National Faith & Life Director Report for 2024 AGM/National Assembly


According to the new Collaborative Unified Strategic Plan (CUSP), we as a Conference exist “to cultivate a community and culture of healthy disciple-making churches and ministries, faithfully joining Jesus in his mission.” The National Faith and Life Team (NFLT) exists to articulate and safeguard Mennonite Brethren theological convictions, produce theological and pastoral resources, and provide discernment and guidance on current issues. The National Faith and Life Team stewards the Confession of Faith on behalf of the Conference.

Activities in 2023

This has been a very full year for me, but I experienced it with much joy because of the excellent National Faith and Life Team members, CCMBC Staff, and those on the National Ministry Team and Executive Board. It feels like all of these individuals are one big team serving God and the church together. It is a privilege to be part of this with them. I’m thankful also to have worked closely with Elton DaSilva, Carson Samson, Liam Bull, and Kara Friesen. Both Elton and Kara have moved on to other ministries and I wish them God’s very best there. I am thankful to have had Jason Krueger in the Interim Executive Director role and now for Cam Stuart as our new Executive Director. I look forward to what God has for us together!

Some of the NFLT highlights for 2023 include:

  • We produced a monthly “Moments in Prayer” resource that revolved around prayers on the topic of “Holy Spirit—Fill us!”
  • We approved the Collaborative National Church Affiliation and Review Policy that assists our provincial conference families with clear and shared mutual expectations between local churches and their provincial/national conference. It also provides clarity around processes if these relationships break down.
  • We approved the CCMBC MB Confession of Faith Amendment Procedure Policy that gives direction related to why and how the Confession of Faith might be amended. It is important that this process if clear to everyone in our family.
  • We gave final approval to the “Introduction to the MB Confession of Faith (2023)” which provides greater clarity around the purpose of the CoF and what “affirming” it involves.
  • We gave final approval to Article 1: God (Explanatory Notes) and Article 2: Revelation of God (Explanatory Notes) as part of our Confession of Faith Resources Revision Project.
  • We gave final approval to the “Revised Credentialing Questionnaire” which requires all prospective leaders seeking credentialing from their provincial MB conference to interact more intentionally with our MB Confession of Faith.
  • We expanded on some earlier revision work done by Andrew Dyck to the Liturgical Readings and approved 18 Responsive Worship Readings that correlate with each of the 18 articles in our CoF.
  • We created a draft document called “Defining a Healthy Church” to encourage discussion around what a healthy local church looks like (and ultimately how we can measure that and seek ways of increasing church health).
  • We partnered with MB Seminary and MBCM to oversee the Pastors Credentialing Orientation June 6-8, 2023 at The Meeting Place (Winnipeg) with 30 registrants (26 regular and 4 “Alumni”).
  • We oversaw Equip 2023 (Oct 26-28) at Northview Church (Abbotsford) on the theme Fire and Ashes: Why Church? Why MB? (A Family Conversation). We had about 220 registrants from across Canada, with many extra drop-in attendees for the evening sessions. Equip 2023 concluded with the National Assembly on Saturday morning.

Besides all of these more formal NFLT involvements, I had the privilege of being the main writer for the newly developed Q&R Corner in the MB Herald Digest which began in April 2023. It provides an opportunity to respond to questions that individuals from across the country have on topics of relevance. I also had the privilege of presenting on “Fire & Ashes: Why Church?” at Equip 2023 (video recordings of most of the Equip plenary presentations are available here).

While we celebrate all the highlights from 2023 (and thank God for so many answered prayers!), we continue to engage around the following items for 2024:

  • We want to increase our commitment to prayer, so we have introduced a monthly prayer guide as part of our 2024 Contending in Prayer The monthly guide will be sent out to all of our MB Herald Digest subscribers via email, as well as published in the MB Herald Digest.
  • We are giving significant effort to our Confession of Faith Resource Revision Project this year by processing the following: Revised Explanatory Notes for Articles 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9; Living the Confession (FAQs) for Articles 6 and 7. This is a very ambitious timeline.
  • We are hoping to have an “approved in principle” DRAFT of a “Loving Well our Trans Neighbours, Friends, and Family” document to assist local churches. We covet your prayers and wisdom for this since no matter what, it will be controversial.
  • We have been asked to work on other resources in response to these questions:

What should be our response to Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) legislation, and individuals in our churches wanting to access MAiD?

Should we update our resources on divorce and how we respond to divorce within our church families—especially in reference to pastors/leaders?

Should we be clarifying our Women in Ministry Leadership decisions from 2006 and seeking adherence to these decisions across Canada?

  • We are working with MB Seminary and BCMB to host the Pastoral Credentialing Orientation (PCO) (May 28-30, 2024) in the Lower Mainland of BC.
  • We are doing preliminary planning for Equip 2025 (tentative dates: October 21-23, 2025)

We have many “gratitude prayers” for what God has done over this past year—in the midst of both the joys and the sorrows. We want to walk into this year with trust, faith, and hope because we worship King Jesus who is bringing his Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven! We want to be filled with the Holy Spirit as we contend in prayer, live out God’s Kingdom both individually and corporately, and invite people from all nations to become disciples of Jesus and part of the body of Christ! And may we see more of God’s peace on earth become a reality within our own communities and around the world! May 2024 be such a year!

If you have suggestions, encouragements, or thoughts, feel free to email them to us at

Ken Esau

National Faith and Life Director