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Listening Together

In 2019, Multiply began to restructure its global leadership. A new Global Lead Team was formed, made up of ten regional leaders from around the world, and was tasked with helping Multiply develop its mission strategy with national partners worldwide. 

In 2020, I was invited to represent the US on this team, working together with Stephen Humber, my fellow Mission Mobilizer in the Midwest, to clarify our common mission with the US Mennonite Brethren (USMB). In order to effectively build a strategy together, and to serve humbly as the mission arm of MB churches, Multiply needed to make sure that they were hearing the voice of USMB churches. 

Partnerships have the potential for great synergy, allowing us to accomplish more together than we could on our own. But they also require a lot of listening, dialogue and mutual learning. The Multiply partnership with USMB leadership has not always been strong, yet we are optimistic as we work toward strengthening these relationships, building trust, and learning to collaborate and communicate better. 

Today, as we face a global pandemic and heightened racial tension, we are rethinking what it means to be the Church on mission. My prayer is that we can develop strategies that represent well our diversity and our shared commitment to the Gospel. More than ever, the Church needs to be the loving and transforming community that Christ intended it to be. 

As I consider our current challenges, I am drawn to the words of the prophet in Isaiah 43:18-19. Despite the chaos of his time, Isaiah spoke the heart of God with compassion and grace: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

I believe that God is speaking to us in the midst of these current disruptions. He is doing something new as he breaks into our routine and interrupts our lives. These are times to pay attention to what God is saying and doing!

At Multiply, we have been taking time to stop and ask ourselves, “Lord, what are the former things that you want us to leave behind in our lives and in our ministries? What are the new things that you are doing that you are inviting us into? Can you give us eyes to see and the ability to discern the times?” By faith we believe that God is doing something new, something that we could never have believed would happen.  

The US today is a broad and diverse mission field. All around us, the lost and hurting world is waiting for our bold witness and our love in action. Among immigrant communities, there are so many opportunities for our churches to engage people with the hope of the Gospel. As well, emerging MB conferences around the globe are looking to form partnerships with our churches to do mission together. And we still have so much work to do (and blessing to receive) as we seek to integrate the ethnic diversity within our own conference into ministry together. Finally, the next generation of leaders is waiting to be called out and trained for planting churches both at home and abroad. 

As the Multiply team in the US, we are asking God to help us see and obey, as we serve churches, facilitate partnerships, and mobilize workers into the harvest. 

We are inviting our churches to pray and engage with us as we work with our national and district leaders and as we seek the Spirit’s direction for the future of our mission partnership. We look forward to listening together.

PRAY

Please pray for unity among USMB churches and for wisdom on behalf of the USMB and Multiply leadership as they affirm their joint passion for mission and forge an effective partnership. 

If you have any feedback or questions for Galen or Stephen, please contact them by email: galenw@multiply.net or stephenh@multiply.net. 

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