Unity and collaboration at Mission Leader Conference

By October 10, 2016

United States (MNN) — The phrase “work better together” is true in a variety of applications. A good example is the mission field. With an umbrella goal of the Great Commission, it only makes sense.


(Image courtesy of Missio Nexus)

Missio Nexus recently held the 2016 Mission Leaders Conference in Louisville Kentucky. Mission Network News was able to attend and cover a bit of what was going on.

We spoke to Ted Esler, President of Missio, to get a few of his thoughts on this year’s conference where dozens of mission organizations came together to make connections in order to advance the Gospel.

He says, “The theme for our conference this year was ‘united’, and the idea behind that is we want to see churches and agencies working well, agencies working with each other well, etc., because it’s an ‘all hands on deck’ proposition with the Great Commission.”

Before the conference, Esler published a statement encouraging attendees to get the most out of the conference by choosing the right attitude, making connections, listening well, connecting with groups doing similar work, and taking time to reflect.

Esler’s own reflections are that the greatest success of the conference were the little meetings and conversations that took place on the side between different organizations. Here, groups were able to meet with other groups who had the same specific ministry focuses in order to collaborate and solve problems.

Ted Esler and Luis Palau. (Photo courtesy of Missio Nexus via facebook)

Ted Esler and Luis Palau. (Photo courtesy of Missio Nexus via Facebook)

As usual, the plenary speakers had a lot to bring to the table by way of reminder for mission organizations. One example was David Platt who tempered the theme of unity with wisdom. He explained we must hold ourselves to a standard in order to stay true to the Gospel and God’s call to share it.

Esler puts it this way: “In the midst of unity and the desire to work together, it’s good to be reminded of the high calling we have — theologically, biblically, and in other ways. Unity is not a mask to set aside real issues.”

Esler has been President of Missio for a little over a year, and he is excited for what’s next. “I think what our future really holds is, instead of just providing membership services to organizations and churches, what we want to do is really identify some opportunities we uniquely have in North America as well as challenges, and to find those collectively and then go after them.”

Praise God for the reminders given and the connections made this year! Pray alongside Missio as they plan for next year’s conference. Ask God to bless the relationships that were forged between mission groups and that this conference would be a catalyst for the spread of the Gospel.


  • I especially liked the comment about tempering unity with wisdom. Pursuing unity without it can potentially lead to compromise.

  • John Benham says:

    Unity of the body of believers is the result of the commitment of each individual to God. Biblical worship always results in unity of the body, discipleship of the believer, and outreach to the lost. (Acts 2:42-47; Acts 13:1-2; John 4:1-42; Isaiah 6:1-10; Matthew 28:16-20). While I was not at the conference, I love the concept.

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