International (MNN) — Arab World Ministries and PIONEERS USA officially announced the merger of the two organizations last week. This marks the culmination of discussions which have been taking place for almost two years.
Executive Vice President of PIONEERS, Ted Esler, said, "A number of our field leaders began talking about plans and what they're doing on the field, and they began to recognize that there was a lot of affinity between Arab World Ministries and PIONEERS."
Their missions and passions converge in two main areas. First, for both ministries, a huge focus is the Muslim world and the exciting trends taking place in recent years: "The growth of the church in the Muslim world, over the last, probably, 10 to 15 years outpaces any growth we've seen in history," Esler said.
Through Arab World Ministries' extensive field work experience of almost 130 years and PIONEERS' established networks, they plan to have even more of an impact on the Muslim world with the Gospel.
One way they plan to do this is through a media outreach program Arab World Ministries has been developing. Through this program, inquiries through various forms of media are sorted through and responded to, allowing the ministries to touch individuals worldwide, sometimes without even meeting them.
Secondly, Esler said the ministries both share a passion for the expansion of the church: "Both organizations are really focused on church planting and want to see vibrant movements of churches planted among all cultures."
Using Arab World Ministries' seasoned field veterans, they also plan to expand their work on the ground around the world to see even more churches planted and expanded to share the hope of Christ.
While the finalization of the merger will not take place until September 30 of this year, Esler said they have already begun to merge operations in the U.S., and employee transfers will begin next month.
Esler said the main concerns now are for the leadership of both organizations as they discuss the logistics of merging their missions and visions into one.
Prayer is requested for both companies to retain the individuals who have supported them long-term and that "they would see that this coming together really enhances the ministry. [Pray also] that they would continue to be supportive of that ministry, both in terms of prayer and in terms of financial resources."
To learn more about what these ministries will look like when combined and to support them in this venture, visit PIONEERS' Web site, as they will be retaining the PIONEERS name after the merger.