Amid the search for its next leader, the International Bible Society announced plans for a global strategic alliance with one of the largest distributors of Christian literature in the world for a more effective Scripture distribution.
Close partners for 30 years, IBS and Send the Light have initiated discussions for a possible mergence while the Bible publisher is currently without a ministry head. The formal partnership would mean stronger organizations on both ends.
"The translation and distribution of God's Word could potentially be greatly enhanced with these two organizations working together," said Mike Richards, Interim President and CEO of IBS, in a released statement. "We've shared a common mission for many years, which is to make God's Word available to people around the world so that they may become Disciples of Christ."
Peter Bradley announced his retirement as president/CEO of IBS earlier this year, saying it's "healthy" for leaders to bring in next generation leaders with fresh ideas. The ministry's search for a new head prompted discussion for a more formal relationship with Send the Light, according to IBS spokesperson Steve Johnson, especially when IBS is looking for long-term strategic direction and global expansion.
"IBS and STL have worked closely together around the world for over 30 years, particularly in Africa and Asia in recent years," said Keith Danby, STL's Group Chief Executive, in the announcement. "Both organizations have offices, distribution centers, staff resources and distribution strategies in similar regions of the world. This is an exciting extension of an already strong relationship, and we look forward to working together to better utilize our resources and advance our common mission."
The objective of the alliance is twofold: to create a bigger entity and a more effective ministry worldwide in terms of Scripture distribution, evangelism and discipleship; and to be stronger together from a resource perspective as both organizations have significant m
The two organizations are moving toward due diligence process with representatives appointed to form a joint task force. The task force will review the areas of compatibility and common interest and develop recommendations for their respective Boards by the end of the year.
If that process "bears fruit," which Johnson believes will, an organizational merging will happen some time early next year, he said. The due diligence process begins in a couple of weeks from which the outcome will also determine how IBS will move forward with the presidential search.