Mission Partner vs. Membership

Wait, so what is the difference between membership and Mission Partner?

It is important for people to be involved with a larger group that is up to something bigger that they can be a part of. The goal of Mission Partner is to be as inclusive as possible while strategically partnering, equipping and enabling people to minister to the world around them . Being a Mission Partner simply means you have trusted Christ as your Savior, you see the benefit in being in community with other believers, you realize God has gifted you to serve, and you recognize you should steward whatever resources God has blessed you with well. 

Membership typically says you have to believe exactly what we believe. Mission Partner recognizes the common ground we rally around is Christ.

Membership typically says you should commit to attending the church you are a member of. Mission Partner values that God has created a huge network of churches that are not limited to a single geographic location.

Membership typically says you should serve at the church you attend. Mission Partner understands God has given you unique gifts to serve the body of Christ, whether that is at MBC or anywhere else on the planet.

Membership typically says you should give the church your tithes and offerings. Mission Partner values the way God has moved you to steward all things He has given you.

Membership is not a bad thing, and serves many churches well. Here at MBC we want to be up to something different. We want to be a Christ-centered family that sees people in the Permian Basin loved, saved, healed, discipled, and ministering both here and beyond, and recognize God can be about that in many ways through many different avenues!

Justin Wood

What Mission Partner Is

We have probably talked too much about what Mission Partnership isn't and not enough about what it is.  Particularly there has been  considerable attention on the notion of membership.  A sports analogy might be the easiest means to convey the power of Mission Partnership.  Membership might be thought of as anyone that comes to the stadium; we have had that for along time.  MBC has always had an "open gate" for anyone that opts in to participating, and nothing is changing about that.   What we intend to elevate is to find out who wants to "take the field" - to suit up each day and play in the game.  We want to make sure we invest all the training, coaching, creation of opportunities, and partnering among the Mission Partners to help each Mission Partner reach their full ministry potential.

And nothing against someone who doesn't desire to be a Mission Partner.  They are still welcome to participate in MBC activities.  We just intend to be held accountable as leaders to ensure that Mission Partners get all the attention needed to reach their full potential as ministers of the gospel.

Ministers of the gospel?  You mean preach from the pulpit?  Not at all.   One distinctive MBC has had for decades is the understanding that every believer is called to be a minister.  Each of us has spiritual gifts, and unique opportunities.  When we apply those gifts to serve one another, we are serving as ministers of the gospel.   "Gospel" just means "good news" - and the good news of Jesus includes, even emphasizes, the working out of the resurrection power of Jesus in our daily lives.  And that means all our lives, all week long.

The job of the church is to equip one another, and partner to apply our gifts throughout each week.  Those who identify as Mission Partners are pointing the leadership of the church to invest the time and focus in them to see that their gifts are fully developed and employed.  Of course most of the work will be done by each Mission Partner.  "Suiting up" and taking the field requires active effort.   There is nothing passive about equipping.  Church leadership has limited resources, like anyone else.  We want to make sure we invest in those who want to be invested in.  Mission Partnership is the means to make that desire a reality.

We look forward to our continued conversation, and seeing the fulfillment of our mutual desire to see God’s Kingdom “come”  because His will is being done – through the lives of His people.

Ken Beattie

A Romans 12 Church

When the Elders, months ago, shared their collective vision of MBC becoming a Romans 12 Church, I got excited about a rallying point for our body that is a great next vision beyond Love God, Love Others. However, the more I have studied and reflected on Romans 12 as a model for MBC as a church I have grown in my excitement and enthusiasm for this incredible text and the application of it to a multitude of areas at the church and beyond.

First, the reality of transformation speaks to both the individual and to the church as a whole. As I commit to becoming a transformed life by thinking the way God thinks, then I am open to how the Holy Spirit has gifted me and desires to use my gifts, talents, skills and resources. The more I think this way, the more I will act this way and the more transformed I will become. This is a work the Lord desires for all of us that will transform the church and the world around us.  

Second, the opportunity for everyone in the body to recognize that they are part of the whole body of Christ with gifts to offer and to have the charge to use those gifts is thrilling. To see what the Holy Spirit will do through each of us to impact the Permian Basin and beyond as partners in the gospel will be something to be spectacular to watch and to participate in. As I have been teaching one of the Mission Partner classes one of the potential partners said in response to “all members are ministers”, “we came to the church several years ago and it seems as if we are already doing this.” She is absolutely correct in that many are walking in their gifts and ministering well, but what Romans 12 does is give us the biblical basis and the application for every one of us to be involved in this kingdom work. 

Third, Paul’s description of what love looks like in transformed lives reflects the truth of Jesus’ commandment to love one another as He has loved us. When we strive together to love one another in the church, transformation takes place in the church. When we strive to do this beyond the church transformation takes place there too. A Romans 12 Church is one committed to transformation in the individual and in the church, so that through using our gifts and loving one another well we give the Holy Spirit room to transform the world around us. What a fantastic vision to strive for and to be part of together! 

Mark Rae

What does it take to become a Mission Partner?

The answer to this question is beautifully simple. The two steps to become a Mission Partner are outlined below.

Attend MBC Overview Sessions

We believe that in any healthy partnership, whether it be of business or personal nature, the first step that must be taken is one of familiarity. In order to help our potential partners understand who we are and where we are coming from, we have put together sessions that provide an overview of five ways we believe MBC is distinct. These sessions will be offered in a myriad of venues by various facilitators all with a singular goal in mind; to introduce potential Mission Partners to MBC. It also provides us the opportunity to become acquainted with our potential partners, aka you! The purpose of these sessions is not to outline the belief requirements for mission partnership, as you’ll see in the next step.

MBC Partnership Agreement

Once you have a better understanding of MBC and its philosophy, whether you fully agree or not, we hope that you will commit to partnering with us as we become a Christ-centered family that sees people in the Permian Basin loved, saved, healed, discipled, and ministering both here and beyond. There are four things that Mission Partners are asked to commit to:

 

1. I have trusted Christ as my Savior.

2. I commit to stewarding well the resources God has blessed me with.

3. I commit to serving according my gifting for the edification of the Body.

4. I commit to being involved in community with other believers.

That is all that is being asked. There are no other strings attached and no fine print. If you are willing commit to these four things, then you are a Mission Partner.