This article was updated Oct. 15, 2020, to include information about USMB representation on the Multiply Board of Directors.
The Executive Boards of both USMB and Canadian Conference of MB Churches (CCMBC) have received and affirmed 17 recommendations regarding Multiply, the North American MB mission agency, and have instructed the Multiply Board of Directors to work toward implementation. At its most recent meeting, the Multiply Board confirmed its affirmation of the recommendations.
This most recent update on the Multiply Review Task Force’s work was provided by USMB national director Don Morris and CCMBC national director Elton DaSilva in an Oct. 7 letter to constituents.
According to the joint statement, the recommendations include, but are not limited to:
- changes in governance to allow for greater input from the constituency,
- changes in board composition,
- changes in qualification for board chair (determined skill sets),
- changes to senior leadership style,
- and significant recommendations as it relates to culture.
The letter states, “As the first step toward fully implementing the task force’s recommendations, the U.S. and Canadian boards will be appointing new Multiply board members to replace outgoing board members who have finished their term or have resigned effective immediately. This new board will work with present senior leadership to facilitate further changes recommended by the task force.”
The Multiply Board of Directors includes four elected members from the U.S. Conference and four elected members from the Canadian Conference. The term of USMB representatives Kimberly Jost, Hillsboro, Kansas, and Archie Eutsler, Wichita, Kansas, expired in 2020 as did the term of appointed board member Ruth Schale, Bakersfield, California. The terms of Jeff Gowling, Bakersfield, California, and Brent Warkentin, Wichita, Kansas, are to expire in 2022, but they have resigned, effective immediately, says Morris in an email interview.
All of the elected Multiply board members from Canada are also being replaced, according to Morris.
Morris anticipates that a new board will be in place in early November.
The task force review team was formed following the merger and consequent demerger with C2C Network, a series of events Morris and DaSilva describe as “turbulent” and a “painful and confusing chapter” in the historic ministry-life of Multiply.
The task force review team was formed at the request of the Multiply board and appointed by the Executive Boards of both USMB and CCMBC. This task force, composed of four members from Canada and four members from the U.S., engaged the service of John Radford of Transpectives Consulting Inc. Radford conducted an in-depth analysis of Multiply’s culture, board functionality and senior leadership.
At the close of their letter, Morris and DaSilva request prayer and write, “Both the U.S. and Canadian MB Conferences are committed to the continuation of global mission for the purpose of reaching people with the gospel and seeing more people come to know Jesus. The ultimate goal is to see Multiply increase its capacity for this mission, both locally and abroad.”
Connie Faber joined the magazine staff in 1994 and assumed the duties of editor in 2004. She has won awards from the Evangelical Press Association for her writing and editing. Faber is the co-author of Family Matters: Discovering the Mennonite Brethren. She and her husband, David, have two daughters, one son, one daughter-in-law, one son-in-law and one grandson. They are members of Ebenfeld MB Church in Hillsboro, Kansas.