Anthology Vol.8 No.1 (December 2020)
In 2021 our community focused its attention on the topic of innovation. In my six years with Missio Nexus I don’t believe there has been a year in which our theme has been so well received. This is no doubt due to the many changes in our world today, but I also believe that the Holy Spirit has been working in the hearts and minds of ministry leaders to bring about this eagerness for innovation.
Ministry leaders face a different set of innovation challenges than their counterparts in the business world. While business leaders compete with each other, ministry leaders compete against what Scripture calls “the world.” This includes contemporary culture, which is in incredible flux. Churches, mission agencies, and other ministries have been hard pressed to keep up with these changes, resulting in stagnation and irrelevancy.
I think we are turning a corner. From the use of new innovation tools like Design Thinking to the willingness to question the very foundations of why we work the way we do, ministry leaders are embracing innovation. I believe that Missio Nexus has played some role in that change.
It has been a hard year as well. The global pandemic has become endemic, with effects that will be felt for decades to come. Some missionaries wait to deploy while others are facing new mandates and border closures. With the end of Missio Nexus’ shared health program, Missio Benefits, our small staff has struggled to keep up with the workload. Yet, through it all, God has been faithful.
Let me thank the many missionary agencies and churches that are members of Missio Nexus. A community can only exist with active members, and we are blessed by having each other.
J. Ted Esler, PhD