Although not officially stipulated as a mandate, I felt CCMBC had five significant “big rocks” to tackle, both administratively and strategically.
Big Rock 1 – To right-size CCMBC financially to fit according to the income received from our churches. Moving CCMBC out of dependency on a supplemental income from Legacy was a priority. Over the last two years, we significantly reduced our budget, removing approximately $350,000 from the annual budget.
2020 was the first year in a long time that CCMBC lived within its means. You will be receiving our 2020 financial statements, which highlight a surplus for the year. We have also created a budget for 2021 and a Pro Forma for 2022 that includes deficit reduction and (or) increased reserves.
Big Rock 2 – Create a two-way conduit of communication with member churches and partners. The January 2020 approved communication plan launched us into an era of town hall meetings, focus groups, National Council meetings, and a national communication team made up of representatives from each of the agencies and provinces. The MB Herald moved online and became a monthly digital publication. This move has seen great results with significant uptake in subscriptions. We are even beginning to see paid advertisers returning to the magazine.
Big Rock 3 – Write governing documents, policies, and procedures that support the existence of the Collaborative Governance Model. With much input and teamwork, the new bylaws accommodate the new parts of the Collaborative Model. The first draft of SPAs (Strategic Partnership Agreements) was done in March 2020 and is now being re-visited by a task force.
Big Rock 4 – Develop a new system of funding conference work. Since the Collaborative Model called for accountability and partnership between provinces and national, it made sense for a single stream of funding to flow upwards from the provinces to the national conference. This significant but complicated work is working well as we finish the first year of this endeavour.
Big Rock 5 –The Collaborative Unified Strategic Plan (CUSP) is up for approval at this year’s National Assembly. The CUSP is a unique and unprecedented plan owned at all levels of MB ministry in Canada. Representing input from provinces and agencies, the CUSP imagines all parts of the Collaborative Model, working together at our best with hope and trust that God will continue to grow our family of churches. Like the bylaws, the CUSP has been vetted several times through town halls, focus groups, the National Council, National Ministry Team, and the National Faith & Life Team.
Although the last two years were marked by complications and big changes, those two years also saw a significant shift in our national family’s culture and behavior, primarily the growth in collaboration and a desire to do things together. I am grateful to our staff for the incredible work they have done this year. I am also thankful for the Executive Board, National Faith & Life Team, and National Ministry Team’s work in having the vision to propel us in this new direction.
As we look forward to a new mandate, there are some new “big rocks” to address. Such as operationalizing the CUSP, fully developing the role of CCMBC as a principal organization in the Collaborative Model, rebuilding ministry reserves, and re-engaging our mission nationally and globally. I look forward to what God has planned for our family of churches.
Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches