One Church, One Mission
By Staff
PCA Agency collaboration webinar

MNA has developed a vision for planting 1,000 PCA churches by 2033. Not only is it looking to grow the PCA in size, it’s looking to strengthen the health and vitality of PCA churches. To accomplish these broader goals, MNA leaders say the PCA will need greater cooperation among its agencies. On May 14 MNA’s Growing Together podcast hosted a webinar to discuss what agency cooperation could look like.

Agency heads Lloyd Kim (Mission to the World), Will Huss (Reformed University Fellowship), and Stephen Estock (Committee for Discipleship Ministries), joined Irwyn Ince of MNA and Growing Together host Chris Vogel for a conversation on how collaboration among the agencies has worked in the past and how it will work to further MNA’s  church planting goals.

Ince kicked off the conversation by explaining that inter-committee collaboration is part of MNA’s specific vision to plant more churches. Personal relationships among the agency heads, for example, make it easier for them to work on projects together. “We truly do like and love each other as brothers in Christ,” Ince says. One example Ince gave was MTW inviting MNA to help plan its Global Missions Conference scheduled for November 2024. Estock also said that there are opportunities for agencies like CDM to collaborate closely with others. MNA’s ESL ministry, for example, was produced with the help of CDM staff.

“What we’re trying to do is be more intentional in our training to think about how it would play out in a church planting context,” he said.

“We are working together in service of the same King, for the cause of his kingdom. We should have that as a leading perspective.” -Irwin Ince

Panelists also discussed some barriers to collaboration among agencies. Will Huss of RUF emphasized trust as key. “If you think about the challenges of collaboration, they usually revolve around trust. We have a tendency to say, ‘This is my sandbox, don’t come play in it’.”

“What keeps me in my sandbox is pride and fear,” Estock added. “ I don’t want to hear people saying that I’m doing something wrong. But in order to be a mature leader, I have to be willing to encounter people who might speak truth into my life.”

Since the agencies all serve the PCA at the behest of the General Assembly, inter-agency collaboration helped them be faithful in their individual responsibilities. “Our motto is, ‘Faithful to the Scriptures, true to the Reformed faith, obedient to the Great Commission,’” Ince said. “Since we all share this vision for the church, collaboration can’t be counter to that since the Scriptures say we’re one in Christ.”

Kim discussed multiple examples of collaboration efforts with RUF and CDM — including cross-cultural training, internship sites, and discipleship materials sent overseas to church planters. “It is to our missions advantage that MNA is successful — they’re where our missionaries are going to come from,” added Kim. “And it’s important that RUF and CDM are successful in their visions, so that we have resources for those church plants to succeed. It’s not simply because we love each other, but our success compounds each other’s success as we seek to follow the General Assembly mandates.”

Kim pointed listeners to the effectiveness of collaboration on a practical level. “The people on the ground do most of the work …. leadership can collaborate in terms of vision and tone, but at the end of the day, it’s folks on the ground talking to each other in grassroots collaboration. We don’t work by fiat.”

In closing, the panel talked about what average listeners could do to assist them in their collaboration efforts. Ince points us back to our shared vision: “We are working together in service of the same King, for the cause of his kingdom. We should have that as a leading perspective as we seek to engage as a denomination.” Trust was stressed as key at the denominational level.

“We need people to say that collaboration is a good thing,” said Estock. “The denomination can be suspicious of committees and agencies working together, at least, they have been in our history… We’ve all verbalized that we exist to serve the local church.”

Kim exhorted listeners to pray for them.  “We are men in the flesh, sinners, not those who are always thinking charitably with each other… Pray that we would be protected from that divisiveness.”

To watch the webinar, click here.

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