Grasping the idea of discipleship can be challenging in today’s context.
In the Bible, the disciples were with Jesus and followed him wherever he went. The apostles carried what they learned worldwide, teaching and encouraging new believers. We only know a little about what their lives practically looked like.
We sat down with Stowe Campbell, currently in New Zealand, working as a Navigator field staff member, to ask him what a day in his life looks like as a full-time disciplemaker.
On an average weekday, Stowe wakes up early and heads to the gym. He lives near the university’s campus, where he disciples students and can visit its recreation center. He says he does cardio and runs most days but hits weights a few times weekly.
After working out, he heads home, gets cleaned up, and checks his email. “The Navigators is a crazy high relationship organization,” says Stowe, “Email is how I stay on top of what’s going on in the organization.” He eats the same dry muesli breakfast every morning. “I like to eat it dry since I’m allergic to dairy, and everyone thinks I am crazy. I just like it.”
Then, he prays and reads his Bible.
On Monday mornings, for two hours, he teaches his staff. They are going through each line in the Old Testament and recently finished Judges.
“Their eyes were so big when we finished Judges because of how messed up it was back then. But I love the Old Testament. I am an Old Testament guy.”
After Bible study with his staff on Mondays, he may meet with a staff member to check in with them over lunch. This way, he can care for his staff well and ensure their needs are heard or met. He says, “I eat Indian twice a week. I didn’t start eating curries until I moved to New Zealand. And I love food.”
Then, he will check in with another staff member after that.
By late afternoon, Stowe jumps back into admin work or digs into personal study. In the spring semester, he leads a men’s discipleship group on Monday nights, but right now, he has Monday evenings pretty free.
On Tuesday mornings, he leads his staff meeting. During this meeting, it’s a staff roundup, and they discuss the group Bible study that will happen later that evening. His wife also helps lead the Bible study student leaders, and he says, “My wife and I work as a team.”
After the staff meeting, he often schedules lunch and one-on-one time with students. Since his ministry focuses on University students, he ensures his schedule is flexible. He tries to schedule each meeting back-to-back so he can meet with as many students as possible.
When the Bible study time rolls around in the evening, Stowe helps his team prep the meal and leads the lesson. When it’s time to split into groups, Stowe will leave the Bible study, go home next door, eat dinner with his family, and then return to wrap up the lesson. He says the students share more when they are in smaller groups, and since he leads the studies, his presence can sometimes dampen the freedom students feel when sharing their opinions.
Throughout the rest of the week, Stowe meets with students, staff members, and tag-teams other tasks and ministry needs with his wife.
Finally, on Friday mornings, he oversees an online Bible class for two hours in addition to teaching his staff similar content beforehand.
Many Navigators spend time on the weekends ministering to people, but Stowe says that in New Zealand, the weekend is reserved for errands and sports. His sons play rugby, basketball, and field hockey, and their games always happen on a Saturday. During weekends, he also enjoys hiking with his family and getting outside.
On Sunday, his family attends a church where they are actively involved. Stowe helps introduce worship songs every couple of weeks and leads communion and confession
What he enjoys the most
Out of all the activities Stowe does in a week, he enjoys developing his staff and helping them read the Bible the most. Often, he thinks new staff feel like they have to be finished products by the time they join The Navigators. Yet, he believes that every person is a constant work in progress, and he says, “All I care about is if my staff members are trending in the right direction and that they have the right motivations.”
Stowe is just one Navigator among thousands, and his day can look completely different from one Navigator to another. Hopefully, taking a glimpse into his life will help you learn how discipleship could look in your life.