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Time to be passionate

Let's be passionate about reaching people who don't know Jesus

by Don Morris, Mission USA director

Over the coming months, I’ll be saying quite often that it’s time. For us as Mennonite Brethren, it’s time to become exceedingly passionate about reaching people who don’t yet know Jesus with his message of renewal and redemption.

To me that means it’s time for us to plant more churches, as many as six per year. But we’ll need planters, partnerships, locations and money to get it done. In addition, it’s time for our existing churches to develop a deeper passion and real success for reaching the lost and discipling them. Some of our churches are already doing this, and they can be the flag bearers for this movement as God seeks to change lives.

I firmly believe our Savior is leading us to do much more to help build his church. And I want to be abundantly clear that we are at this moment in the life of the Mennonite Brethren Church in America because of leaders who have given their creativity and passion to bring us to this point. I’d like to focus on one leader in particular: Ed Boschman. When you read this, Ed will be close to retirement after seven plus years as the USMB executive director. Ed previously served us as the first director of Mission USA.

I have had the privilege of serving directly under Ed’s exemplary leadership. He cares from deep within his soul about people’s eternal destination and craves seeing people come to faith. He cares strongly about the health of our churches, districts and the national conference. He has served us very well. He has consistently responded to criticism with grace.

I have heard countless people express great appreciation for all the hard work Ed gave year after year. Many people say we are in a better place now as a conference of churches due to this man’s leadership. I believe most of us, except perhaps his wife, Carol, don’t have an inkling just how much Ed lived and breathed this work on our behalf. So, Ed, thank you! I can write about the fact that it’s time because you have led us so well to this juncture.

Over the coming months, USMB, districts and many MB agencies will be involved in a structural review. With a consultant’s assistance, we’ll be intently looking into the ways in which we all work together, finding pathways where we can do that more effectively. I think God has placed this before us at this time because he wants to bind us together in a healthier way so that we are poised to experience a movement of his power and zeal among us. It’s time.

A lot of denominations seem to be headed in the wrong direction—losing members and even losing their way theologically. But, for us, it’s time to witness a new, powerful movement of God! 

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