Here is how we in Chicago walk with Christ and live the life of an everyday disciplemaker. Let’s connect with Chicago disciplemaker Cotorey Seals. Then, you’re invited to watch and listen to him create. And finally, we’ll celebrate by learning more about “The Garden.” Come along as we connect, create, and celebrate Chicago-style.


By leading from his own vulnerability, Cotorey deeply connects with others. He hasn’t done this alone. By partnering with men and women in Collegiate, Disciplemakers for Life–I:58 Mission, Navigators Chicago, and the local church, he has been transformed and continues to be transformed into the image of Christ while helping others do the same.

Cotorey is passionate about his relationship with God, self, and others. He says, “It has been a journey of trading in my self-preservation and self-protection for God’s protection. I had to renounce the pride that lied and told me that it would protect me. My walls were filled with pride and insecurities because of the hurt I had experienced.”

Cotorey continues, “But what I see the Lord doing in me, in you, is stripping back the ways we thought masculinity and protection were supposed to be—the lie of society that says, ‘I must be big and present myself,’ and oftentimes pride is just a mask for my hurt. And I feel like God is asking me to trade in the false protection of my pride and ego for a humble and contrite heart.”

In Chicago, a model for Navigators like Cotorey has been our embrace of bi-vocational disciplemakers. We encourage everyday disciplemakers to consider joining part-time staff, volunteering, and using their life and business training as a missional enterprise.


As a trained biblical counselor, Cotorey has created a healing ministry, a vocation, and a compelling life story as a disciplemaker. This is God’s gift to Cotorey through his pain, his brokenness, along with his healing and his joy.

Creating relationships, creating trust, creating space for others to be present, creating invitations and opportunities for others, and creating beauty and art—this is what Cotorey values as he stands before the listeners at Chicago Soul Café. Watch and listen now as Cotorey shares his “Spoken Word” at “The Garden,” one of his original open mic events (click HERE to watch on YouTube).


About celebration, Cotorey shares, “I wanna give what’s been given to me. I wanna celebrate yours and my life because of what God has already done. That’s what the open mics—and my sharing a Spoken Word—is about.”

Chicago Collegiate Director and friend James Crumb shares, “Before the pandemic, Cotorey created and hosted an open mic night for others to come and express themselves. That night was special, and he saw it as a ministry to people who want to create and use their talent for the glory of God. Cotorey is excited to see how God will use these open mics and is already planning ahead.”

For Cotorey and Navigators Chicago, our hope is that from “The Garden,” generations of disciplemakers will glorify the Lord and bear much spiritual fruit by Connecting, Creating, and Celebrating as everyday Chicago disciplemakers.



By Jim Conner, Chicago Navigators, D4L/20s Leader

Photos by Brianna Russell