When a branch is grafted into a tree, the graft maintains its uniqueness, but is entirely dependent on the tree for life. Like a pear branch grafted on an apple tree, the C2C “branch” would maintain its distinctives while drawing “life” from the MB Mission “tree.”
The CCMBC Executive Board is excited about the proposed C2C Network and MB Mission merger while holding an open hand to discernment from the Canadian MB family.
In January 2017, the CCMBC Executive Board unanimously passed a motion “that MB Mission assume responsibility for the mission and ministry of C2C Network.” In February 2017, that motion was unanimously approved by the MB Mission board.
After further discussions at provincial conferences and throughout the broader community, a number of great questions have emerged. With extensive input from the C2C Task Force, we continue to respond to questions and clarify how the merger will unfold.
Canadian MB delegates will make the final decision with a vote Nov. 1, 2017, at a Special General Meeting prior to November’s EQUIP Study Conference.
Why should the C2C Network and MB Mission merge?
The world of mission is changing. The false dichotomy between the work of church and missions is being replaced by an understanding that God is on a mission through the church, and his missionary is the church.
The proposed C2C and MB Mission merger is focused on bringing the knowledge and strategy of local and global mission closer together and bringing MB Mission closer into provincial/district and national MB structures. The best of C2C’s church planter support systems along with MB Mission’s contextual and holistic mission strategies will bless mission at local, national and global levels. We, the Executive Board of the Canadian conference, together with the leadership board of MB Mission and the U.S. MB conference, sense this is God’s invitation to us to take the next step in mission together.
Our prayer is that this merger enhances CCMBC’s vision, mission and values while maintaining the long-term goals of MB Mission and C2C.
How would this merged entity be accountable?
- We would update MoUs between MB Mission and the Canadian and U.S. MB conferences to reflect new authority, responsibilities, expectations and accountability for MB Mission’s expanded mandate.
- MB Mission is accountable to the Canadian and U.S. MB national conferences through its board.
- A representative from the board of the merged entity would be assigned to the CCMBC board and vice versa.
Who is responsible for the transition to a merged entity?
- The MB Mission board would oversee the integration of C2C and MB Mission into one organization.
Who would staff report to in this merged entity?
- MB Mission staff report to MB Mission director of operations Doug Penner.
- C2C staff report to C2C executive director Gord Fleming.
- Both directors would report to MB Mission general director Randy Friesen.
- All three directors would attend MB Mission board meetings.
How would this new entity relate with the national conference, provincial conferences and local churches?
- We recommend that a team of provincial conference staff, MB Mission staff and C2C staff serves each region. (This is already the case in B.C.)
- C2C’s regional leadership teams would continue to give oversight to church planting. The conference minister and an appointee from the provincial board sit on the team.
- Staff from the merged entity would sit on the provincial boards.
- We want to establish MoUs to clarify relationships and accountability between the provinces and CCMBC.
How have you assessed the financial sustainability of the merged entity?
- MB Mission director of operations Doug Penner reviewed the financial statements of C2C and reported to the MB Mission board.
- MB Mission would continue to operate in its current financial and funding model.
- We want MB church plants to continue to be supported by the MB family through provincial/district and national finances. For example, in Canada, the collective church planting MB contribution from provinces and national (regional fundraising) totalled $1,355,783 in 2016.
- C2C now fundraises staff salaries and the bulk of its budget. For 2017, C2C salaries, travel, expenses, etc., are above the $1,571,000 budgeted for direct costs to MB church planting. C2C will fundraise the difference.
- C2C would pay a fee to MB Mission for administrative costs.
- We recommend that MB church planting would be funded in the following ways:
- Provincial conferences approve church planting support to CCMBC.
- CCMBC continues to send a monthly subsidy to MB church plants.
- Church plants are encouraged to support future church planting by returning the funds advanced to them for future church planting.
Based on this broad outline, we believe this entity would be financially stable.
How would the merger affect the current ethos of each organization?
MB Mission and C2C staff identified the following shared values:
- Jesus is first. Worshipping him is the main focus. The message of the cross is central.
- Grace. A centred-set posture with those who differ from them.
- God’s Word is final and infallible. Ministry teams read and journal the same Scripture passages each day.
- The leading of the Holy Spirit is paramount in accomplishing the work.
- Interdenominational partnerships. C2C works with 25+ denominations; MB Mission works with other agencies, networks, denominations and with international local churches.
- Both ministries agreed that they are focused on ensuring those who don’t know Jesus hear the good news and become disciples.
Would the C2C Network still use its name?
C2C would continue to use its name while operating under the umbrella of MB Mission.
What would the merged entity look like in terms of theological consistency, given the interdenominational connections?
- All C2C staff are credentialed with the MB family.
- The MB statement of faith is embedded in the C2C website as its operating statement of faith.
- All C2C church plants are interviewed and credentialed within their respective denomination.
- The accountability for an MB plant within the C2C Network is different than the accountability of church plants from other denominations, as they are the body that funds the plant and supervises the church planter.
What options did the Task Force consider before recommending a merger?
The Task Force looked at C2C’s current governance and financial reporting model to find the best governance model for overall mission.
The Task Force concluded that the third option (see table) posed the best answer to the questions, challenges and opportunities, and involved less change than the other options.
Where can I get more information?
The CCMBC website has extended answers to this Q&A and updated information since press time. bit.ly/mbm-c2c
We will be holding a moderated conference call in fall that will include an update on the merger discussion – watch for details. If you have questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the past two years, many boards, conference leaders, convention delegates, and staff have contributed to the emerging consensus that one mission – local, national and global – is God’s best for us as we seek to live on mission with Jesus and the Great Commission we have been given (Matthew 28). We believe this vision is best reached through the coming together of MB Mission and the C2C Network in vital relationship with churches and structures that are local, provincial/district, national and global. We invite you to pray and to continue to engage in this discernment process with us as we anticipate the vote on Nov. 1, 2017.
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