US, Canadian leaders give update on Multiply task force

Evaluation process guided by consultant should be finished within months

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Leaders of the U.S. Conference (USMB) and Canadian Conference of MB Churches (CCMBC) sent a letter April 10, 2020 to update North American constituency on the work of the task force charged with reviewing Multiply’s current and prospective financial realities, culture, board of directors and leadership. USMB and CCMBC co-own Multiply, the global Mennonite Brethren church planting ministry.

The letter outlines the events that led up to the review: “In mid-2019, Multiply was forced to lay-off several personnel, terminate the previous system for short-term mission programs and pare off the majority of both Canadian and U.S. church planting systems, previously known as C2C. In addition, three Multiply board members resigned. These issues were created by or became a result of significant financial losses from January 2018 through 2019. Due to this challenging reality, USMB and CCMBC leaders received an invitation from the Multiply board to engage in an official review process.”

The eight-member task force is comprised of four people from both conferences. USMB members are David Hardt, USMB Leadership Board chair; Don Morris, USMB national director; and at-large members Valerie Rempel, dean of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary; and Jon Wiebe, president and CEO of MB Foundation. CCMBC is represented by Bruce Enns, CCMBC moderator; Elton DaSilva, CCMBC national director; and at-large members Steve Berg, CCMBC executive board member; and Sharon Simpson, moderator of the British Columbia provincial conference.

The task force hired consultant John Radford, of Transpectives Consulting Inc., Canada, to facilitate multiple interviews and evaluations with various stakeholders and workers related to Multiply. USMB and CCMBC mutually determined the scope of the review, the objectives and the process involved.

The task force provided names and questions for the interviews and weighed in where appropriate during the interview processing. When the interviews are completed, the task force will discuss, analyze, pray through and discern next steps for the Multiply organization. The task force will discuss Radford’s recommendations and will create final recommendations for potential changes.

While a date has not been set for the final task force report to be completed, the task force anticipates the process will be finalized within a month or so. The task force will provide a report at that time after initially processing it with the appropriate Multiply staff and board.

“This has been a challenging season for Multiply and for those who have an earnest investment in its mission and ministry realities,” says the letter.

The letter reports that Multiply’s giving and finances are stable, and the agency expects that its current fiscal year ending in May will conclude with a balanced general operating fund. Deficit spending of $974,000 to cover 2019 severance packages and the termination of short-term mission programs will come from reserve funds. Any fiscal year surplus in the operating fund will be used to help offset this deficit.

“Please be in prayer for the task force as the review process comes to a conclusion, as well as the entirety of those committed to Multiply’s mission and ministry, including staff, missionaries and stakeholders,” the letter concludes.

USMB news story

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