Apr. 10, 2024

As I write this, I am recovering from ankle surgery. I had some repair work done on an old Achilles surgery from back in 2001. This recent surgery ended up involving more than first thought, so instead of three days on crutches I get to have two weeks. Basically, the surgeon had to go inside the Achilles to fix what was wrong. My ankle feels okay; it’s under the arms that is sore from the crutches. (There must be a sermon illustration there somewhere, but I can’t determine what it is). Anyway, I see my surgeon on April 15, and hopefully I’ll get to ditch these crutches then.

Prayer requests/news:
1. As you are likely aware, the USMB Leadership Board is asking for prayer for the search for the next USMB National Director. In-person interviews with two candidates occurred Tuesday, April 9 in Denver. Please be in prayer for this process. The plan is for me to work alongside the next national director for a short season prior to the convention. I’ll be retiring Aug. 15.

2. As an outcome of the recent Vision Summit in Arizona (January), some new programs are now in the works. A new LEAD Cohort will be held this fall, led by Kyle Goings, NextGen Pastor of Ridgepoint Church in Wichita, Kan. This cohort, about Leadership Development, will continue the conversations that were held at the Vision Summit—keeping the dialogue moving forward and continuing to address the critical need we have for developing new leaders. Please keep asking: “Who could I ‘shoulder-tap’ this week, encouraging them to think about future ministry leadership?” Please pray that we might continue to receive God’s wisdom for this critical aspect of need for our conference of churches. In addition, an announcement about a major new resource provided by USMB will be coming in the next few weeks. Be watching!

3. You may have heard the recent news that Scott Thomas, leader of Church Planting Partners, has agreed to provide 15-20 hours per week for USMB church planting leadership as part-time church planting mobilizer. Scott is contracted for this work through the end of 2024. Scott has already made considerable contacts with MB leaders and is building relationships, coaching some of our MB church planters and leading the USMB Church Planting Council as the chair (among other things). We are fortunate to have a person with Scott’s knowledge and experience helping lead us as we seek to plant more MB churches in the next 1-2 years and beyond.

4. This is a repeat: Our USMB staff is preparing for several transitions this summer. Donna Sullivan, long-serving administrative secretary/event planner/bookkeeper; Lori Taylor, webmaster and myself will all be concluding our positions (just following the national convention). In addition, Henri Ngolo is now serving the Eastern District Conference for their immigrant ministry work. Henri concluded his time as a USMB employee on March 31. There have been and/or will be a lot of staff changes. Please pray for smooth transitions.

5. Please pray for our many LEAD Cohort leaders as they wrap up the final sessions for the spring lineup of LEAD Cohorts. People are gaining new ideas for ministry and life plus developing relationships from all across the country through these cohorts. Also, LEAD Pods Episode No. 100 is ready for download! There have been over 14,000 downloads of LEAD Pods episodes. If you’re not listening, you’re missing out!

6. I asked in the previous Snapshot for prayer for a gifted individual from the PDC who would be willing to serve on the Church Planting Council (CPC). I’m grateful to announce that an experienced person has agreed to serve as the PDC rep. Lawrence Smith, previous church planter and currently on the PDC staff, is our new PDC rep for the CPC. Welcome Lawrence! The CPC is actively involved in pursuing new church planting initiatives and projects.

7. Registration is now open! Plans for our next USMB pastor’s gathering and national convention continue to take shape. Mark your calendars for July 23-25, 2024, for the pastor’s conference and July 25-27 for the national convention. This is known as USMB Gathering 2024 and will be held at the Doubletree Downtown Hotel in Omaha, Neb. We chose this location for the convenience it provides for many people to drive to Omaha, obviously and especially this is true for those living in the Midwest. The theme for this gathering is “Salt and Light: Faithful Living in a Secular Culture.” There will be some top-notch guest and in-house speakers, inspiring worship, informative breakouts and great fellowship. Please plan to join us! Find all the details on our website: www.usmb.org. It’s time to register!!

8. After writing about the issue of abortion for the March/April issue of the Christian Leader I received several notes from readers. That feedback was quite positive and appreciative for addressing this massively important issue, an issue that we don’t talk about enough in our churches. Once again, I’ll say it: Understanding God’s heart and His proclamations to us about the sanctity of life and protecting the lives of the innocent require for us a non-negotiable position in my opinion: To be definitively pro-life. Let’s be those who provide real help and support in the name of Jesus so that people facing these tough choices can and will choose life!

9. I hope to be able to attend the Multiply Board meetings in northern Washington, April 21-23 (depending on my ankle status). These will be the final Multiply meetings that I’ll attend. I’ve been to many over the years and am so appreciative of the work God has accomplished through our mission agency. Thank you, Multiply workers!

10. I’m trying to figure out what I’ll do after retirement begins. I have traveled 80-90 days out of the year for the past 20 years, sometimes more, especially during the Mission USA days, being away from Janna for many days in a row on dozens, if not hundreds, of occasions, missing grandkid’s events, and now coming to the point where I’m finding it takes longer to recover from a trip than it used to. But the positives for all of that travel have certainly outweighed any challenges. I’ve been able to be a part of many special events around our conference and witnessed God working powerfully in countless ways. All those things are coming to an ending point. To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about all of that. But Janna and I are trusting God for the future. We’ll seek to do our best, with His help, with whatever it is that He calls us to.

11. As usual, several Zoom meetings and on-site meetings are on my calendar in the next couple of weeks/months. There are always significant issues (concerns) on my plate—prayers are appreciated.

12. Overall: Please pray for me that the Lord might grant discernment, direction, stamina, energy, wisdom, compassion, understanding, gentleness and grace. Thanks for your prayers!

Don Morris
USMB National Director

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.