CINCINATTI, Ohio (Mennonite Mission Network) – Mike Sherrill has had a wild year.
He stepped into the role of Executive Director at Mennonite Mission Network in August, 2020, and after nearly a year in the position, came to his seminar, 'Future Driven Partnership: Pursuing God's Call at Mennonite Mission Network' with good news. The challenges surrounding the pandemic had driven the organization to innovate and grow.
"[Pandemic challenges] really sparked new ideas, and it's made us look again at why [MMN] exists," said Sherrill. "We exist to equip and empower the church. That is why we are here. And in these struggles in the past year … we see God working in a new way."
Sherrill gave some details on the state of the agency. Across 50 countries, Mission Network has 60 workers serving with partners and communities. Through the agency's peace church planting initiative, 56 churches in Ecuador and Columbia, and 50 churches in the United States have blossomed. And recent discipleship training saw 121 participants from seven countries come together to learn virtually.
"Our training programs flourished in the pandemic, operating digitally," said Sherrill. "Suddenly participation was open to the whole world! … Maybe we would have made this kind of shift in five or ten years, who knows, but for all our organizations, the pandemic has accelerated our approach to operating in a virtual environment."
Sherrill also detailed that the last few months have been an opportunity for Mission Network to work at restructuring and streamlining the agency's organizational structure.
"We discerned that we needed to move into a time of realignment," he explained. "Positioning the agency to not only respond to the present, but to be ready to meet the future as it's unfolding, right in front of us."
Regardless of the changes Mission Network has made to meet needs both within and beyond the organization, its central goal, Sherrill said, remains the same.
"Mission Network is responding to Christ's mandate to go out to the highways and hedges, the inner city and the distant lands, and meet the people looking for God's banquet of forgiveness and love," he said. "This is what it means to do mission. This is our pursuit."
The full video recording of this seminar will be available for viewing in the coming week.