When we, the Board of Multiply, approved the merger of MB Mission and C2C with the support of the Canadian and U.S. Mennonite Brethren Conferences, our collective desire was to see God’s kingdom advance. With the expanded scope and vision of ministry, our expense requirements grew. This fiscal year, although donations to Multiply were greater than ever before, there was still a significant gap between expenses and revenue.
While our intention has been to serve both our MB family and our many denominational partners well, there is more work to be done on both fronts. We have received requests by MB provinces/districts to be more involved in decision-making regarding the planting of new MB churches.
In response, we are significantly reducing expenses and making the following two shifts in our mission strategy:
1. The multi-denominational aspect of our North American church planting (formerly known as C2C) is being released from Multiply, both organizationally and financially. The Board affirms and blesses this new ministry in their vision to be a free-standing North American multi-denominational network. Be assured that the Multiply Board is still committed to planting and resourcing Mennonite Brethren churches locally, nationally and globally.
2. Multiply will restructure their short-term mission training programs with a renewed focus on serving the mission and discipleship strategies of local churches, both in North America and globally. We anticipate current training programs to continue as well as new programs to be birthed through local church partnerships.
Multiply has been serving the MB global family in mission for 120 years. These current shifts retain the integration of local mission with global, but also refocus Multiply as an MB-based church-planting network with kingdom partnerships, rather than a multi-denominational church-planting network that serves the MB family.
The Board is very grateful for the support of our MB churches and we appreciate the contributions of the Multiply staff. We acknowledge that this is a challenging time. We realize that these cutbacks are potentially difficult for those involved, and so we will continue to pray for all those affected by these decisions.
Our hope and confidence rests in God and in his ability to guide and provide. The Board is committed to working very closely with Randy Friesen to bring Multiply into a new season of health and effectiveness.
On behalf of the Board,
Brent Warkentin, Board chair, Wichita, Kansas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Allan Dickens, Williams Lake, British Columbia; David Marshall, Surrey, British Columbia; Kimberlee Jost, Hillsboro, Kansas; Ed Heinrichs, Torrance, Ontario; Ruth Schale, Bakersfield, California; Archie Eutsler, Wichita, Kansas; Shirley Falk, Saskatoon, Saskachen; Jeff Gowling, Bakersfield, California; David Maclean, Kelowna, British Columbia
USMB Leadership Board statement
In light of the intense and challenging announcement from the Multiply board, the USMB board and staff commits to diligently praying for the Multiply board and lead team as they navigate the important days ahead.
This summer will be a critical time for discerning the U.S. Conference’s response, and significant energy will be given pertaining to our USMB church family’s path forward for church planting locally, nationally and globally. Our passion is for seeing people come to fully know Jesus both here in the U.S. and around the world. To that end we are committed to putting the right pieces together for the greatest impact. Please be in prayer as we listen together for the Lord’s direction and wisdom.
For the USMB Leadership Board
David Hardt, USMB Leadership Board chair
Don Morris, USMB national director