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We are a small nonprofit enterprise, commissioned by Mennonite Church USA to lead, mobilize and equip congregations to join God’s reconciling work, so that God’s healing and hope flow through us to everyone in the world. We are stewards of long-term relationships with partners in more than 50 countries, and staffed with people experienced in cross-cultural communication and holistic witness. We endeavor to connect with people in mutually transforming relationships across cultures. Our ministries vary widely because the people, places and needs vary widely. Our principles remain constant. Jesus is the center of our faith. Community is the center of our life. Reconciliation is the center of our work.

We operate within a network of long-term relationships. We recognize our need for each other, and emphasize mutual regard and exchange. Relational ministry uses everyone’s gifts, and encourages learning among all who participate. Our goal is to support existing faith communities, to help facilitate new faith communities by working with local leaders, and to see individuals come to know the love of Jesus. We believe that peace and reconciliation are integral parts of the gospel, and we seek to learn from and serve everyone – especially marginalized people.

We are one of five program arms of Mennonite Church USA. The other four are Everence (stewardship), Mennonite Education Agency, MennoMedia, and Mennonite Health Services Alliance. Mission Network has a relationship of accountability and collegiality with the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board. We are separate institutions with separate identities, boards and mandates, even though we intersect at many places (including sharing some staff). We are called to serve the whole church to join in God’s reconciling mission.

We affirm the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective as a primary point of reference for our theology and identity. We understand the Scriptures to be normative for our life and practice as the body of Christ. We strive to interpret the Scriptures through the words and actions of Jesus with the guidance of the Holy Spirit present in the gathered church.

No, but potential mission workers do play a key role in securing funding for ministry. We coach workers and congregations in forming a support team that embraces the worker’s call and who are ready to champion their call to ministry. The work of securing the needed funding is shared by Mennonite Mission Network, the worker, the support team, and the sending congregation.

This is distinguished from the “faith mission” approach, where the workers themselves are entirely responsible for raising their support. A ministry support team (MST) is a group of five or more individuals who agree to care for a specific mission worker through prayer support, encourage them with notes and cards, communicate with them and their friends back in the United States, and assume the responsibility for finding the financial resources to support their ministry. A Mission Network staff person serves as MST coach, and works with each MST to ensure their success by clarifying roles, offering advice and counsel, providing resources, and linking the MST to other churches who are also interested in supporting the mission workers.

Yes. We believe Jesus calls the whole church to passionate involvement in God’s mission. People and congregations who come together around a common vision are able to collaborate effectively and create productive ministries. Different perspectives can offer strength to common work.

Money contributed to the general fund goes to support many different areas of mission, including: 

  • International ministries that support both local partners and North American workers in leadership development and holistic witness around the world.
  • Ministries in the United States, including missional preaching and teaching, training for local and global witness, church planting, and peace and justice ministries.
  • Support services that care for workers, administer programs, maintain the financial and technical infrastructure, create resources for congregations, and get out the word to constituents about ways that God is working around the world.
  • Voluntary service programs for all ages and abilities.

For details, see our annual financial report.

There are many differences and many common values. We each focus on our areas of expertise while frequently collaborating in many parts of the world. The two primary differences are:

  • Mission Network is supported mostly by a single denomination while MCC is supported by many different Anabaptist groups.
  • Mission Network’s primary goal is to support the church and local leaders around the world as they invite people to faith in Jesus. MCC’s mission is to provide material aid in the name of Christ.

As Mennonite Mission Network serves the church in pursuit of God’s mission of reconciliation, we recognize the changing context for that mission. Across the globe, differing ideas about economic, civic and religious life are in conflict with each other. In some cases, these conflicts erupt into war and violence. In all cases, the conflicts breed fear and suspicion between nations and people.

The United States isn’t immune to these developments. A spirit of dissension has intensified to divide our nation along every possible line. Rural is pitted against urban, Democrats against Republicans, traditional observers of Christianity against progressive, and on and on.

While these battles occupy our hearts and minds, serious social problems grow worse. Poverty envelops large swaths of the country, drug addiction grips our communities, and racial discrimination is perpetuated through unjust laws. These are just a few. Instead of facing these issues and working for solutions, we revert to looking for scapegoats to blame … immigrants, refugees, anyone considered “different” can be found responsible.

Now more than ever, the world needs followers of Jesus to be the gospel we proclaim. Following the path Jesus laid for us, through the power of the Spirit, we must work to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight to the blind, and to set the oppressed free.

The greatest obstacle for us will be the temptation to exchange the gospel for something that appears more expedient. Conventional wisdom says that wielding power is the way to bring about peace and justice. In our nation, the most concentrated power is found in politics and government. We are urged to put all our energy into controlling or influencing that power.

The gospel of Jesus tells us something very different. In the economy of the kingdom of God, power is found in love, and greatness is found in being a servant. In the kingdom of God, even the smallest acts of caring are marks of discipleship.

Our calling is not to rule the world or even save it. Ours is to be faithful to Jesus, wherever we are, in whatever stage of life we find ourselves, in whatever vocation we’ve been given. Urging those in power toward more just policies is part of our work. So is service to the poor and oppressed, supporting the peaceful resolution of conflicts, and sharing our hope in Jesus.

As we move forward as a church in these uncertain times, Mennonite Mission Network will continue to proclaim the whole full gospel of Jesus, in word and deed. We do so not with the expectation that we will right every wrong in the world—we leave that with confidence to God—but believing that all we do in God’s Spirit will have greater impact than we can imagine, thanks to the unending generosity and love of God.

 

 

https://www.mennonitemission.net/info/Frequently asked questions about Mission Network



 

 

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