Dawson Trotman, Founder of the Navigators

(1906 – 1956)

A few weeks ago, I was thumbing through a biography (“The Navigator”)that I had read back in the early 1980’s.

It was about Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators Ministry.

God used that book (and Dawson’s life) to inspire and challenge me as a young 20-something in profound ways.

Here are three quotes (of the dozens I had highlighted) almost 40 years ago.

“Do you know why I often ask Christians, ‘What’s the biggest thing you’ve asked God for this week?’ I remind them that they are going to God, the Father, the Maker of the Universe. The One who holds the world in His hands. What did you ask for? Did you ask for peanuts, toys, trinkets, or did you ask for continents?

“I want to tell you, young people, it’s tragic! The little itsy-bitsy things we ask of our Almighty God. Sure, nothing is too small – but also nothing is too big. Let’s learn to ask for our big God some of those big things He talks about in Jeremiah 33:3: ‘Call unto Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you do not know.”  

(Dawson Trotman– page 26 from The Navigator)

“I don’t think time has much to do with whether God hears me or not. But I do believe that time has everything to do with whether my faith is built up as I pray and as I stretch out in asking. I don’t believe that God will ever give those great and mighty things of Jeremiah 33:3 to those who just have their little conscience-easers or some quick prayers before jumping into bed for the night.

“I don’t think God has anything big for you if you can’t take 1/48th of your day to be alone with your Almighty God and Father. I rather doubt whether He is going to do very much for you.”

(Dawson Trotman– while speaking at Mount Herman Christian Conference Center in Santa Cruz, CA – page 30 from The Navigator)

“We [the early Navigators Ministry]started out on the battleships of the United States Navy, getting men to spend time in the Bible. By the time the war was over, we had fellows on a thousand ships and on scores of bases throughout the world, faithfully serving and witnessing for the Lord.

“I suppose there was no greater secret than that these men were in the Book and the Book was in them. The Word of God is the mighty force within, that enable men to do whatever it says. I am absolutely convinced that the Bible completely changes the lives of men and women… It has completely changed my life. I’ll never be the same again since I was introduced to God’s Holy Word, the Bible.”

(Dawson Trotman– page 78 from The Navigator)