Photo by Yan Ots on Unsplash.

By Mike Sherrill
Monday, November 16, 2020

In East St. Louis, Illinois, in 1929, Joseph Raglin set the world record for bricklaying, by laying 3,472 bricks in 60 minutes — an astonishing rate of 58 bricks per minute. Raglin's record remains, as do many of the brick roads he expertly and painstakingly built alongside the Conley brothers: William, John and Elijah. 

Bricklayers operate as a team. Preparation, planning and teamwork yield a lasting testimony to their work. At the front of my mind as I engage the calling to serve as executive director for Mennonite Mission Network is this nurturing of teams: teams that are efficient and effective and that internalize and mobilize the vision of the global mission agency. 

We are laying fresh bricks for the road ahead, facing together the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020. As we do so, we will revisit God's calling on our agency by underlining the indispensability of the contribution of all staff in our shared pilgrimage. Walking together is an important component of building hope during these troubling times. "We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair" (2 Corinthians 4:8, NKJV). We are not in despair, because we have a God who loves us and will never leave us. We are not crushed, because we are a community, with Jesus as our companion. 

Drawing near to Christ through Scripture and prayer, and near to each other with mutual support, gives us the best hope of navigating these difficult terrains with grace. We are responding to the present, but we are driven by the future. Mission Network exists for such a time as this when we are wrestling with Covid-19, systemic racial oppression, and political unrest all at the same time. 

These awakenings are preparing us for the future that God is calling us into. "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope" (Jeremiah 29:11, NRSV). Let us breathe in deeply this reassuring promise. 

At Mission Network, we believe in the power of Christ's presence to transform lives and circumstances. We believe the Holy Spirit empowers us and calls us to participate in God's mission in the world. It is a call to put faith into action out of love for the cultures and communities near and far. Paul Tillich wrote that the first duty of love is to listen. We must listen to the cultures, communities and individuals, and lift up the stories we hear. 

We are at a watershed moment in history, truly on the threshold of unprecedented opportunities: to open eyes and heal hearts, to bring peace, to foster relational equity, and to join hands in dismantling systemic racism. In addition, increasing diversity within Mission Network will remain a high priority as we don't want to miss valuable opportunities for intercultural growth. 

This is an exciting time to work for Mission Network, which exists to partner with others to establish and equip missional congregations and their leaders to engage their culture and the world with the whole gospel of Jesus. I am glad to be walking together as a team in pursuit of this sacred calling.  

Mike Sherrill
Executive Director






Looking up, looking around, looking forwardBeyond up, looking around, looking forwardGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 1: Broadening horizons at 71Beyond 1: Broadening horizons at 71GP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Transforming into vulnerabilityBeyond into vulnerabilityGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 2: Building trust in shaky timesBeyond 2: Building trust in shaky timesGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 3: Transforming Down UnderBeyond 3: Transforming Down UnderGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 4: Missiology shaped by servanthoodBeyond 4: Missiology shaped by servanthoodGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 5: All invited to the Lamb’s throneBeyond 5: All invited to the Lamb’s throneGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 6: Pandemic forges transforming missionBeyond 6: Pandemic forges transforming missionGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
A tale of two worlds and one God of abundant hopeBeyond tale of two worlds and one God of abundant hopeGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Walking togetherBeyond togetherGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 1: Distributing care packages; reformatting ministriesBeyond 1: Distributing care packages; reformatting ministriesGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 2: Providing an emotional-spiritual “vaccine” for isolationBeyond 2: Providing an emotional-spiritual “vaccine” for isolationGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 3: Praying and caring for supportersBeyond 3: Praying and caring for supportersGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 4: Persevering in Christian Service programsBeyond 4: Persevering in Christian Service programsGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 5: Dismantling systemic racismBeyond 5: Dismantling systemic racismGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476

​Mike Sherrill is Executive Director of Mennonite Mission Network.



Looking up, looking around, looking forward up, looking around, looking forward
Story 1: Broadening horizons at 71 1: Broadening horizons at 71
Transforming into vulnerability into vulnerability
Story 2: Building trust in shaky times 2: Building trust in shaky times
Story 3: Transforming Down Under 3: Transforming Down Under
Story 4: Missiology shaped by servanthood 4: Missiology shaped by servanthood



Mennonite Mission Network celebrates 20 years Mission Network celebrates 20 years20th Anniversary
Video series teaches ways to “Stir Up Peace“ series teaches ways to “Stir Up Peace“Webinar
MVS Minute #11: The secret ingredient? Minute #11: The secret ingredient?MVS Minute
Friends become familia at God’s table’s-tableFriends become familia at God’s tableHispanic-Mennonite Heritage
Football league fundraiser is no fantasy league fundraiser is no fantasyExtra-Ordinary Giving
MVS Minute #06: What does MVS smell like? Minute #06: What does MVS smell like?MVS Minute