Name change brings clarity, highlights mission
After nearly 110 years, most under the somewhat unwieldy moniker Mennonite Brethren Mission and Service International, MBMSI is changing its name to MB Mission. Following a process of consultation with partner organizations, pastors, supporters, and missionaries, the boards approved the new name and fresh visuals.
“Many individuals have simplified it [MBMSI] to MB mission already,” says Larry Neufeld, lead team, mobilization and media. “It’s a natural step.”
The tagline has also been changed to “going to the least reached.”
The organization began to roll out the new name through a letter to pastors, a press release, and a full-page announcement in the January issue of Witness, MBMSI’s quarterly magazine included in the MB Herald and Christian Leader. By the end of the first quarter, all the organization’s branding and correspondence will reflect the new name.
The “family” made it clear that “clarity and simplicity is the road to go down,” says Neufeld. “The brand becomes an expression of who we are as an organization.”
“We are rooted in the faith of leaders who have gone before us,” wrote general director Randy Friesen in a letter to pastors. “Our history will help propel us into the future,” says Neufeld. “Mission is about moving forward, a sense of invitation.”
The slate grey colour in the logo expresses the “grounding” of the past while the deep orange graphic evokes a sense of vibrant energy – pointing to “where God is moving, doors he’s opening, being obedient to him,” says Neufeld.
“[This name change] will have minimal impact on the way we go about our work, but it will certainly take less explaining both to Thai nationals and other missionaries we come across,” says Andy Owen, a long term missionary in Thailand. “At the same time, it still maintains the distinctiveness we bring as Mennonite Brethren to our kingdom ministry around the world.”
Constituents affirmed showing the tie to the Mennonite Brethren church in the name, and identified mission on the frontiers as a characteristic of the organization. MB Mission currently has 85 missionaries around the world, 18 in restricted access countries.