What’s in a Name?
The context for mission is changing faster than ever. The shelf life of your very best idea is diminishing. The creative tension between an unwavering focus on the mission and remaining relevant to a culture in flux has never been more important.
Since its birth as an outgrowth of the National Association of Evangelicals in 1946, the EFMA has primarily been known as a credentialing body for evangelical mission agencies. The value proposition for membership in our association was primarily the “stamp of approval” given to new members by our existing members. This “good housekeeping” seal of approval affirmed the doctrinal, fiscal and governing integrity of a mission organization.
We believe there is still a role for mutual accountability and the affirmation from peers that an organization’s “house is in order.” But we also believe the challenges of accelerated change call for a new value proposition: we will not only credential we will develop our members.
In April 2006, building on this important paradigm shift, the EFMA board of directors formally resolved to pursue a careful and deliberate journey of inside out re-branding. More than a marketing initiative or organizational make-over, inside out re-branding is a journey of self-awareness that seeks to align who we are in terms of our refocused vision, mission and core values with what we do and how we are perceived by our constituents.
Our mission is to facilitate relational and developmental initiatives that increase the effectiveness of the Great Commission community. Our desire is to help our members, and the Great Commission community, do what God raised them up to do even better. Our primary focus is to add value to leaders and stimulate partnerships.
The climax of this inside out re-branding journey was the changing of our name; EFMA is now The Mission Exchange. We believe our new name captures the spirit of dynamic, inter-active, return on investment relationships that is at the heart of our vision. We have a fresh resolve about cultivating a missional community where church and agency leaders can exchange ideas, expand their capacity, broaden perspectives, share burdens and form partnerships, just to name a few of the possibilities.
We have a rich heritage and are reaching higher because we are standing on the shoulders of many faithful mission leaders who have gone before us. When we say “formerly EFMA,” we are not turning our back on our history but we are turning a new page, entering a new and exciting season.
We are committed to producing results for our members and constituents, delivering on the promise we make in our mission to add a developing function to our credentialing identity. We welcome you to join us on this journey; come explore our new electronic resources and robust menu of online learning initiatives by visiting our new web site, www.TheMissionExchange.org.
We believe it is much more than coincidence that our journey so closely parallels that of CrossGlobal Link and look forward to a vibrant and growing spirit of collaboration. The Great Commission is too big for any organization or association to do it alone. It is too important for us not to try to do it together.