A Mentor’s Perspective

Because my youngest daughter is in her early twenties, investing in the 20s age group is first and foremost a personal decision for me. I am committed to being my daughter’s cheerleader as she navigates difficult waters in this season of great uncertainty. With many “opportunities” for her voice to be silenced as she advocates for social justice and equity, I feel a responsibility as her mom and as a minister of the gospel to ensure that she is allowed to discover her growing influence both spiritually and professionally.

In your twenties, there are so many choices and decisions that await you, and it can feel overwhelming. I recall many times in my twenties when I needed an older adult to speak into my life and to provide encouragement and spiritual investment. It was in my twenties that I discovered how to intimately recognize God’s voice and to follow His leading. It was in my twenties where I began to see God forge my career path, from very sketchy and seemingly disconnected pathways to a cohesive series of events which led to a strategically-directed journey.

I love the energy, the passion, and the vibe of this stage of life. Barely in the throes of adulthood, and yet wrestling with the tension of independence, survival, and autonomy, it is a fascinating stage of life. There is also so much I can learn and have learned from my twenty-something friends and family. I admire the uninhibited way you are able to embrace others—especially those who are different or who live in the margins of life. The openness of your hearts, without the pervasive biases that are often evident in my generation, fill my heart with hope for a better humanity.

I am happy to have a front row seat in the many different venues that God will use to carve out a path for the lives of this transformational generation!


  • Where are you in the process of adjusting to life in your twenties? Do you need someone to talk to? Do you think you are ready to pass on what you’ve been learning? Does anyone comes to mind?
  • Wanda will be speaking at the upcoming 20s Gathering, November 14-15. Her topic is Abiding & Suffering: How the gospel advances through adversity. Please consider joining us.

Photo by Matthew Ball on Unsplash

An Invitation for 20s Gathering November 14-15

Right where you are, God is calling you to a life of meaning, purpose, and belonging. The Nav20s Gathering will be a unique opportunity to join with others from across the nation as we center our lives in Christ and live as Good News in the flesh during a time of adversity. If you have a heart to know Christ and make him known among young adults, please join us online this November!

The first 100 people to sign up will receive a SWAG BOX full of books and other fun stuff!


Living Out of Christ-Centeredness

·         Pursuit of Faith – God pursues us first, but we’re called to pursue Him, too. How do we steadfastly seek Him and trust His work to shape us in our identity in Christ?

·         Pursuit of Vocation – We are created in Christ to work with meaning. How does God call us to contribute through our jobs and everyday activities?

·         Pursuit of Mission – God sends us out with a purpose to make Christ known to the world around us. How can we actively live out the Great Commission right where we are?

·         Pursuit of Community – We are made to find belonging with one another and share life with other followers of Christ. How can we foster relational networks that are united by the Spirit?

The Context of the Gospel

·         Ethnicity & Racism – God created diversity and His good plan for eternity includes people of all cultures. In a time of palpable racial tension, how do we seek reconciliation and help bring about Kingdom justice?

·         Gender & Sexuality – Our sexuality is a part of God’s good design and a picture of His relationship with us. How do we view sexuality through a Biblical lens and engage a culture with disparate viewpoints?

·         Politics & the Pandemic – Jesus is the good King of kings and sovereign over everything we endure. In an election year marked by divisiveness and unprecedented circumstances, how do we remain faithfully engaged?

·         Money & Generosity – Every good gift is from God and ultimately belongs to Him. How do we steward the resources He entrusts us with and use them for His purposes?


Al Engler

Al joined the Army at age 17 and was assigned to Germany, where he met and married a young German girl named Iris. Al and Iris both trusted Christ during their second assignment to Germany. The Navigators gave the Englers discipleship training over the next several years while Al was on active duty. In 1986, the Englers left military service to join Navigator staff. Al remained in the army reserves.  Al and Iris have served in cross-cultural missions, city leadership, military, and campus ministry as well as organic ministry among neighbors, friends, and family. Al currently leads Disciplemakers for Life, harmonizing the unique contributions of Neighbors, Workplace, I:58, 20s, and Navigator Church Ministries. Al and Iris live in Seattle and love to be outside whenever the rain stops.

Wanda Anderson

Wanda G. Anderson is a native New Yorker who settled in Colorado Springs 23 years ago. In 2016, Ms. Anderson came to The Navigators as the director of Corporate Affairs and Risk Management. She received her juris doctor degree from Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and her bachelor of arts in mass media from Hampton University. 

Ms. Anderson brings almost 30 years of multi-jurisdictional nonprofit governance, risk management, and compliance experience.

For the last 14 years, Ms. Anderson has served as co-pastor with her husband, Rev. Benjamin Anderson, senior pastor of Solid Rock Christian Center. Together they have four daughters and ten grandchildren. Ms. Anderson describes herself as a justice advocate who enjoys writing poetry, motivational speaking, and providing women with educational and spiritual resources across generational lines leading to personal and professional development.

Community in a Time of Isolation

At the beginning of 2020 my plans included weekly dinners in our new home using our newly acquired Big Green Egg. (It’s a grill that acts as a grill, smoker, pizza oven, etc.) We were planning homemade sourdough bread and soup dinners and lively conversation with our new neighbors.

Then COVID-19 hit and silence became the norm, few cars traveling, masks to protect us from death. Next came political diatribe about the efficacy of masks and the reality of the virus, and so even more silence erupted in our shutting down because of disagreements. So here we are as the end of the year approaches and there is still physical and emotional silence.

For me, the silence has been most profound, however, from a different source: death itself! Last year, my dear friend, mentor, and source of wisdom passed from his earthly body to a new body and into the very presence of God. I speak of Donald McGilchrist, a long-time Navigator and fountain of wisdom.

I met Donald in 1985 at the start of a movement within the Navigators that focused on pioneers of the gospel to unreached people groups in the U.S. After our first few meetings I asked Donald if I could call him from time to time to see what he would think about how I was reading the Scriptures. I could never have guessed how deep our friendship would go and what a powerful sense of community we would experience, ending with his last week of life, when we spoke frequently about our ideas and hopes for the gospel. In one of our last conversations, he privileged me with the great honor of hosting his memorial service at Glen Eyrie.

Now, many months later, the lessons of our relationship seem much clearer. I was nearly alone in my sense of how and what to do with God’s calling to live and disciple among the lost. God drew me into a community of love, wisdom, sacrifice, and humor with a man who gave himself to me to guide me from danger and undisciplined thinking.

What did it take for me to get this community? I simply asked someone to step into my life and listen and ask questions and to speak truth as needed. I needed wisdom to lead others, wisdom to lead my own life, and wisdom to see the road ahead and recognize the road signs pointing me towards godly action.  

Is it possible to have community when there is physical and emotional isolation? Yes! I have learned I need to have men and women of wisdom in my life for the long haul. Distance is never an obstacle, and my assumptions about their willingness to help should not be an obstacle.

Who is available? Ask and find out. Start with one and over time build a network of a trusted few that you can call, email, text, write, and ask to help you navigate your few days here on earth. I cannot imagine life without such people–they are my community. They shape me every day. 

Next Steps

  • Is there someone a little older whom you suspect shares your vision and has a depth of wisdom? You don’t need to ask them to commit to you, just talk to you. Can you contact them today? If you need a few ideas about how to invite someone, check here.
  • Consider joining us for an online conference. In November, Navigators 20s is hosting an online conference. Guest speakers will include Al Engler, who leads The Navigators Disciplemakers for Life Mission, and Wanda Anderson, a lawyer, pastor, and the Navigators Director of Corporate Affairs and Risk Management. (Read how she connects the core values of The Navigators to the dream and values of Dr. Martin Luther King.)

“Hi, I’m New Here.”

I was waiting tables when I met Chris. I was impressed because he gave me eye contact and was kind. He invited me to a beach party with his friends. I’m from Egypt and don’t know anyone here in Chicago, so I was interested but also scared. I didn’t know if I should go—would he abduct me? I called my mom, then I went to the party.

His friends were nice and did not kidnap me! They included me in conversations and invited me to a cookout. Soon, I began to feel at ease with all of Chris’s friends. At one cookout I parked in the wrong place and was given a ticket. All my new friends pitched in to pay the fines. I did not feel I could take this money, the car problem was my own fault. Chris explained it is a cultural honor for them to help me. He said it made them happy because of their faith in Jesus. I was shocked by their kindness.

One of the guys became a closer friend to me. His name is Peter. We started studying for the GRE together and also playing ping pong. He invited me to his house to hang out and he even invited me to his grandma’s home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I went and learned about the birth of Jesus. I was overwhelmed at how beautiful this literature is. Each family member brought a small gift for me. These included a highlighter, a multi-tool and a hammock. I wept in front of them because I had never received so many presents in my life.

I have never learned about Jesus before, so I decided to read the Bible with Peter. When I needed a roommate, Peter introduced me to another friend who needed a roommate. Some other guys are helping me with my English. It was a great honor when they asked me to cook Persian food for them. My birthday was in February and I cooked for them again. We had a good discussion about God, and I asked them some questions I have been thinking about like, “Why would God create humans if He was already perfect and knew we would not be?”

I passed the GRE and was accepted to a graduate school in Denver. I see God in everything; all my turning points, friends, meals, and winning the lottery to come to the US. In two weeks time I will move to start my new life and I cannot wait for it to begin! I wonder who I will meet next?

On Your Own

One of the marks of God’s people is hospitality. As recorded in Ruth 2:10, in her own time of need, Ruth dropped to her knees, then bowed her face to the ground: “How does this happen that you should pick me out and treat me so kindly—me, a foreigner?”

  • In your own story, who has welcomed you? What did that feel like?
  • On the other hand, who are some of the people God has allowed you to welcome?
  • Given today’s circumstances, has it become harder to meet new people? How can you find new people to invite to your community?


At the time “Chris” and “Peter” met their new friend, they were reading this book together: The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Walking alongside People Who Believe Differently by Mary Schaller and John Crilly.

New Normal, New Expectations

“My capacity is low. I’m tired a lot. I seem to have nothing to do, but then I never seem to have time to do all that comes up. EVERYTHING takes more time than I’m used to. Normal life activities (shopping, cooking, talking, thinking) take more energy than usual. Although I know I am where I need to be, I sometimes feel guilty for ‘not doing more’ in any given day or week.” [journal entry]

Do you relate to any of these feelings? I often felt this way under the stay-at-home mandate resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. I feel it even more whenever I think about the current racial tensions. Only these words were not written because of an international pandemic or domestic crisis. This is a journal entry from my first six months living in another country and adjusting to another culture.

The situation we are living through today feels similar to me to the first six months of living overseas. And one of the first lessons I learned there is that in a new culture, I need to lower my expectations.

I am a task-oriented person. I like to get stuff done. I make lists for fun, and my to-do list is my favorite list of all. So you can imagine my frustration when I moved to another country and my ability to accomplish ANYTHING on my to-do list shrunk to almost nothing.

Before I moved, I generally had ten things on my list for the day, and I could usually get them all done, maybe more. In my new country, I would make my list as usual, but I rarely got everything done – in fact, I rarely got even close to everything done. I felt SO unproductive, and yet I didn’t have time or energy to do anything more.

To survive, I had to redefine what it meant for me to have a “successful” day. I told myself that if I did ONE thing in the morning, ONE thing in the afternoon, and ONE thing in the evening – that was a GOOD day! The ONE thing could be something as simple as having a quiet time in the morning, talking to someone in the afternoon, and making dinner in the evening. As ridiculous as it might sound, those three things were exhausting.

The quiet time in the morning would often be dealing with my own guilt over feeling unproductive: Where does that come from? Why do I feel this way? Is there sin in my life? What am I supposed to be doing? Can I trust God to do what HE has promised and not worry about the rest? Wow, good stuff, but it was emotionally exhausting.

Talking with one person in the afternoon, if that happened outside my house, meant I had to GET there. That meant knowing what bus to take and getting off at the right place (which I often didn’t) or psyching myself up to get a taxi (which of course meant I had to use my limited language). Meeting ONE person might sound as simple as picking a place, having coffee, and talking. But in a new culture, there are all kinds of unexpected “detours” that can make a “simple” task a monumental and exhausting endeavor. Going to work, buying groceries, getting a little exercise –  these are just some of the “simple” things COVID-19 has unexpectedly made exhausting.

The lessons I learned then, I am applying now. If I’m feeling overly lazy, unmotivated, lacking in discipline, or in an “escape mode” and I can’t get out of it, I try to remember that these feelings usually pass with time (and if they don’t, it is probably time to get some serious help). I give myself a “grace period” and set a more attainable goal and a deadline to begin afresh. This gives me a chance to just let my emotions ride themselves out. (And if they don’t, I call someone.) Usually, by the time my deadline rolls around, I’m ready for it because I’ve given myself time to rest as well as set better expectations about what it means to be back in the game.

A verse I learned to pray for myself – even before I moved overseas – is from John 17:4. In speaking to His Father, Jesus says, “I have glorified you on earth, I have finished the work you gave me to do.” Jesus didn’t do everything that could have been done – there were still sick who needed healing, lost who needed to hear the gospel, and disciples who needed more training. But He was faithful to finish everything that God had given Him. My frequent prayer for myself is, “Lord, help me do all that You have given me to do today and nothing that You haven’t.”

Whatever your circumstances in this new normal, if you are like me, you may need to learn to be faithful rather than busy, adjust your expectations and give yourself grace.

On Your Own

On your own or with a friend, think about…

  • What kind of expectations do you have for yourself? Are they realistic? Do they need adjusting? Ask someone who knows you well what their observations are of you in this new season of adjusting.
  • What is a realistic daily “to-do” list for you? Should it become, instead, a weekly to-do list? How can you be faithful to do what God is asking of you rather than just filling your time with things that make you feel “productive”?
  • What is a verse that you can pray for yourself as you learn to lower your expectations of how much you can do in today’s new circumstances?

New Prayer

The fire was coming up the mountainside, and we needed to evacuate. As I drove away, I wondered: Would I ever see this place again? Would I have a job? What is going to happen? The days to come were frustrating, confusing, and hard. I hated just waiting, unsure of what was next.

And, I was frustrated with God. “Why? Why would you allow this to happen? Why now, at this point in my life? Why so much damage to such a beautiful place?” A bit reluctantly, I turned to the Scriptures, started reading, started praying, crying, screaming out to God.

I found my emotions to be all up and down. I was tired, exhausted, worn out, a bomb with a short fuse. In those days, it didn’t take much to explode. Mercifully, the verses did eventually penetrate my heart. “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free” (Psalm 118:5).

As I expressed my thoughts and feelings to the Lord, freedom started to come. Nothing was too difficult for Him, too hard for Him to hear, too angry for Him to process. It was freeing to talk with Him honestly, and eventually, He started to answer my hard questions. His character was revealed through the Scriptures. I began to understand who He is. My God is loving, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love, joy, and peace. He wants what is best for my life, my soul, my heart.

As the operations manager at a summer camp, having a forest fire burn 100 acres of your 330-acre property was both a miracle and a mess. It was a miracle that 230 acres and most of the infrastructure were untouched.

The mess was what it would take to get it running again. There were so many obstacles in the way, tasks that seemed impossible. Again, Psalm 118:5 came to life: “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.” I needed miracle after miracle to happen. And God provided.

I prayed about the new seed we needed, God provided a donor. I needed an ATV, I prayed, and two four-wheel-drive vehicles showed up. I needed people to chop down trees, I was given two months of teams from around the country who came and worked.

I learned to pray, to talk to God, to experience new life. Out of the ashes, it came. I was worn out, pushed to my limits, at the bottom. But from that dark place, I began to cry to the Lord, and He answered. One prayer after another.

Since the crisis, I pray differently. I think I live differently. During those hard days, I grew up a bit, not like a child becoming an adult, more like an adult coming to understand his father on a deeper level.

On Your Own

Do you have a favorite verse on trust and prayer? Spend a minute reading it one more time.

Or try Isaiah 26:4: “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”

Don’t Miss the Real Story of Your Life

The movie Darkest Hour details just how close to the edge of destruction Britain came in WWII. Nearly their whole army—300,000 men—was trapped on the shores of Dunkirk, sitting ducks for the Nazis. The story is awash in desperation—and human courage—most notably that of the irascible Winston Churchill.

The backstory, though, is the one you almost never hear. On Sunday of that fateful weekend in May, the king declared a National Day of Prayer. Thousands of Brits piled into cathedrals, with queues out the doors, to pray for their sons.

In a mystery no one has yet unraveled, Hitler halted his advance for three days—for no explainable reason. Next, bad weather grounded German planes all of Tuesday, allowing the troops to assemble on the beach. And Wednesday—the day of evacuation—the sea was utterly calm and the skies cleared. Eight hundred civilian boats carried the troops safely across the channel.

It’s always been called “the miracle of Dunkirk,” though it’s been a long, long time since the God who grants miracles was given the honor and gratitude that belongs to Him.

My point, though, is not historical. What the film reminded me is that the real story in any situation is always the God-story. It’s often behind the scenes—and in the easy-to-skip-past parts—where He does so much of His best work. It is God’s movement, in history, as well as in the personal details of our lives, that matters. That is the real story.

I saw that in my own life this past Christmas. Cooking and decorating and who came to dinner—isn’t this what we report to each other? What we think of as “Christmas?” It’s the Christmas I describe to my friends.

But behind the moving picture of stuff happening on a holiday, an older couple who are parents of four adopted children invited our son and his wife to lunch on Christmas Eve. Around their table, they let Brady and Hannah share their adoption saga. They listened. And understood. They got it.

Isn’t that always one of the great gift moments in your life? When you tell some little piece of your story and the other person gets it? Oh my stars, it’s such a gift.

This “behind the scenes” stuff in our lives is where it’s really happening. Whether it’s the story of Dunkirk or our kids’ lunch with an older, caring couple, what’s happening just off center stage is the important part. It’s the God-story that counts. Always.

Adapted from Paula’s blog from December 30, 2017.

On Your Own

The Old Testament is filled with stories of God working behind the scenes. Habakkuk (1:5) said that God, indeed, is doing something in our day we would not believe if we were told. Over the coming days, keep your eyes open to see what He’s about, the “real story” He is writing in your life. These days can be busy—and God’s role can be hard to recognize in the moment—so, at the end of the day, spend a few minutes in prayer, reflecting on where God was showing up. As Paula writes, “Your story has pockets of beauty and goodness you will miss if you aren’t careful—those little important happenings that whisper of a greater glory to come.”

For more about the ancient practice of examen, the practice of reflecting on God’s often hidden movement behind the scenes of our everyday lives, check here. —Dean Storelli

Not Living the Dream: Lessons Learned While Waiting

Note from Dean Storelli: I have known Michael since 2000, when he showed up at Duke as a freshman. He had been living with epilepsy since high school. Michael is an endurance champion: After 12 years, he has found a job he just about likes. At 36, he got married, and for the first time since high school, he has a chance to live without seizures. Here are some of the lessons he has learned along the way.

Physical Suffering

Just give up. “Sometimes, you just have to give up. Last week in the hospital, everything hurt: my arm, my back and of course, my head. [Michael had surgery to remove a benign lesion in his brain.] There was nothing I could do about my arm. It hurt because I was lying on it for six hours. It was numb and sore, but that would go away. My head hurt because I just had surgery. There was nothing I could do about that either.”

Go down swinging. “But other times, you can fight. My back hurt because the ‘smart’ bed kept adjusting itself, and the software just couldn’t get it right. This was a problem that could be fixed. After many conversations with the nursing staff, I convinced them to unplug the bed. Life was much better after that!”

If you have to act, act. “When I had my first seizure (it was in high school), I said to myself, ‘Oh, they’ll go away.’ I was seizure-free for one year. After the first really bad one (waking up injured on the sidewalk), I started to wonder, ‘How long is this going to take to fix?’ Over the next ten years, the doctors and I tried many little tweaks. It was livable, but not perfect, so for a long time I said, ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’ But eventually, the tweaks stopped working. Coming to terms with the problem, looking at the statistics, it was clear: the doctors and I had to dive in and do something—even though it was scary.”

Call it what it is. “For many years, I didn’t want to name or explain what my issue was. Part of it was I didn’t want people to misunderstand me. (Historically, people with epilepsy have not been treated well.) So I thought it was better to deny it. But once you admit it, you can start to come to terms, both mentally and emotionally, but also practically: learning how to take the bus, for example, because I’m not allowed to drive. If I had been wearing a medical ID that time I collapsed on campus, maybe the doctors could have figured out what was happening a lot faster.”


Learning to have hope. “I didn’t grow up in a happy family, which left me with a lot of fears: ‘Can I be a good spouse? Will I be just like my father?’ I had the desire to get married, but I was also fearful. So, I adopted a ‘Let’s just see what happens’ mentality. It sounds like a cliché, but going to counseling helped. The fact that I had that fear was already a good sign. Doubt contains the seed for getting past that fear. It means you are already paying attention.”

I’m not sure there is just one path, and our ability to plan is severely limited. “On a missions trip to Russia, I met a guy who claimed he had the next 10 years ‘all planned out.’ I have never really thought this is a good approach to life. It is better to wait on God. There is always a number of choices we can make, and He is always there to help—even when we make bad choices. I don’t mean try to make bad choices. I just mean don’t worry too much if it’s the ‘perfect’ option. Just make sure you are listening to God. Comparing your story to somebody else’s and trying to replicate it rarely works.”

Learn how to work out difficulties. “Instead of worrying about finding the right person, worry about learning how to relate to—and get through difficulties—with the people you already know. Work at becoming the right person.”


Whatever you think you want to do, that’s gonna change. “Maybe it’s just my personality, but I’m not sure I have ever had a job I fully loved. There is nothing that I have ever done that has felt like ‘my destiny.’ Sometimes, you just gotta do something and look for something a little better later.”

Just try stuff. “A lot of times, you are just not going know what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. You just gotta try. If you are not good at it, no problem, just try something else.”



Job is another “all star” patience champion. If it’s been a while, try reading through the book of Job quickly or check online or in a Bible app to listen to the book. The story especially comes alive in The Message audio version, available free through YouVersion—Dean Storelli

Hurt. Depressed. Believing.

It was a devastating year. It felt as though some of my closest friends had betrayed me.

For six years, my wife and I had given life and soul to serve the college, high school, and junior high school students of our church. But that year, the year of my 30th birthday, I was fired and experienced what felt like a public flogging.

In the months before I was fired, I underwent a review where the church leadership did a thorough assessment, only to lead to what felt like a predetermined outcome. During the deliberations, I struggled with anger and depression. My motivation to be in the Scriptures was low, but in the end, it was God’s Word, used by His Spirit, that sustained me.

I had memorized parts of Hebrews 12, and it was verses 3 and 4 that the Spirit of God used to help me make it through what felt like a disaster and, at the same time, not give in to bitterness.

 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Day after day I meditated on these verses, and the Holy Spirit reminded me that my Lord Jesus had suffered at the hands of sinful, evil conspirators, and ultimately had shed His precious blood. And His Father had sustained Him. Wasn’t it possible, as I suffered through failure, that the Father would sustain me?

Though I was depressed and angry, I also continued to believe that God would “lift me up out of the mud and mire, set my feet on a rock, and put a new song in my mouth” (Psalm 40:1-3). It didn’t feel like I was being “lifted up” at the time. But God, in the end, did put me in a new place. Even as I was pressed to the point of crushing, my spiritual roots grew deeper.

Looking back, the stress of that season matured me in essential ways. By His Word and through His Spirit, God enabled me to love those who were breaking my heart and crushing me. In fact, I continue to be friends with the leaders of the church—even after that challenging year.

On Your Own

Doug writes, “Our engagement in the Scriptures (or lack of engagement) will lead us to have either shallow or deep roots. Psalm 1 tells us the way to deep roots is by delighting, meditating on, and yielding to the Word of God. As the wind blows and change comes, those who take root in the Lord’s counsel are ‘like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.’”

  • Take a few minutes to review Psalm 1 (you might also want to look at Jeremiah 17:5-8) and consider: what does God promise? What is our part?
  • In the book of Proverbs (and other places), God asks us to look at nature and learn a lesson. If you’d like to learn a little more about roots—and how they are strengthened—check this story about the role of wind in a tree’s life, a lesson learned in the Biosphere 2 experiment.



Your Leadership Will Benefit from a “Core” Workout

NOTE: This month, NavPress is publishing a new book by a good friend of ours, Tom Yeakley. He and his wife, Dana, spent ten years mentoring ministry leaders in Indonesia before returning to the United States, where they both have been in leadership roles at the national level for The Navigators ever since. Tom has spoken more than once to the 20s leadership team, and we have all benefited. Here is a bit of his new book.

Some years ago, I was interacting with Dr. J. Robert Clinton about a personal goal to increasingly deepen my knowledge of the English Bible during my lifetime. After listening patiently and asking some questions, he offered, “Tom, I think you have an impossible goal.”

“Why would you say that?” I asked.

“Because,” he replied, “the Bible is not really one book; it is a library of sixty-six books. It’s too much to try to master in one lifetime.”

Your Core Scripture

He could see my disappointment, and he quickly added, “But there is a better way to develop the depth you desire. Instead of trying to become proficient in the entire Bible, focus your effort around a Core Set of Bible books. Begin with four books: one of the Gospels, Romans, Ephesians, and another book of your choosing—one that you spend a lot of time in, one that you’ve marked a lot in your personal Bible, or the book where you have to tape the pages back together due to wear.”

“Why Romans and Ephesians?” I asked.

“Because they explain Paul’s two revelations from God—the gospel and the body of Christ,” he said.

Don’t Miss the Forest for the Trees

Of course, while focusing on a smaller portion of the Bible, we need to stay familiar with the entire Scriptures. There is much profit in reading from the whole Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Don’t become so myopic that you miss great blessing. You wouldn’t want to get to heaven and not have an answer if Nahum asks you “So, how did you like my book?” You’d want a working familiarity with it so that you’re not embarrassed to admit that you never found the time to read or study it.

Your Core Set will be a dynamic list. As God gives you more influence and responsibility, you’ll want to add to it, and as you move through different seasons of life, your books and selected passages, characters, or themes may change accordingly. We can delete from our Core Set as well as add. We want to live and lead from an overflow of our walk with God. Concentrating in a Core Set has proved incredibly helpful for me and enabled me to deeply influence others as I serve others out of my focused study of Scripture.


You can find Tom’s original (fuller) post here.

Please consider purchasing Growing Kingdom Wisdom on NavPress.com Code: WISDOMGOGO during the week of 8/31/19 – 9/10/19.

For each book purchased, the Nav 20s ministry will receive a copy to mentor a young leader.