Pastor's Note - October 6
I spent the first part of this week in board meetings with Multiply, the missions agency of our denomination. It is a privilege and honor to sit on that board, and I thank CBC for affording me that privilege, and allowing me to spend time engaged in that work. Here are some thoughts from these board meetings, in no intentional order:
- There remains a great need for vocational missionaries and ministers. There is much need, and our churches and educational institutions, which historically have been responsible and instrumental for sending people on mission, have not sent people at a rate that matches the need, or even matches historical precedent. In other words, we’re not “sending,” and people aren’t “going,” like we used to. Because of that, large numbers of people remain who have never heard of Jesus and salvation in Him.
- While some places, like China, are closing themselves off to Westerners, other places are “opening up.” There are new opportunities for mission.
- Churches in our denomination continue to face tensions over cultural changes and theological drift. Some churches will leave the Mennonite Brethren, and some will be asked to leave (and some will join us as they have left other denominations). Overall, however, it seems that our churches, in Canada and the US, remain committed to the authority of Scripture, the exclusivity of Jesus Christ and salvation in Him alone, and the necessity of obedience to Him as we witness to the King and His kingdom. In other words, most churches are remaining faithful to our mutual confession of faith. I was encouraged by some of what I heard here.
- The last few years have been taxing on everyone. Most churches, and missionaries, are still feeling some type of “hangover” effect.
- We have work to do at CBC as to how we intentionally engage in missions. I’m thankful for Josh and our missions team. We need more to be engaged, and that largely falls on leadership to show the way.
- I have thoroughly enjoyed serving on this board and getting to know some denominational leaders in the US and Canada. This has been encouraging.
- I am hoping we will be taking some CBC folks on international missions/vision trips soon. Keep your ears and hearts open!
- Traveling alone is quite a bit easier than traveling with kids!
- Missionaries aren’t exempt from sin. They need relational and church support as much as anyone.
- Multiply is run by a competent staff. This may not be fair, but I get the impression that some missions agencies cut a lot of corners. It seems to me that Multiply does not.
- Many people are being converted around the world. The gospel is making inroads in pretty impressive ways in some parts of the globe.
- We are all part of the Church universal only by God’s grace. He is good.