Six LEAD One events focusing on evangelism and disciple making are on the calendar for March and April. USMB is collaborating with MB Mission and C2C US to present this new LEAD One series.
Randy Friesen and Phil Wagler of MB Mission and Gord Fleming and Scott Thomas of C2C Network are working with Don Morris, USMB national director, to plan the one-day events, and the five ministry leaders will serve as resource speakers. Regional MB Mission mobilizers Stephen Humber, for the Midwest, and Galen Wiest, for the western U.S., are also part of the planning team.
Why focus on evangelism and disciple making? “Because you can’t have one without the other,” says Wagler, MB Mission lead team member for training and team health service, in an email interview. “Evangelism is the overflow of a disciple-making people who are becoming more and more like Jesus.”
Organizers agree that the goal of the upcoming LEAD One is to help local congregations embrace and live out God’s call to be followers who live on One Mission—local, national and global.
“With the merger of the C2C Network with MB Mission, we have the opportunity to explore and clarify together what living on mission means here in North America,” says Friesen, who is the MB Mission general director, in his January 2018 Vision for Mission email. “Our interest is to serve local churches and our conferences in their strategic mission vision so that collectively we will become more fruitful and effective.”
One Mission—local, national and global
Morris describes the content of the various sessions as focusing on “the One Mission we are on as Mennonite Brethren locally, nationally and globally, how we will work in concert with one another to fulfill this vision and how the various agencies will assist our local churches for intentional disciple-making and evangelism.”
Referring to the Great Commission outlined in Acts 1:8, Morris says, “The local church is the entity that is directly responsible for the local aspect—the Jerusalem part of the vision. C2C US, focusing on church planting in our neighborhoods and communities is the national part—Judea and Samaria. MB Mission’s international mission focus is the global part—‘to the ends of the earth.’ We do this together to accomplish the mandate Jesus gave us.”
Morris says that LEAD One participants will learn what resources the three presenting agencies have to offer local churches in the mission and ministry of evangelism and church planting and to strategize “ways to get outside the four walls of the church and into their communities.”
“Many of our churches have great intentions but don’t have a proven strategy for enhancing their evangelism and then helping people become dedicated followers of Jesus,” Morris says.
“We won’t just list the resources available,” he says. “We’ll also share directly how the local church can build a church-wide culture of evangelism and disciple-making, learn new ways of addressing this aspect of ministry and develop a strategy for getting it done.”
Catching God’s vision for his mission
For example, Wagler will be presenting a nine-point mission strategy map developed by MB Mission to help church leaders identify where their congregations are currently oriented on the map and where the Holy Spirit is leading them in the future.
“I pray that leaders will discover new hope and vision for the season they are in and practical steps for joining God in his mission activity locally, nationally and globally,” Wagler says in an email. “I have experienced the joy and hope that emerges when leaders catch the vision God has for his kingdom advance and that his mission is connected to the local church in every season.”
Coming out of this LEAD One, Friesen anticipates that local church leaders will be equipped to clarify and strengthen their mission strategy and to understand ways in which “global mission can influence and shape local mission in our communities and vice versa.”
The LEAD One series on evangelism and intentional disciple-making will be hosted by these congregations: The Bridge Bible Church, Bakersfield, Calif., on March 19; Butler MB Church, Fresno, Calif., on March 20; GracePoint@Grulla, La Grulla, Texas, on March 24; Pine Acres MB Church, Weatherford, Okla., on April 12; First MB Church, Wichita, Kan., on April 13; and Lincoln Hills Bible Church, Sioux Falls, S.D., on April 16.
The cost per person is $15 and covers lunch and breaks. LEAD One events typically begin at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and conclude by 3:00 p.m. Congregations are encouraged to send their leadership team and to include men and women of all ages.
Vision for Mission nights will be held in conjunction with the LEAD One events. These evening programs presented by MB Mission are designed to “give you a window on what God is doing in least reached regions of the world through MB Mission and how we see that impacting our story here in North America,” says Friesen.
The vision of MB Mission is holistic church planting that transforms communities among the least reached. According to the global mission agency’s website, MB Mission’s central ministry focus and the activity of each day is “to multiply healthy disciples and missional leaders.”
C2C Network exists to catalyze leaders, churches and denominations to multiply the gospel in North American cities and towns from sea to sea. C2C merged with MB Mission in 2019 and partners with USMB, district conferences and local congregations to plant churches in the U.S.