NEW YORK – The Forum of Bible Agencies International is the world’s only forum for international Bible ministry leaders designed to benefit member agencies individually and through the partnerships they create.
Let’s imagine that every Bible-believing Christian in America decides to move to a foreign country as ambassadors for Christ. What would that look like? Do you think it would be the beginning of a worldwide spiritual harvest? We might hope so, but the reality is that it would be chaos.
In the early days of Christian missionary work, there were more than several esteemed men and women who left all their earthly possessions and relationship behind to venture into the far reaches of Asia, Africa, and Oceania. Some of those ministries still exist today. Others failed to achieve their ambitious goals.
All of those works that have endured have at least one thing in common. Their pioneer leaders understood that their task required far more than an individual person or family. Spreading the Gospel, discipling and engaging new believers in the Word, planting churches, identifying and translating languages, teaching Bible studies, and empowering churches and communities required more than a few extra hands and feet.
Nonetheless, if an entire shipload of zealous Christians suddenly showed up, they would create havoc. Where would they live? Who would feed them? Who would provide the necessities of life for them or the tools they would need to reach the unreached?
Success on the mission field is just like success anywhere else. There has to be a plan. You know the old adage, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.”
The mission is too big for one person. It’s also too big for one mission agency or similar faith-based organization.
Today there are many well-organized Christian missions agencies working both inside and outside our borders. Are there too many? Certainly not. But there is a point when multiple agencies working the same “territory” can be too many. It is one thing for an agency to be well organized. It is a chaos of another order when agencies with the same vision and goals work within the same region and are duplicating each other’s efforts.
Efficiencies are lost. Finances are stretched. Statistics are misstated. The latter happens when each agency reports its results, particularly compared to their vision.
If five different agencies are working in Nigeria, for example, they are inclined to report the impact of their projects compared to, for instance, the number of unreached people in the country. That can be misleading because they are not taking into account the work and impact of other agencies engaged in the same ministries in the same places.
This reasoning is, in part, what led to establishing the Forum of Bible Agencies International. The forum is currently comprised of 40 member agencies “working together to maximize the worldwide access and impact of God’s Word in a trusted community of like-minded peers.” Perhaps you have heard of some of them.
|The International Bible Society||Crossway||Door International|
|Spoken Worldwide||Ethnos 360||Open Doors|
|Pioneer Bible Translators||The Jesus Film Project||SIL|
|Wycliffe||Bibles for China||GRN|
Collaboration is necessary between the hands and feet of the Body of Christ.
The Forum of Bible Agencies was founded on the firm belief that “collaboration and cooperation would significantly increase the speed and scope of accomplishing the vision . . . of providing worldwide access and impact of God’s Word.
The ministries of the forum members have dramatically maximized their impact through collaboration, where each agency is able to draw upon the strengths of the others. They do this by embracing inter-agency and inter-personal relationships, encouraging a culture that avoids duplication of ministries, exchanging professional best practices based on professional experience and excellence, and exploring issues of common concern.
Now, imagine how Christian missions would look if 400 or 4,000 FBOs collaborated in like manner. That would redefine “AMAZING!”