Multiply is the newly formed global church-planting agency that resulted from the recent merger of MB Mission, a global mission agency serving in more than thirty countries worldwide, and C2C Network, a North American church-planting network serving across more than thirty denominations.
The Journey Thus Far
When C2C Network and MB Mission merged in 2017, the two agencies shared a strong passion to see the Church united and fully released into mission. But what else did these two mission agencies have in common and, more importantly, why did God bring them together?
Making disciples together
Both organizations share a rich mission history within the larger story of the Mennonite Brethren Church. It was a fresh move of the Holy Spirit among Mennonites in Southern Russia in 1860 that brought renewal in many people’s lives. From the very beginning, MBs were characterized by a renewed faith in Jesus that was expressed in a passion for sharing the Gospel with others. This was seen first locally with their fellow Mennonites and Russian neighbours and then, in 1889, by sending their first missionaries to India. As MBs, we embraced our calling to make disciples together.
Planting churches together
Due to persecution in Russia in the early 1900s, many MBs were scattered internationally and new churches were started wherever they went. They also continued to send missionaries to the ends of the earth. In North America, MB Mission was formed as churches united in a common cause to see the Gospel proclaimed where it had not yet been heard and churches planted where no churches existed.
As the MB Church in North America continued to grow, church multiplication in Canada was particularly fruitful. During this time, MB churches in Canada founded the C2C Network to resource church planting for MBs across the country.
At the same time, in many global settings where MB Mission was working, more national leaders were taking charge and seeing fruitfulness like never before.
As MBs, we embraced our calling to plant churches together.
Growing partnerships together
In response to rapid church multiplication, MB Mission began re-positioning their global workers in a more supportive role alongside national leaders. Increasingly, the new strategy was focused on building healthy partnerships with national church-planting networks.
In Canada, C2C was already blossoming into a cross-denominational resource and, as a catalyst for unity within the larger body of Christ, they were also more and more focused on growing healthy partnerships.
Although C2C and MB Mission worked in different fields, it was apparent that they shared a common mission strategy. Was it for this purpose that God united C2C and MB Mission, so we could embrace our calling to grow partnerships together?
By March 2018, their Board was convinced that the two organizations should unite as one under the name of Multiply. The new agency would be MB-based and serve cross-denominationally to facilitate church planting locally, nationally and globally. The pillars of Multiply would be aligned with God’s calling: to make disciples, plant churches and grow partnerships. The cry of Multiply would be: together that the world may know.
+ Why did MB Mission and C2C Church Planting Network merge to become one agency?
This merger has brought the knowledge and strategy of local and global mission closer together at a time when the world of mission is changing. Some of the least-reached peoples of the world are moving to the West and the church of the Global South is emerging as a growing mission force. The false dichotomy between the work of “the church” and “missions” is being replaced by a growing understanding that God is on a mission, and his missionary is the church. Mission is now “from everywhere to everywhere.” The best of C2C’s church planter support systems along with MB Mission’s contextual and holistic mission strategies, have come together in one agency.
+ What is the mission, ministry and governance of this merged agency?
Our mission is to facilitate church planting locally, nationally and globally. This is accomplished through making disciples, planting churches and growing partnerships with others who share this focus. The governance board of this agency continues to be the binational board of MB Mission representing the US and Canadian conferences of MB churches.
+ Why change the name to Multiply and when will this happen?
We believe those that abide in Christ will bear much fruit! As we humble ourselves and generously live and share the gospel, like a seed that falls into the ground and dies, the impact is exponential. Multiply has been a word God has been speaking into the strategy of MB Mission and C2C for a long time. We believe the whole church is called to live on mission and to Multiply. We will officially launch as Multiply in January 2019, and still communicate with our partners and supporters that we were formerly MB Mission and C2C Network.
+ Why the tagline of, "Together that the world may know"?
We want to join with the prayer of Jesus that speaks of unity of the body unto great harvest: "...that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” John 17:23 (ESV). It invites us to think differently about how we can collaborate together so that many will hear the good news of the Gospel and believe.
+ How will funds be used and when should donations go to Multiply?
As of January 2019, donors and partners of C2C Network and MB Mission can continue to invest exclusively in North American Church Planting or Global (outside N.A.) Church Planting by donating to Multiply and designating their gift to that scope of ministry. Donations made to MB Mission and C2C will continue to fund the previous scope of those agencies.
+ What does it mean that Multiply is MB-based, serving multi-denominationally?
Our theological foundation is rooted in the MB confession of faith and yet we partner and resource those who are gospel centered, Spirit-led and mission focused. We serve the MB family in planting MB churches and yet we have been invited to serve the broader Church and the many church families and networks globally to see millions of people encounter Jesus.