The Navigators is an interdenominational ministry dedicated to evangelizing the lost and training Christians so that they, too, will disciple others. The Navigators works with students, military personnel, businessmen and women, church leaders, inner-city families, and new believers from all walks of life. They operate a conference center, host youth camps, and work in more than one hundred countries. They publish their own study materials and other books through NavPress and are the publishers of the well-known The Message Bible paraphrase.
The Navigators is an evangelical Christian ministry committed to the Word. Doctrinally, they are sound. The organization believes the Bible is the inerrant Word of God; and the doctrines of the Trinity, the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, and salvation by grace through faith are all in line with what the Bible says.
The Navigators ministry began over eighty years ago in California, when a young man named Dawson Trotman felt the call of God to teach the principles of discipleship to others. Trotman began teaching local Sunday school classes, using 2 Timothy 2:2 as a guiding light: “The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” In 1933, Trotman and his friends started to work with sailors in the U.S. Navy. Before long, 125 men on their ship, the U.S.S. West Virginia, were involved, maturing in Christ and actively sharing their faith. In 1949, the first overseas missionary from the Navigators left for China.
The Navigators takes its name from the fact that the ministry was originally to Navy servicemen. Although the ministry has broadened beyond military personnel, it still seeks to help people “navigate spiritually, To Know Christ and to Make Him Known as they look to Him and His Word to chart their lives” (from the Navigators’ official website).
Through NavPress, The Navigators offers a wide variety of Bible studies; devotionals; and books on social issues, leadership, men’s and women’s issues, marriage resources, spiritual growth, and more—they even have Christian novels.
Currently, The Navigators has more than 4,600 staff members—each raising his or her own financial support—from 70 different nationalities. Their emphasis is still on creating “spiritual generations of laborers”—that is, each disciple of Christ disciples others, forming new “generations” of believers growing in the Lord. They do this by meeting with new believers individually and in small groups to study the Bible together and pray, encourage, counsel, and teach.