I was part of an exciting moment in missions history at a conference last month! I was a participant and witness to the merger of two different missions networks. It was exciting to see different agencies embrace unity for the sake of the gospel around the world. As Christ himself prays in John 17:23, “May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”
The merger was a BIG deal in the missions community. Read the official press release below and watch reactions from various missions leaders.
Scottsdale, Ariz., Oct. 3, 2011 – On October 1, 2011, the memberships of CrossGlobal Link (formerly IFMA) and The Mission Exchange (formerly EFMA) agreed to merge, forming a body representative of 35,000 evangelical missionaries deployed in every country by more than 190 agencies and churches.
“The merger will create better synergy, more effective use of resources, and eliminate needless competition and duplication of programs, products and services,” said Marv Newell, Executive Director of CrossGlobal Link. “We must have a united voice to honor God as we move forward in this ever-changing world.”
“After 159 cumulative years of operating as two distinct entities, we are clearly in a ‘reset’ moment,” says Steve Moore, President and CEO of The Mission Exchange. “I believe we can capture the imagination of a new generation of great commission workers who recognize the urgency of the undertaking and the need for a more strategic streamlined structure for the future of North American missions.”
Both agencies went through name changes in 2007, and now with the merger will again select a new name. “We hope to have a new name and brand identity by the turn of the new year,” said Moore.
“Our goal is to unveil the new name and brand at a special celebration in Salem, Mass., where, 200 years ago, the first North American missionaries were commissioned for overseas service by an organized mission society,” said Newell.
The new organization will continue to provide all its existing services for its combined constituency during this interim period as the new structure is formed.
CrossGlobal Link (formerly The IFMA), was founded as an association of independent faith missions in 1917. The Mission Exchange (formerly The EFMA) was birthed in 1946 out of the NAE as an umbrella association for mission agencies including denominations. Both groups had expanded their membership parameters over the years which helped lead to the merger.