Compass Feature: David Turner
Interview by June Sparks
David Turner Reflects on Compass
David Turner has been behind the scenes or at the helm of Compass for over 30 years. He’s seen its transition from no colour to two colour to four colour to full colour. Compass has always been about connecting with the Australian Navigator community while bringing personal stories and encouraging discipleship grounded on firm foundations. It’s filled with articles explaining what the gospel is and how it can be personally shared and lived out on a daily basis.
It has always served as a practical teaching and reporting tool. Compass seeks to inform, instruct and inspire us all whether we have a longstanding, or a recent association with the Navigators.
Beginning in the 90’s Compass took on more of a theme-based focus challenging us all to not just know what we believe but also think through and be able to express why we believe it. This has only become more important as society has become more postmodern in its culture.
A large contribution David has made is his commitment to using imagery well. He’s a firm believer that “most people don’t read heaps of words; it’s the image that captures their attention.”
I asked David how he would describe the DNA of the Navigator message. He said, “Integrity in discipleship, integrity in our living the Christian life. You meet people involved with the Navigators who have Bible studies and you know that if you push them they’re solid, they’re real. On the whole, Navigators are genuine and they’re consistent in their walk.”
So as we read this Compass, let it challenge us all to be real. Let it challenge us to be led and to lead by faith in Christ, standing on the Firm Foundation.
Get To Know … Q & A with David
How did you come into relationship with Jesus?
I became a Christian way back in ’71 at a local youth rally, at the Uniting Church in my hometown of Atherton.
In what ways have Navigator communities shaped your journey?
I’ve been trained through groups first in Canberra as a student, then as staff leading on campus, moving on to community ministry in Hobart and Brisbane, and leading nationally. I’ve grown as a disciple and have discipled other men and couples groups partnering with my wife, Rae. We’ve also run marriage enrichment seminars. There has always been a practical element as well, leading mission trips to Aboriginal settlements, and practical service like painting churches, rebuilding fences for farmers after floods, and serving groups of men by just taking them fishing for extended time out and refreshment. My Navigator journey has been one of learning, growing, and leading in community.
What has helped sustain you in the challenging work of labouring?
My context is pretty much the Bible study. That’s how I stay focused and on track myself and lead others to do the same. Getting a home group together and reading through books of the Bible, that’s all we do. And I’ve been doing that forever. If you can expose people to the Word of God on a regular basis reading the Bible together as a community group, people’s minds change. Their worldview changes in the context of their home life, work life, church life all happening within community. I see discipling as community-based and Bible centred. That’s been my major ministry, connecting with people while helping them grow. Rae and I have seen marriages come together and become really fantastic you can see them impact their kids, lead them to Christ, all that, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a lifespan focus.