Nate Vander Stelt serves as the Executive Vice President for GACX.

Earlier this month, key leaders from five disciple-making / church planting networks came together for a four-day Global Summit in East Asia. GACX partnered with 24:14, Vision 5:9, Ethne, and the Global Church Planting Network (GCPN) to invite about 160 people working at the national, regional, and global levels.

Prayer leaders representing each of the five networks came together as well. Participants and others were invited to pray and fast during the 40 days leading up to the summit. Those on-site were also joined by twice-daily prayer calls involving intercessors from around the world. I believe this — along with a day where all participants joined in a day of fasting, prayer, and lamenting — made a significant impact on the ability to have hearts and minds sensitized to the Lord’s leading.

I think it’s fair to say that most came to this summit with a strong desire to explore how and where to work together. We listened, prayed, and discerned — spending time in worship, examining God’s word, and discussing different facets of what God was doing. Together, we pursued the unity that Jesus calls His followers to embrace in John 17.

We trust that God will bless the unity with increased efficiency and impact.

Each of the five networks represented at this summit has a somewhat different structure, approach, and emphasis. Yet we share a common goal of making reproducing disciples and seeing new, multiplying churches planted. As these networks come together and discover ways to work together, we trust that God will bless the unity with increased efficiency and impact. But just as multiple voices form a unified chorus, each network is bringing a uniquely valuable identity and focus.

Feelings of unity are great, but outcomes and next steps from this global summit are critical. Here are just a few of the takeaways that I think are immediately relevant:

  1. We desire to remain unified in prayer and fasting.
  2. We can share solid, actionable data and research to identify where the Gospel is being shared and still needs to go.
  3. We can pursue regional-level collaboration across all the networks.

Going forward, leaders from all five networks have committed to connecting on a quarterly basis to pray and seek greater discernment on working together.