Mission has historically been at the heart of the Mennonite Brethren churches of Canada. This “Big Idea” conversation is driven by the desire to expand the missionary focus of Canadian MB churches to maximize our collective missionary impact locally, provincially, nationally and globally.
Canadian MB churches are blessed to have two mission agencies in MB Mission and the C2C Network. The CCMBC Executive Board believes we have an opportunity and a need to strengthen mission at the centre of church and conference ministry. Our ability to reach more people would be significantly enhanced if these two ministries were working as one.
Currently C2C is working with 22 denominations and continues to receive requests. International church groups are also requesting C2C’s help to train their planters and church planting leaders.
MBM emphasizes that mission is “from everywhere to everywhere” because the world has become a global village.
The growing cultural diversity in Canada has increased the demand for CCMBC to support churches reaching new Canadians. The unique challenges of working with these groups is often best understood from a global mission perspective.
In these tighter financial times, CCMBC has exhausted its reserves in ramping up C2C, church giving is relatively flat (slight increase in 2015) and provinces are struggling to grow their financial contributions; however, personal and church contributions to mission agencies are increasing.
CCMBC has struggled to provide optimum oversight for C2C with the current accountability and slow decision-making process. It has been difficult for both parties to feel that their needs, interests and responsibilities are being well served given the ministry needs and opportunities at hand.
|MB Mission||C2C Network|
The ministry opportunities at hand have caused the EB to ask several questions.
What is the most effective way to reach more people?
Are there ways to organize ourselves that will create a multiplication effect in our churches and ministries?
Is this the time to make a structural change?
Is there a synergy that comes with combining the strengths of both ministries?
The goal of this process is to bring the best of C2C and MBM together to create a mission agency that serves our Mennonite Brethren mission mandate with greater efficiency, productivity, transformative results and practical impact.
The pace of change and growth of C2C has been a challenge for the Executive Board and staff to manage. C2C’s denominational partnerships have never been officially approved by the board, so the board took the necessary step of approving and blessing C2C as an interdenominational church planting network.
The EB also agreed to appoint an interim Leadership Team for C2C. This team shall provide leadership support in developing and promoting vision and in setting goals for the C2C Network. The main focus of the team is to support and advise C2C leadership in strategic planning, ensuring good organizational structure and financial processes are in place and adhered to. The team is to ensure the creation of an appropriate strategic and annual plan, and to monitor the outcomes, measuring results and performance.
Recommendations for Gathering 2016
The vision to create a new mission agency by bringing together MBM and C2C is at its core a desire to enhance mission effectiveness in the lives of individuals and through our churches locally, nationally and globally. As a means of moving toward the fulfillment of that vision, the CCMBC EB is bringing two recommendations to Gathering:
1) Development of a task force to create a structure to oversee all church planting – local, national and global – integrating the strengths of each organization.
2) Authorizing C2C, in collaboration with MB Mission, to assist the USMB conference, and to function interdenominationally in the U.S. as requested, without any negative impact on Canadian church planting ministries and budget.
—“Big Idea” team: Michael Dick, Randy Friesen, Gord Fleming, Len Penner, Willy Reimer, on behalf of the Executive Board of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches.