National Director Appointed

passing the baton
Eric Stolte (right) passes the “baton of leadership” to Chris Barrett (left) during an informal send-off at The Navigators’ national office.

On September 1, 2014, The Navigators bid a fond farewell to Eric Stolte as our President and National Director. It was a joyous and emotional farewell, with many across the country having felt Eric’s impact on their lives at one time or another. In one smooth transition, Chris Barrett has stepped into the role of National Director and assumed his place at the helm on The Navigators’ national leadership team.

Eric served as The Navigators’ National Director for the past 10 years, working continuously to lay the groundwork for the movement-focused direction we are now taking. On his last day as National Director, he had this to say:”Thank you all ever so much for the privilege and honour of allowing me to bring what I could to the leadership of our movement. It’s truly hard to believe that 10 years have transpired since Marion and I made the trip from Saskatoon to London for me to assume this role. Now, I’m more excited than ever about the calling we have and the way in which we are pursuing that calling.”

As Eric leaves for his sabbatical, Glen Werner, the chairman for The Navigators’ board of directors, offered his thanks on behalf of The Navigator organization.

“Eric, as National Director, was fully committed to the Navigator calling and demonstrated this commitment in how he led and engaged with people within the Navigators as well as folks within his broader sphere of influence and engagement.

In his consensus style of leadership he brought people together to understand and commit to the challenge of developing and nurturing generations of workers for the Kingdom who are next door to everywhere. His leadership, dedication and life example has positioned the Navigators as an organization that is healthy and ready to move forward under its new leadership.

Eric is dedicated to the study of the scriptures and passionate about advancing the gospel of Jesus and His kingdom through spiritual generations of labourers throughout Canada. His motto, taken from Micah 6:8 –“. . . to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God”, underscores how Eric lives. As the National Director he showed humble and dedicated leadership and has finished his term well, leaving a legacy of a healthy movement ready to carry out the Navigator Calling and mandate in the decades to come.

Eric, thank you for your example, commitment and dedicated leadership.”

Eric will continue to serve with the Navigators in another capacity after a much deserved sabbatical.

This past June, Navigator leaders from across Canada, along with international president Mike Treneer, officially commissioned Chris and his wife Heather at the Canadian Navigators’ National Leadership Conference in Whistler, B.C.

commissioning Chris and Heather
Chris and Heather Barrett (front) are officially commissioned into the National Director role at Whistler 2014 by (left to right) Glen Werner – Chairman of the Board, Esther Waruiru – Vice President, Navigators International, Mike Treneer – Navigators International President, Eric Stolte – Canadian National Director

Chris’s involvement with the Navigators began after he completed his Bachelor’s degree in engineering at McMaster University. He spent the next two years doing a Navigator internship at the University of Saskatchewan where he helped coach the track and cross country teams. Following this, he completed his Master’s in engineering at McGill University and went to work for Alcatel as a software engineer for the next seven years. In 2005, Chris rejoined the Navigators full-time as the campus leader for the Navigator ministry at Carleton University. He has also held the position of National Campus Missions Specialist where he assisted other campus leaders in developing their ministries.

Veteran Navigator staff Luciano Del Monte says “Chris is the perfect person to lead and facilitate the Navigators into the future. He has a wonderfully intimate relationship with Jesus, he is gripped by God’s promises, and has a unique way to come alongside young adults and bring out the very best in them. Not only that, he’s a lot of fun to be around, and partners beautifully with his loving, Spirit-filled bride, Heather.”

Chris will be working out of his home community in Ottawa and will continue to be involved with the Carleton Navigator ministry there. However, primary leadership of the campus group has been given to Brenda Wang, who recently returned from a year-long placement with the People Resources Team at the U.S. Navigator office.

It is with thankful hearts that we send Eric off on the next leg of his walk with God and with great pleasure that we welcome Chris to his new role for the next five years.

selection council
Key Navigator leaders from across the country pray over Chris Barrett (centre) during the meeting where he was elected National Director.
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