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Introducing a new mission statement

In fall 2002, I attended Church Planting Canada’s congress in Montreal. Patrice Nagant, our current C2C Quebec regional director, toured us around Montreal and informed us of Quebec’s spiritual and political history and its overwhelming need for the gospel.

That day, I stood on Mount Royal and wept over Quebec’s spiritual need. It became clear to me that unless we worked together as a Canadian family of churches, we wouldn’t be able to give our Quebec churches the support they needed to reach out with the good news of Jesus. It had to be a joint effort of all Canadian evangelical churches.  

That event opened my heart to involvement in the Canadian conference (CCMBC), but never did I imagine I would serve in the role of executive director a dozen years later. My belief in our need to work together as a family of churches and with other like-minded denominations has only increased. We must repent of the individualism that plagues us personally and corporately. 

Not only is partnership a good strategy, it’s a biblical mandate. Paul continually challenged churches to support each other, and he thanked them when they did so. The resources God has given us are neither for our personal gratification nor solely for the benefit of our particular church. God has blessed us so we can be a blessing to others for his glory.

Unpacking our mission

As you read this article, Mennonite Brethren from across Canada are travelling to Vancouver to attend Gathering 2014: Multiplying for Mission. Our national convention will process the new CCMBC mission statement we’ve been testing across Canada for the past year.

CCMBC’s mission is “to multiply Christ-centred churches to see Canada transformed by the good news of Jesus Christ.” 

We use the verb “multiply” because we’re praying for the Holy Spirit to develop in us a biblical mindset toward God’s purpose for the church – to increasingly give expression to the kingdom of God through the church by our participation in the great commandment and the great commission. Multiplication is a biblical mindset. It’s not a formula, target or goal. It’s a mindset. 

The executive board also felt it was important for us to describe the kind of church we believe we’re called to multiply. Therefore, we use the term “Christ-centred.” We want to be about Jesus, glorifying him, honouring him and introducing people to him.

Many people have asked why we use the phrase “to see Canada transformed.” First, our scope of responsibility as a Canadian conference is Canada. We partner with MB Mission in global outreach, but our specific concern is the spiritual welfare of Canada. 

Second, we believe transformation is observable. When people enter into a life-changing relationship with Jesus – moving from spiritual death to spiritual life – the transformation is observable. So we look toward the transformation of Canada one life at a time. 

Finally, it’s the work of the Holy Spirit to change people. As God’s people communicate the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is at work in individual hearts. 

Workers for the harvest

But there’s a problem. In fact, it’s the same problem Jesus addressed in the gospel of Luke. The problem isn’t our cultural context, the political correctness of Canada or the openness of Canadians to the good news. Jesus identified the challenge when he said: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields” (Luke 10:2, NLT).  

Jesus told his disciples to pray for workers for the harvest. Notice he didn’t tell them to pray for greater receptivity to the gospel, more courage, more resources or better strategies. 

So how do we add workers to the harvest? When God’s people spend time with God, they develop passion and interest in the things God is interested in. They learn that true joy is found in living in submission to the will of God, and they experience delight in following the leading of the Holy Spirit to do that which God calls them
to do. 

We know the need is great, and we understand God’s call on us as his people is to participate in his mission in Canada. I have two requests for all Canadian Mennonite Brethren:

1. Join others who, every day at 10:02, pray for Luke 10:2 to be answered in Canada.

2. Ask God to show you how you are the answer to the Luke 10:2 prayer in your world.

Delegates at Gathering 2014 will be praying, and I look forward to reporting all God is doing in us as we meet together to seek his face and follow his leading in Vancouver this June.

Willy—Willy Reimer

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Gay Lynn Voth May 29, 2014 - 13:08

May God indeed transform us through His love, so that we can truly love the broken world we are part of, without fear.

As John wrote in a biblical letter: ” Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another … God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them … There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.” (I John 4:7ff)

May the whole church – women and men – be filled with the Spirit of God’s love in such a way that our attitudes toward each another come from a soft and open heart.

I am praying for this conference, in particular that the full ministry of women will be affirmed and strengthened. Women, as well as men, are fully loved and redeemed by God’s love.

Women and men can live a new life – in and through Christ. God’s eternal life enables us to be ready and equal partners in the vital work of the church today. May this realization guide the church in its call for ministry leaders. To God be the glory!

Paul Henry Girard June 2, 2014 - 20:54

My wife just got a job as a family and youth pastor at a MB church. At first we were not sure what to make out of the conference, however the longer we are at our church and more I read great articles like your’s Willy Reimer I find my loving this conference. How can we as a family get involved with this mission?

Willy Reimer June 10, 2014 - 13:37

Hi Paul,
Thanks for your note. I’m excited to hear about your passion for mission. Getting more involved in mission can happen on numerous levels. Mission always begins at home. I encourage you and family to consider how to live out God’s calling in your neighbourhood. Further you take your family on an MB Mission Soar team experience. Families have had great ministry experiences with Soar that have enhanced their short and long term mission thinking. You may also want to connect with a church plant in your area if that is available to you. Church plants need people who will pray and encourage them even if they cannot attend the plant. There is also coaching available for you at our http://www.l2lnet.org website. Take the self assessment and engage in coaching focused on your interested. There may also be ways to be involved with provincial missional initiatives. Check with your provincial conference ministers to see what options they may have for you to participate in. And as always please pray! The real work of ministry begins on our knees. Please pray for your church, your community, conference leaders and join in with others who pray Luke 10:2 – pray for workers for the harvest.
Blessings as you pursue the Spirit’s leading in mission!


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