As USMB continues to work toward the fulfillment of the new collective vision that was affirmed at the July 2016 convention, an essential partner for realizing many of the facets of this path forward has been MB Foundation (MBF), the stewardship ministry for the Mennonite Brethren church family in the United States.
Not only has MBF been a major funding supporter for USMB, but there have been other ministry connections as well. Jon Wiebe, MB Foundation’s president and CEO, serves on both the USMB Leadership Board and the National Strategy Team, a team designed to provide ongoing strategic ideas and analysis for getting the new vision mobilized.
When asked in an email interview what encourages him most about the relationship between USMB and MBF, Wiebe writes: “I’m encouraged by the culture of support, encouragement and genuinely desiring what is best for each ministry and for the whole of our MB family. It is not a competition between MB ministries, but a relationship of seeking what is best for the family. I see us cheering each other on to greater kingdom impact and service to our national family.”
Don Morris, USMB national director, says that many people in the MB family do not fully realize the many ways that various agencies, including MB Foundation, work together in order to fulfill the vision God has given.
“I’m not sure we’ve done the best job of telling the stories about how various agencies are collaborating now—perhaps as never before in our history,” Morris says. “MB Foundation provides a wealth of information and services for our MB family concerning finances and investing for kingdom impact. But, they need to know that MB Foundation has been there to provide building/property loans for new church plants so they can have adequate space for ministry. Oftentimes, these church plants are just gaining financial footing, so MB Foundation’s willing involvement comes at a critical time. That’s just one example of how the Foundation has been a support for spreading the gospel.”
MBF has a servant heart for ministry throughout our conference.
“MB Foundation’s entire focus is to provide stewardship products and services to the MB family, including individuals, churches and agencies,” Wiebe writes. “This leads us to ask, ‘How might we serve you better?’ The interplay is great, but our impact can be even greater as we strive together for the benefit of each other, our MB family and the world.”
As people invest with MB Foundation, proceeds from these investments turn into ministry support. The MBF motto of “giving meaning to money” is not just a combo of nifty words, but the true mission of MBF.
“God has blessed the ministry of MB Foundation in many ways,” writes Wiebe. “I want to steward the ministry wisely, to strengthen the local church and impact the world for Christ. I’m excited to continue finding new ways the resources (people, building, skills, influence, money, etc.) of MB Foundation might be leveraged to strengthen our USMB national office and district ministry, to provide greater impact in serving the local church.”
Morris says, “We’d simply be at a standstill without the financial and ministry support of MB Foundation. They have continually upped their game, and together we’re all incredibly serious when we say that we (Mennonite Brethren) are doing all we can to greatly impact our nation for Christ. That’s what it boils down to. Money, buildings, funding mechanisms, servant leaders, investments, ministries—it’s all God’s and works together for his kingdom.”