Looking Forward to the Unite Conference

Unite edited

We’re just a few weeks from the Unite Conference—an annual conference for Pillar Network churches. It’s a joy for Reaching & Teaching to join Pillar churches as a major sponsor of the conference. This year, we have the unique privilege of hosting a missiology pre-conference.

Here are several reasons why we’re excited for this year’s conference.


The Pillar Network describes itself as “a community of SBC and International Baptist Churches that are doctrinally aligned, missionally driven, and committed to equipping, planting, and revitalizing churches, TOGETHER.” Their DNA is marked by gospel proclamation, live exposition, kingdom mindedness, and Bible-based ministry; their congregations are elder-led and confessionally baptistic.

At Reaching & Teaching, we serve local churches by helping them send qualified missionaries to the ends of the earth. These missionaries have three tasks: making mature disciples, establishing healthy churches, and training local leaders. While many in missions celebrate their broad theological diversity and diverse partnerships, we’ve decided to serve a narrower constituency of churches. There’s much that can be written of the benefits of either approach, but we’ve seen a tremendous comradery and unity at Reaching & Teaching because of this like-mindedness.

Pillar Network churches are committed to the same things we are as an organization. The missionaries that have been sent through Reaching & Teaching by Pillar Network churches have contributed so much to the theological spine and missiological heart of our organization. It’s a real joy to cooperate together to see mature disciples made, healthy churches established, and local leaders trained around the world.

The Pre-Conference

As I mentioned, Reaching & Teaching is hosting a pre-conference on International Missions. We’re thrilled to have our friends Brooks Buser, Jonathan Leeman, and Scott Logsdon join AJ Gibson (our Regional Leader for Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa). These brothers have all sharpened our thinking on missiology, and I’m looking forward to hearing what they share at Monday’s pre-conference.

But the real benefit of the pre-conference will happen in the networking sessions throughout the afternoon. If you’re a pastor who wants his church to get plugged into like-minded work around the world, you’ll have lots of opportunities to hear from our staff and partners. I’m praying that the Lord will do some amazing through brand-new partnerships that are committed to building healthy churches in communities as diverse as Caracas, Delhi, Edinburgh, and the jungles of Southeast Asia.

Here’s a rundown of what opportunities will be highlighted: Brooks Buser will share about Radius International’s missionary training program, Sam Martyn will share about the IMB’s work in Central Asia, and Ryan Townsend will highlight the international work of 9Marks. We’ll also highlight various opportunities for 18-to-29-year-olds, pastors, and long-term workers. Do you know about our Practicum, Internship, or Short-Term Training opportunities? You’ll be able to learn about those during this time.

Fellowship with Friends

Every year at Unite, we meet new friends and connect with old ones. Some of these friends come from global cities, and others make a 20-minute drive to Southeastern’s campus. I personally enjoy the opportunity to introduce Pillar Network pastors to each other and arranging meetups between Reaching & Teaching team members and pastors.

But I’m also excited about our staff getting to actually spend time with each other. Our global staff spends lots of time together, but the vast majority of it is virtual. So I can’t wait to be near so many friends from around the world and sit under faithful teaching and enjoy some good meals. I’m certain we’ll leave with our hearts full after another joyful gathering.

It’s a sweet providence from the Lord to have like-minded friends that can stir up one another toward love and good works (Hebrews 10:24). It’s a tremendous joy to get together with Pillar Network pastors and partner together to make mature disciples, establish healthy churches, and train local leaders around the world.

Ryan Robertson

Ryan Robertson serves as President of Reaching & Teaching. He is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Missiology program at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ryan and his wife Erin have three children and are members of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, where Ryan also serves as an elder.

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