National Director's Report

For just as we have many parts in one body and all [a]the body’s parts do not have the same function,  so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another.  However, since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them properly…(Rom. 12:4-6 NASB)

I find the imagery in this text reflects so much of the Collaborative vision we have adopted as CCMBC.  It is a compelling vision in light of the gospel story that is unfolding in our family of Churches.

Collaborative vision:  As I continue to learn and lean into the Collaborative model we are currently growing into; I have been appreciating how much true collaboration is at the heart of Christ like community life and leadership. Collaboration requires that we lay down our personal agendas and be willing to give of oneself for the vision of Jesus and the good of each other.  Perhaps Paul’s words to the Philippian church sharpens our understanding of collaboration when he says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…taking the nature of a servant… he humbled himself and became obedient to death…”(Phi. 2:5,7,8). Serving, humility, listening, self-denial are all core attitudes to effectively collaborate. The obvious reason we therefore take these postures towards one another is so that we can give Jesus Christ the rightful place of leading in and through us individually, and corporately.  I am really looking forward to seeing what kind of future can be envisioned and enacted with these postures and attitudes moving us forward.

Vision: Our vision statement is- “To cultivate a community and culture of healthy disciple-making churches and ministries, faithfully joining Jesus in His mission.” What drew me most to this role is this vision we believe God has asked us to pursue at this juncture of our denominational life.  The Mennonite Brethren have emphasised radical discipleship with a strong missional impulse.  At this moment, what we sense is God’s call to a greater attentiveness on how to equip every follower of Jesus to be an effective disciple who makes disciples that make disciples.  This will require a significant shift in how we think about church, how we pastor our congregations and how we all learn to fully surrender our lives to Jesus our King. We need to have a long-term view as we realign ourselves to the Great Commission as being the ultimate benchmark for our effective followership as disciples of Jesus. I believe this is a very challenging vision that will take a long time to make the necessary changes and have them embedded within our church DNA.  My key mandate is to facilitate the collaboration of our leaders that in turn will serve our churches in operationalizing this vision.  This is a very exciting mandate for me!

National Ministry Team (NMT) and National Council:  These two leadership groups were created to help facilitate collaboration within our national family of churches.  The NMT is our senior provincial leaders (conference pastors) and our national agency leaders. We meet regularly to pray, dream, envision and strategize ways that will serve and help our churches in becoming healthy disciple-making churches.  The National Council is a dimension of our Collaborative model that we have not enacted yet but will have our first meeting on Nov. 7.  It is a gathering of all our Provincial Executive Boards and Key agency boards to collaborate on the ideas the National Ministry Team and Executive Board are proposing that will serve our churches in advancing our vision.

A denomination in transition:  I think it is safe to say that we are a denomination in transition.  We are still living into our Collaborative Governance model, our new by-laws (2021), and the transition to new leaders in many of our senior leadership positions.  And many would also say that we are still in the rejuvenating phase after the Covid pandemic.  But as I listen to our leaders and constituency, I am encouraged by the positive, supportive and anticipatory attitude there is for our future. We can be very hopeful because we have Jesus as our leader to whom we can trust in all things he will work for the good and His glory.

Communication with churches: With so many ways to communicate today, it feels as though communication has become much more difficult.  We are in a season of rethinking how we as CCMBC can most effectively communicate with our constituency and churches. We would welcome your input on how we can best communicate with you and hear from you. 

Gratitude:  I would be remiss if I didn’t extend my thanks to the Executive Board for their faithful, generous and wise leadership in their execution of their fiduciary responsibilities. It is a delight for me to work with our CCMBC staff of Ken, Carson, Connie, Liam, Holly, Leanne and Jon. They do very good work behind the scenes for which most of us will never know. I am also grateful to Elton and the NMT for having built a good foundation to our Collaborative model and vision from which we can continue operationalizing.

Respectfully Submitted and with anticipation,

Cam Stuart