Bob Davis, member of the Multiply Global Lead Team, has been affirmed as the International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB) U.S. advocate.
Davis, who has been named to this new position by ICOMB, Multiply and the U.S. Conference of MB Churches (USMB), will represent ICOMB to the USMB churches. He is available to visit USMB churches to represent ICOMB.
Since 2006, Davis has served with Multiply, the North American MB mission agency, first as a long-term missionary in Thailand for eight-plus years and since 2018 as a regional leader and member of the Global Lead Team. As part of the Global Lead Team, Davis serves as the regional team leader for Southeast and East Asia. Davis and his wife, Chris, divide their time between North America and Asia, where they serve at The Changed Life Center in Chiang Rai, working to equip and empower national leaders in Thailand and in neighboring countries.
Davis has attended four ICOMB Summits as a translator and ally and is well acquainted with the mission of ICOMB as well as seeing up close the benefits of global church relationships and partnerships. Davis will continue to serve with Multiply as a regional leader while also serving with ICOMB in the U.S.
ICOMB is the global family of MB churches and exists to connect, strengthen and expand its partner national conferences. ICOMB member conferences currently numbers 22 and is growing rapidly. Next in line to join are The Philippines, Thailand, Uganda and Ukraine.
However, many of USMB churches are unaware of and therefore not engaged with this global family of churches and conferences. With that in mind, an ICOMB task force was affirmed by USMB leadership more than a year ago.
The task force has included Rudi Plett, ICOMB executive director, Victor Wiens, ICOMB equipping coordinator and Multiply interim general director, Ed Boschman, USMB ICOMB representative, Richard Kriegbaum, Ruth Schale, Fred Leonard, Tim Geddert and Rolando Mireles.
The task force concluded that there exists both a huge opportunity and a responsibility for improvement in facilitating these global relationships. The MB global expansion landscape is changing dramatically.
- ICOMB had about 2000 churches in the year 2000.
- From 2000 to 2020, ICOMB conferences grew by about 900 churches, with a large majority of those being in Brazil, Angola, DR Congo, India and Khmu (Laos).
- Since 2000, four new conferences joined ICOMB via the missionary endeavors of Multiply (Portugal, Khmu, Lithuania and Malawi), adding more than 400 churches.
- From 2015-2020, national partners in the global MB mission network planted almost 900 new churches in dozens of “emerging conferences.”
USMB churches, along with the other existing ICOMB conferences, have the unprecedented opportunity to welcome these emerging conferences into our MB family and to partner with them in the gospel.
In his new role, Davis will work to achieve several goals identified by the ICOMB task force:
- At least 60 percent of USMB churches will have an active partnership with at least one ICOMB conference, emerging conference or church outside of the U.S.
- At least 25 percent of USMB churches will implement a planned program of exchange visits.
- At least 50 percent of all regular participants in every USMB congregation will understand and approve ICOMB connections as an effective means of advancing global mission.
- A communication link within the MB family—USMB and ICOMB—will be established so that within 24 hours urgent needs and crises are known and prayerfully responded to.
- The U.S. Conference will continue it’s current contribution of 2 percent of its annual budget to ICOMB. Churches and individuals will be given opportunities to and be encouraged to contribute to ICOMB.
- At least twice every year every USMB church and regular participant will be explicitly encouraged to pray for and contribute to ICOMB for achieving its global goals.
- A USMB ICOMB “council” that will promote the global MB family will continue to provide input and counsel.