I hope this New Year finds you healthy and full of gratitude for the ways God is at work, in spite of the challenging circumstances swirling around us. I am thankful for a New Year, a fresh start and a fresh reminder of our vision. I’ve spent considerable time thinking and praying about the direction God is leading us and share the following highlights from the USMB Strategic Plan for 2021.
Our focus continues to be on fulfilling three core commitments:
- Local, national and global church multiplication/church planting/evangelism
- Intentional disciple-making
- Leadership development
This stems from our 2016 USMB national convention, when the way in which our national USMB staff functions and serves our overall MB family was given a re-boot. USMB was given the mandate to align its resources and structures to serve, equip and network our local MB churches for ministry. The measurement standard for everything USMB does is whether or not it helps our local MB churches reach their full ministry potential.
Networking is at the heart of this vision. USMB will seek to “collaborate with districts, fellowships, agencies, and various partners to create synergy and build effectiveness. A hoped-for impact will be to continue to eliminate organizational silos and to intentionally collaborate to serve the local church regarding the collectively-determined three core commitments.” Much of this is happening now.
1. Church Multiplication/Evangelism
Involvement in and support of excellence in church planting will continue to be a hallmark aspect of the overall ministry focus of USMB. USMB staff will support districts, existing MB churches and the new national Church Planting Council (CPC) for tangible involvement in church planting and for evangelistic efforts.
2. Intentional Disciple-Making
Disciple-making has been at the core of MB ministry from our beginning to the present. That must continue. Disciple-making is simply “helping people to trust in and deeply follow Jesus.” To that I’d like to add: with passion. We need to help our churches do this well. Disciple-making is about preparing, engaging and releasing people for ministry. We have much work to do in this arena.
3. Leadership Development
Leadership development encompasses both the development of young leaders and improving the leadership capabilities of our existing leaders/pastors. Our USMB Youth has several good platforms for assisting our local churches in developing programs for youth, including a new leadership pipeline. We have existing churches that have developed vibrant systems for internships and pastoral development. We can support what they’re doing. Tabor College and Fresno Pacific University are in a logical position to assist with this core commitment. We need to have ongoing discussions about how we can enhance leadership development through our schools. FaithFront (through Tabor) has a great program for encouraging leadership evaluation of high school students that we will continue to align with and promote.
And, there is so much more. I hope you’ll join me and our USMB staff and actively engage with our USMB family as we continue to strive toward fulfillment of these collectively determined three core commitments—as Jesus builds His church through us.
Each year, our staff prayerfully selects a verse for the year, and we pray daily at the time designated by the scripture reference. This year we’ve selected Colossians 1:11-12: “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” (ESV)
We invite you to join us daily at 1:11 p.m. CST as we memorize this scripture and ask God to strengthen us with power, fill us with joy and give thanks to the Father for all He has done, is doing and will do in the U.S. Conference and beyond.