SENT | R.J. & Lauren Canales | The Navigators

December 7, 2018 | Written by R.J. & Lauren Canales

SENT is part of a new weekly series telling stories of people at Pulpit Rock living missionally in their unique contexts. We believe that all of us have been SENT into our neighborhoods, workplaces and city. Our hope is that you are encouraged and inspired to lean into the places God has called you. And then we’d like to tell your story. Because we know that the story of God’s people is the story of God. If you have a story you would like to share with us send it to

You both are stepping away from some stable jobs and income and into a new role with the Navigators, what was behind that transition?

Our journey of stepping away from a “stable job” was actually a long process for both of us, but what really pushed us over the edge was a new perspective on finances. For several years we neglected the thought of stepping into a donor funded role because we believed we had some control of our income. As R.J. began to look at a new role with the Navigators, we began to learn the very real reality that we had no control, even though God still gave us a choice. God used the picture of Peter walking on the water to illustrate this. When Peter walked on water, he asked Jesus to allow him to walk on the water towards him, and the Lord told him to “come.” In that moment, God was in control, but Peter had the choice. God was in control of the boat, keeping it afloat, but also enabled Peter to walk on water. For us, this meant we could stay stable in our current jobs, knowing God is in control, but we could also take a step of faith to step into gift-income, knowing God is still in control.

What does living SENT look like and mean to you right now in this season?

For us, the word SENT is synonymous with Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all Nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” Knowing Jesus has already given everyone the charge to go to the Nations, we’re constantly asking ourselves and others “What does it mean to GO [or be sent] right now?” It’s an opportunity to walk with others through various stages of going or being sent. For some, going might mean praying for the Nations or giving financial support, for others it might mean seeking a mentor who will prepare them to go one day. For some, we get to walk with them as they first experience the beauty and vibrancy of another culture for the first time, and for others we get to partake in encouragement that enables long term ministry.

What is something you have learned or seen about the Lord in a new way as you have stepped into this?

We have each learned about reliance and dependence in unique ways. For Lauren, she grew up in a home where personal security was difficult. God has been challenging her to be fully satisfied in Him, not in her work, her efforts, or her income. Stepping out of a secure position has pushed Lauren into learning secure trust in the Lord in a sustainable and consistent way. For R.J., he has been learning about continual steps of faith among an ever changing environment. With out going into too much detail, we’ve seen a lot of change in a short period of time. Among this constant change, our goal of pursuing God’s call to step into short-term missions has never change.

What encouragement would you give to others who feel like God might be inviting them into something new?

For us, new sits between a the tension of comfort and risk, so the greatest encouragement we can give anyone, especially if God is inviting them to something new, is to take steps faithfully and boldly toward your new journey. As you take steps into something new, you might face discomfort, you might face delay, but you will also face joy and healing. Don’t be afraid to seek out what new thing God is doing, even in the midst changes to the plan ahead. Habakkuk 2:3 “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”

If people wanted to partner with you or hear more of your story how could they do it?

If you are desiring to hear more of our story, we would be happy to get some time with you. RJ’s email address is

If you are feeling led to give, we welcome your donation:

RJ & Lauren are on staff with the Navigators and lead a young-marrieds small group at Pulpit Rock.


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