Accepting an iEDGE team at the beginning of 2020 was a step of faith for The Navigators ministry in Glasgow, Scotland. They wanted the iEDGE team to have a specific role and be seen and valued but initially the Glasgow ministry team wasn’t sure exactly what the iEDGErs’ role would be. The Glasgow Navigators decided to split the four-person iEDGE team in half, with two working in the university ministry and two in a crossing-cultures ministry.
Claire Donaghey, the current Scottish leader of the university ministry, has been blown away by how God provided through iEDGErs Abbey and Elissa for the need no one expected as the global pandemic began. When COVID-19 hit the world early in 2020, the previous leader of the university ministry was just leaving for his sabbatical. That meant a lot of responsibility and leadership was being passed to Claire just when they needed to change the way they did ministry. The Lord beautifully provided Abbey and Elissa to ease this transition by taking over more of the student ministry responsibilities so that Claire could embrace her new leadership role. They stepped up to the task and intentionally pursued students who were suddenly hungry for relationships and growth. Before the pandemic, one obstacle the ministry had encountered was students being apathetic and not taking ownership of the ministry. Amazingly the Lord used something as awful as COVID-19 to break this trend and enable Abbey and Elissa to build deep relationships with the students quicker than they might have been able to otherwise.
Elissa has been meeting with one student in particular who has felt the impact of Elissa’s intentionality. Maggie* has been around The Navigators student ministry for a long time, never quite moving on or moving into a leadership position. As Elissa spent time with Maggie and valued her, Maggie grew in confidence and felt safe enough to move forward into a different community. This met the ultimate goal of the Glasgow student ministry—connecting students to a church or community that they can be a part of beyond their university years. Claire saw the cost that for Elissa to so intentionally share her life with Maggie, but it made the impact so much greater.
Claire noticed that Abbey and Elissa’s care for students overflowed from the way that they cared for each other. The two iEDGErs spent a lot of time together, especially during the pandemic—living together, working together, and socializing together—and they practiced having healthy boundaries and trusting each other. The pair practiced speaking honestly into each other’s lives, which led to them being able to speak more boldly into students’ lives. They sought to value each other’s individual ownership by using separate screens during online meetings. This then enabled them to better see and value individual students. The two set up a time to watch a movie each week in order to enjoy each other’s company and they were able to extend that invitation to students. Jesus said in Luke 16:10, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much.” As Abbey and Elissa were faithful to steward their relationship well, so they have been faithful in stewarding their relationships with students.
Even though the Navigators team in Glasgow wasn’t initially sure how they were going to utilize an iEDGE team, the Lord knew and provided for their unknown need. They have all been taken aback by God’s hand and sovereignty in using the iEDGE team in such specific ways during this time.
* Name changed.
Author: Abigail Strand with Claire Donaghey