Missio Nexus is an expression of Great Commission oriented evangelicals in North America (United States and Canada) that fosters shared learning, opportunities for collaborative action, and produces increased effectiveness through its many mission-orientated products, programs, and services.
The network is the result of the merger that took place in January 2012 of two long-standing mission associations. One was CrossGlobal Link (formerly the Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association) and the other was The Mission Exchange (formerly the Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies).
Founding of Two Associations The Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association (IFMA) was founded in 1917 with the mission of strengthening Christian mission agencies by upholding standards of operation, assuring integrity and cooperative resourcing to spread the gospel. At its founding meeting on September 29, 1917 at the First Presbyterian Church of Princeton, NJ, 14 mission leaders – 10 men and 4 women – were present. There were seven founding missions represented. From that small cluster of mission leaders gathered for that first time, over the next 95 years the IFMA expanded into a vast North American-wide mission association exclusively made up of “faith” or non-denominational mission agencies. Over time they jointly fielded over 15,500 missionaries annually around the globe. At one time it had over 100 mission agencies in membership.
The Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies (EFMA) was the outgrowth of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), and primarily denominationally orientated. A group of mission executives met during the 1945 NAE convention and a committee was appointed to draw up bylaws and a constitution for a new mission association. On September 19, 1945 the constitution was approved and the incorporation was completed by December. The first EFMA convention was held in Minneapolis, MN in April 1946. Fifteen mission agencies were received as charter members. Over time the EFMA comprised over 100 mission agencies that together annually fielded close to 20,000 missionaries globally. In 2007 both associations up-dated their names. The EFMA changed its name to The Mission Exchange, while the IFMA changed theirs to CrossGlobal Link. Both associations kept these names until the time of the merger in 2012.
Merger of the Two Associations In the fall of 2010, the boards of the two associations met to discuss the possibility of merging. Talks continued into 2011 and progress was made. In September the tri-annual joint Annual Conference of the two was held in Phoenix, AZ. At their separate membership meetings on the morning of October 1, the membership of both associations voted overwhelmingly to merge. An interim board was established to carry forward the details of the merger. At its December meeting that board agreed on adopting the new name of this new mission entity to be “Missio Nexus.” Legally and practically the merger went into affect on January 1, 2012, but its name remained unannounced to wait its official and public unveiling.
Subsequently, on February 6, 2012 at Tabernacle Church, in Salem, Massachusetts, at a Bi-Centennial Celebration of the commissioning of the first US missionaries sent out by a mission society, Missio Nexus was unveiled as the new name for the merged entity. CrossGlobal Link and The Mission Exchange are now Missio Nexus—Connecting the Great Commission Community of North America. Unlike industry trade associations, Missio Nexus members are cooperative, not competitive. Missio Nexus creates opportunities for launching joint solutions to problems faced by our members who are often facing the same set of issues.