I often day dream while on the road. I get plenty of windshield time and moments to reflect while sitting on a plane. I frequently think about where USMB is headed. What will the U.S. Conference of MB Churches look like in three, five or 10 years?
Much of what will certainly result is up to God’s choice and direction. But I also think God allows us to express to him in prayer what we desire the future to be. I think that goes for our personal lives and the lives of our churches, districts and national conference. I remain totally convinced that God does indeed want to use Mennonite Brethren to have substantial kingdom impact in our communities.
As we pray and ask God to use us and help us to have that impact, what does the future hold? As a leader, I’m convinced that if we have no vision we’ll get nowhere for sure! But to have a vision of the future means seeking God, not just coming up with our own ideas. I think we have done much seeking over the past three years as the new path forward for USMB was developed. I believe God has revealed his plan for us.
“What if the reality of being at peace with one another and our neighbors encompassed so much of what we are that the world simply had to notice?”
I believe without a doubt that God wants to bring more and more people into a saving relationship with Jesus. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we began to see in our churches a mighty wave of life transformation? If baptisms happened consistently and marriages were healed, addictions overcome and testimonies of God’s power were shared regularly? This is happening now, but what if it increased exponentially?
Wouldn’t it be great if connections and networking among our churches skyrocketed, with passions and ideas shared back and forth, making a powerful difference? It would be truly rewarding for mature churches to adopt church plants and for both to become enthusiastic champions for the other. By the way, a little of this is already happening.
What if we stopped holding onto petty grudges that occurred many years in the past and allowed God to heal so we could collectively move forward with renewed and impassioned zeal? What if the reality of being at peace with one another and our neighbors encompassed so much of what we are that the world simply had to notice?
What if instead of budget deficits, the local church, districts and USMB were all so well-funded that our ability to make strides in proclaiming the good news of Jesus was unparalleled in our history? What if we would be a denomination making such a powerful difference for God’s kingdom that other churches noticed and wanted to be part of us?
Wouldn’t it be amazing if in this preferred future we realized and experienced God’s blessing, real power to be his witnesses, renewed energy from seeing God at work in people’s lives, new ministry ideas that really benefit, churches that are happy and healthy, pastors that are invigorated, people ardently serving and giving, facilities being constructed and many, many lives being transformed? It truly would be the reality of our tagline, “Increasing impact together.” I believe it can happen.
Don Morris is the USMB national director. He and his wife, Janna, live in Edmond, Oklahoma, where they attend Cross Timbers Church.