportunities:

  • EDGE Corps is an internship where young adults (ages 21-27) learn more about personal faith, and also about ministry to students. Each winter, EDGE Corps offers a preview for interested candidates. A couple hundred come each year to this no strings attached, no arm-twisting getaway to the Rockies. (www.edgecorps.org) Half of everyone who comes to a preview chooses to serve in EDGE Corps.
  • If you’re over 27 and are interested in serving with the collegiate ministries of The Navigators, get the Staff Application from the College Ministry site. There are opportunities for full- and part-time staff vocational staff representatives. Completing the application would start an interactive process exploring what opportunities are available near you.

Then there are volunteer opportunities:
NavFusion is an option that enables people from every walk of life to have an impact among college students. This arm of the College Ministry is mainly volunteer-led. Doctors, firemen, business men and women, professors, housewives. New graduates, young parents, empty nesters, retirees and everyone in between. Men and women, couples, singles. Volunteers, college pastors, members of other campus ministries.

NavFusion is a way to continue your current career but have a significant impact on a college campus near you. A Navigator staff representative will be available to coach and resource a NavFusion campus leader. He or she will keep you in the communications loop, offer training opportunities, and visit as desired. Interested? Please fill out the Staff Application.

Finally, there are opportunities to volunteer in other areas of The Navigators - at our headquarters and also in our military ministires. Go to navigators.org/us/serve/volunteer to see what's available.