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Welcome to Paula Rowland, our newest board member!

  • By Vision Synergy

We are excited to announce that Paula Rowland, Ph.D., has joined the visionSynergy Board of Directors!

Paula Rowland, Ph.D.

Paula Rowland is married to John, an otolaryngologist in Seattle. Together they have three young adult children.

A long-time friend to visionSynergy, Paula has helped us with several projects and assisted founder Phill Butler with research for his book on Kingdom partnerships, Well Connected.

Paula brings to our board a diverse blend of skills, multicultural competence, practical field experience, and world-class skill as a program evaluation consultant. We appreciate Paula’s deep compassion and tireless efforts to meet the needs of the poor and marginalized. From working alongside her missionary parents in Mexico city to living and serving on Mercy Ships with her family, Paula has lived her life in service to others in need.

Read more…



Mission Networks: Connecting the Global Church

  • By Vision Synergy
Kärin Primuth

Kärin Primuth, visionSynergy President & CEO

Our friends from Issachar Initiative recently invited visionSynergy CEO, Kärin Primuth, to explore mission networks on their blog. In her post, Kärin outlines the who, what, and why of mission networks as she describes the power of collaboration to accomplish more in the mission field than any one person or agency could accomplish alone.

Be sure to check out the resources Kärin mentions to discover the networks you can work with right now!

“Do you have a vision to reach an unreached people group or a particular part of the world? If it is a God-sized vision, then it is a vision far too big for just one church or ministry to accomplish alone. It will take working together with others in the Body of Christ for real spiritual breakthroughs to occur.

“In today’s increasingly interconnected world, mission networks are providing vital connecting points for like-minded leaders to find others who share a similar vision to collectively achieve the mission God has put on their hearts.”

Continue Reading…

For more about mission networks with some questions for reflection, see Kärin’s Slideshare presentation from the MissioNexus Mission Leaders Forum in Dallas, Texas: “Stand Together in High Impact Networks.”

Finally, check out these visionSynergy-related posts at the Issachar Initiative:



Count for Zero

  • By Vision Synergy



visionSynergy’s Kärin Primuth & Phill Butler were recently featured in a video for a new 6-week small group curriculum from the Issachar Initiative.

The curriculum is called “Count for Zero” and highlights 5 critical areas of focus for fulfilling the Great Commission:

1. Zero languages without the Scriptures
2. Zero people groups without Disciple Makers
3. Zero oral learners without an oral Bible
4. Zero villages or neighborhoods without a Church
5. Zero people who have not heard the Gospel

Kärin & Phill are interviewed in the video for week 5 of the curriculum, which discusses the vital need for intentional collaboration and strategic investment in order to advance the Gospel around the world.

The curriculum is available for free from the Issachar Initiative website:




What’s getting in the way? The Five Greatest Roadblocks to Engagement

  • By Vision Synergy

roadblocksThe world is a big, complicated place.

The Muslim world is a 1.5+ billion person segment of that world with significant Muslim populations stretching from West Africa to the southern Philippines. With its heartland in the Middle East, where all history began and where it will all end, for political, economic, and deeply spiritual reasons, engaging the Muslim world effectively with the transforming message and power of the Lord Jesus must be a very high priority.

Christian leaders worldwide agree that today is a day of unparalleled opportunity in unleashing the gospel throughout the world. The global Church has never had more resources than she has today. However, despite serious and often sacrificial efforts to realize this vision, we’re far short of achieving our goals. With 1177 Muslim Unengaged Unreached People Groups (MUUPGs) — 187 of them over 100,000 in size—the task ahead of us is formidable. [1]

One of the global networks we serve – which is made up of 135+ organizations from 25 sending nations – has a vision to see effective church planting among all Muslim people groups, and we have set engagement of MUUPGs to be a top priority.

In April 2012 a survey was conducted of the network which asked the single question:

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The Pocket Guide to Partnership

  • By Vision Synergy

pocketmemoThe Pocket Guide to Partnership is a 2-page summary drawn out of nearly 30 years of field experience around the world.

The Guide outlines the 3 main stages and 15 key principles in the development of effective missional partnerships.

Use the step-by-step process summary to reflect on where you are in your own collaborative initiative – and what pitfalls you might want to avoid!

Use the principles summary as a diagnostic tool to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your own initiative relative to the fifteen factors most essential for partnership success.

Feel free to download and share!




Partnerships & Strategic Alliances: A Harvard Business School Idea, or a God Strategy?

  • By Vision Synergy


Mind of GodWe all know that outcomes are a whole lot better when people work together – whether it’s families, communities, or nations. The nightly news reminds us of the consequences of broken relationships – personally and among nations. It’s particularly true, of course, in Kingdom work.

Working together, our witness and service in Christ’s name is always more powerful. He promised that in Psalm 133 and mandated it in John 17:21-23. Problem is that we don’t see many examples of Christians working together effectively – especially over the long haul.

This brief piece talks about the key principles that have emerged over recent years by people working on collaborative initiatives in over 90 countries. Take the principles seriously and you’ll be amazed at what can happen! Ignore them and court a headache at best, a disaster at worst.

Here are eight time- and field-tested principles for Kingdom collaboration success:

Read more…



Increasing Mission Effectiveness Through Partnership

  • By Vision Synergy


Increasing Mission Effectiveness Through Partnership is a new article from visionSynergy CEO, Kärin Primuth.

The article was just published in eXcelerate Magazine, produced by Missio Nexus – an umbrella association of nearly 200 North American mission agencies and churches which have collectively deployed 35,000 evangelical missionaries around the world.

In the article, Kärin recounts her first time attending the North American Mission Leaders Conference hosted by Missio Nexus:

As a new mission executive, I had the unique opportunity to sit with many seasoned leaders and ask a lot of questions. One of the things that stood out to me in these conversations was how many mission executives articulated similar organizational priorities, yet had limited, if any, intentional partnering initiatives. … The more I listened, the more convinced I became that collaboration is now essential for good stewardship of limited Kingdom resources in our increasingly interconnected world.

Kärin goes on in the article to highlight different ways that major mission organizations have partnered together in the past few years. She concludes:

When we set our eyes on building the Kingdom of God, rather than building our own organizations, we will discover that we have so much to gain from partnering with one another.


Download the article

Download the entire issue of eXcelerate Magazine




Bridging the Divide

  • By Vision Synergy

This past week, visionSynergy participated in the Missio Nexus 2012 North American Mission Leaders Conference where one of the major workshops was focused on the theme of contextualization in Muslim ministries. The workshop was presented by members of the Bridging the Divide consultation, which visionSynergy senior advisor, Dave Hackett, has helped facilitate for the past two years.

Over these two years, the Bridging the Divide consultation has brought together numerous professors, translators, missiologists, funders, and leaders of evangelism and church planting ministries among Muslims, including a number of believers from Muslim backgrounds.

The purpose of the consultation was to address highly-charged controversies around contextualization in Muslim outreach, and in particular what is known as the “Insider Movement.” Read more…



The Iron Chefs of Partnership

  • By Vision Synergy


Do you know the “Iron Chef” TV show?

This was a show that originally launched in Japan in the early 90’s and then had spin-offs in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Israel. In the show, there are master chefs in an outlandish “kitchen stadium” who compete to quickly create entire multi-course meals around a single theme ingredient, which is revealed to the chefs at the opening of the show. They make some pretty crazy dishes.

I want to use this illustration to explain one of the distinctives about the model of collaborative partnership we encourage in our training.

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A Lifelong Journey

  • By Vision Synergy

Phill Butler, visionSynergy founder, was recently asked by the Christian Leadership Alliance to write up a brief personal reflection on the past three decades of his work in building Kingdom partnerships for global mission. The Alliance published Phill’s reflection under the title, A Lifelong Journey, for the summer 2012 edition of their national magazine – Outcomes.

This edition of the magazine was focused on the theme of partnership and includes a number of excellent articles on partnerships in ministry and mission.

Among these were:

Tackling the Summit of Partnerships
by Scott Todd

One in Christ
by John G. Fix

Empowering Collaboration
by Joseph Vijayam

Seven Principles for Successful Collaboration
by Doug Wicks

Down with Teamwork!
by Doug Mazza

The Critical Shift
by James Lewis

… and more.