Path to the Nations

Our process for identifying, connecting, and preparing new staff for international assignments

From the time people show interest in serving interculturally until departure for Navigator overseas ministry, we move them through a relationally-focused and developmentally-biased path to the nations. We invest in people so that they can invest in helping others to know Jesus.

First, here are a few definitions you’ll see used:

  • Candidate: Anyone interested in an International staff assignment with Navigators World Missions for one or more years.
  • Missions mentor: World Missions staff who walks with candidates from the beginning through Discovery.
  • Receiver: Navigator staff or laborer who will be the supervisor in the international ministry location.
  • Appointee mentor: World Missions staff who walks with candidates from appointment to departure.

1. Interest Phase

Leadership Blessing

The candidate talks with current spiritual leaders and mentors about his/her interest in missions.


The candidate informs World Missions of interest and interacts with a U.S.-based missions mentor to investigate opportunities. During this phase, the candidate and missions mentor will initially assess the candidate’s fit with the Navigators calling, values, and vision, as well as his/her readiness for the specific opportunities being explored.

We suggest that candidates attend our twice-yearly Exposure weekend to help them discover more about their calling and fit with World Missions.

2. Exploration Phase


The candidate narrows his/her interest down to the top one to three best matches, interacts with potential receiver(s) to gain understanding and discern fit, and then makes a decision with World Missions and the potential receiver about moving forward. This could include a vision trip to the potential location(s).


The receiver submits an invitation to apply to World Missions on behalf of the candidate for a specific assignment.

3. Assessment Phase (2-4 months)


The candidate submits World Missions assessment materials (application, references, and background history questionnaire). The receiver submits materials (job description, budget).

These materials are then reviewed by World Missions and a decision is made regarding invitation to Discovery.


The Candidate makes travel plans to attend Discovery in Colorado Springs (see upcoming dates below). Discovery features developmental training, group interactions, and break-out discussions with World Missions staff and counselors. By the end of Discovery, candidates can expect to have:

  • Relationships: Candidates get to know the people of World Missions and the organization as a whole. World Missions staff also get to know the candidates.
  • Next steps: We help candidates identify developmental areas and the next steps and resources to address those areas.
  • Confirmation: Together we seek God’s confirmation of the fit between the candidate and the specific role for which he/she is applying. This results in a decision of 1) yes, 2) yes, with conditions, 3) wait, or 4) no.

4. Preparation Phase (6-20 months)

Pre-field Preparation

If appointed, the candidate begins any required preparation and fundraising with the help of an appointee mentor. This includes Navigator funding school and staff orientation which falls directly after Discovery. The appointee also engages in cross-cultural ministry training for four weeks, usually closer to departure.


Once the candidate completes required preparation and is fully funded, he or she departs for the new ministry location!

Interesting in joining staff?

Fill out the form below!