MB Mission, C2C partner in equipping event
By Myra Holmes with files from USMB
USMB leaders are encouraging church teams to attend the Multiply conference, to be held Feb. 22-23, 2017, at Mountain View Community Church, Fresno, California. The event is sponsored through a partnership between MB Mission, the North American MB mission agency, and C2C Network, a church planting network newly authorized to partner in church planting in the U.S. under the umbrella of MB Mission.
“The Multiply conference scratches right where we itch,” says Don Morris, USMB national director. He says the conference will resource local churches to fulfill the USMB’s three core commitments—church multiplication and evangelism, intentional disciple-making and leadership development—as well as foster networking and relationships between congregations and leaders.
“It would be great if the majority of our churches had people attending,” Morris says.
Conference will benefit “risk-taking multipliers”
Multiplication means more than church planting, says Scott Thomas, national director for C2C U.S. Rather it’s “an intentional strategy to multiply the gospel locally, nationally and globally.” It might mean adding another service or another site, partnering to plant a church, equipping leaders, restarting an existing church or praying for workers and resources.
The Multiply conference will benefit “all church leaders who are interested in multiplying disciples in their church or city,” Thomas says. “This conference is for equipping, for emboldening and for envisioning what the Lord can do through risk-taking multipliers of his good news.”
Although the event takes place in the Pacific District Conference (PDC), the invitation to attend is extended to all USMB congregations. Representing MB Mission’s Midwest team, Stephen Humber says, “We need a fresh vision for multiplication. The Multiply conference is an opportunity for that vision to be recast.”
Organizers hope churches will bring teams to learn together. Galen Wiest, of MB Mission’s West Coast team, says, “We encourage pastors to come with their leadership teams to learn, dream and ask God how he wants their congregation to further engage in this important task. Anyone in the local church who is working at training and reproducing disciples, engaged in church planting, or leading the church in intercessory prayer will benefit from this conference.”
Churches that do send a team will enjoy discounted rates; the cost for Multiply is $99 or $89 per person for groups of 10 or more.
Wiest notes that local teams or individuals who can’t attend daytime sessions are welcome to attend the Wednesday evening session, which is free for all and begins at 6:30 p.m. Main sessions will be also translated into Spanish to better accommodate Spanish-speaking participants.
Speakers, workshops to provide practical training
Multiply speakers were chosen because of their practical experience.
“Every one of the speakers is a practitioner,” Thomas says. “Their experiences, their vision and their struggles are current.”
Four workshop tracks will be offered: church planting and multi-site strategies, leadership for multiplication, disciple-making through missional communities and prayer.
Jeff Vanderstelt will be leading a rare series on missional communities. Vanderstelt is a pastor, author and executive director of SaturatetheWorld.com, a nonprofit that provides training events, coaching and resources to start, support and strengthen churches. “He does not give these talks just anywhere,” Thomas points out. “He agreed to do a four-part workshop just for us.”
Paul Robie, Norm Funk and Mark Jobe will lead sessions on church planting and multi-site strategies. Robie pastors South Mountain Community Church, a multi-site USMB congregation in Utah. The main SMCC campus in Draper, Utah, was the first MB church plant in Utah in 1998; it now has an estimated 3,000 people in attendance at five campuses. Both Funk and Jobe pastor multi-site churches; Funk pastors the Canadian MB Westside Church, and Jobe pastors New Life Community Church, a Chicago-based church with 25 locations.
Larry Osborne, who has served as pastor of North Coast Church for 29 years, will be a key resource for the leadership track. Canadian multi-site pastor Mark Clark and C2C national director Gord Fleming will provide additional sessions in this track.
The prayer track will be led by Fred Leonard, pastor of host church Mountain View Community Church (MVCC), and a team from MVCC. This USMB congregation has an extensive and effective prayer ministry based on a desire to be a “house of prayer for all nations,” as the church’s website says.
Thomas points out that with the variety of speakers and workshops available, “no one will be bored.”
Networking in action
Multiply exemplifies of the kind of networking USMB wants to encourage, both as MB Mission and C2C partner to sponsor the event and as leaders from congregations across the country attend.
“This event represents the kind of networking that we continue to envision will become more and more a part of who we are as a conference of churches,” Morris says.
MB Mission’s Wiest encourages churches to see Multiply as “an opportunity to begin a new chapter in our MB story as we look to work closer together in making disciples, training leaders and planting churches.”
Thomas says that since C2C works under the umbrella of MB Mission in the U.S., it’s natural for the two organizations to partner in such an event.
“MB Mission and C2C are committed to working together to see what more can be accomplished as partners and how we can impact North America in a greater way,” he says. “We also want to ignite our North American churches with an impassioned vision for a global mission.”
Morris hopes to see more networking opportunities and partnerships like this: “I think that’s our future: All of us working together to serve the king of kings locally, nationally and globally.”
MB Mission’s Humber points out that the conference also provides an opportunity to get to know C2C better. As the church planting ministry of the Canadian Conference of MB Church, the network has already proven to be powerful in Canada. “This conference is perfect for learning more about what C2C does to help churches multiply and why they have been so effective in Canada,” Humber says. C2C will share more of their vision during a lunch on Thursday.
More information and registration details are available on the Multiply website: www.multiplyconference.us.
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