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“We need courage and candour”

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Multiply (formerly known as MB Mission) update

Multiply ended their fiscal year May 31, 2019, with a $1.5 million gap between revenue and expenses, reports a letter to supporters.

One million dollars of this was from North American church planting, $500,000 from the launch of Multiply (a new name for the entity created by merging MB Mission and the C2C Network) and staff strengthening.

Tracking the finances from C2C separately, Multiply realized mid-year that it was trending toward a deficit despite the $785,000 C2C Network had brought into the merger.

In June 2019, Multiply announced it was releasing “the multi-denominational aspect of our North American church planting (formerly known as the C2C Network).”

This reduced staff from 74 to 57 full-time employees. Of the remaining 57, 12 short-term mission staff in North America shifted to a relational funding model and were fully funded by June 1, 2019. An additional eight are still working to raise funds. Most salaried staff are raising personal support.

“Our practice at Multiply has been to only spend what God provides, and that is our commitment going forward,” says Multiply president Randy Friesen in a letter to supporters.

From the beginning of the merger conversation three years ago, there has been a decrease in national and provincial institutional contributions to C2C work (much of it connected to the changes with Legacy), Multiply reports.

“While we knew of this decline in funding,” says Randy Friesen, “we were hopeful that God would supply enough new support to make up that shortfall. However, increases in giving last year were not sufficient to support this new ministry area and we did not reduce our staffing costs quickly enough.”

The organization’s mission of “birthing churches around the world” has not changed, says Friesen.

“What has changed is our recent decision to release our North American church-planting network (formerly called C2C) to launch as a free-standing entity. We recognized that this engagement in church planting in North America was unsustainable financially and was not always a collaborative experience for our conference partners.

“We didn’t listen well to voices questioning the effectiveness of ministry strategy here in North America,” says Friesen. “For some,…the use of prophetic language felt manipulative, holding back participants from offering their best contributions in the broader discernment processes. I apologize.

“I accept responsibility for the decisions of our mission agency over the past season and am walking closely with the board to discern God’s best for Multiply going forward,” says Friesen.

“We need courage and candor as we discern strategy together.”

Multiply is also shifting strategy for short-term mission programming, but continues to train and send workers internationally. “The spiritual fruit we are seeing globally has been growing significantly as we partner with the local church in those contexts,” says Friesen. “We are praying for that same fruit in North America.”

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Multiply releases multi-denominational church planting

Updated Oct 2: meeting deleted

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