“In my conversations with MB leaders across the country, particularly at our provincial conferences, it’s clear that our common mission is to reach lost people in Canada.”
That was the message Willy Reimer, newly appointed executive director for the Canadian Conference of MB Churches (CCMBC), delivered in his first report to the executive board at their meetings, April 15–16 in Winnipeg.
“We’re not an organization with a cause,” he said. “We’re a cause with organization.”
The direction was fully endorsed by board members, said board chair Paul Loewen, who referenced the December summit (meeting of senior provincial and national conference leaders), as the catalyst for this missional focus.
We have yet to determine how to most effectively align our collective energies, and what needs to take priority, he said, but most importantly, our leaders are rallying around the question, “How can we reach this country for Christ?” It is a question that is “re-engaging our churches” in the work of the conference, he added.
Board discussions exploring the implications of a 2010 Canadian Evangelical Churches Survey, conducted by board member and Crandall University sociologist Sam Reimer, further reinforced the need for MBs to move in this direction.
“It’s become obvious that we need to pay attention to the number of immigrants coming into Canada, as these are some of the least-reached people groups,” said Loewen. Survey results reveal MB churches are positioned well for the challenge, given their growing presence in urban centres, and the denomination’s success in the area of church planting.
In other significant business, the board approved recommendations brought forward by MB Biblical Seminary chair John Unger to establish MBBS as a Canadian entity. These include transfer of ownership of the B.C. Centre from MBBS Inc. to CCMBC; approval of the MBBS constitution and bylaws; appointment of a provisional board, and funding distance education.
The next meeting of the executive board is scheduled for mid-June.