C2C Network: Church Planting Resources (2012–2017)
C2C Network Series
Dates of Creation
Since its foundation in 1910, the Northern District Conference, which became the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren churches in 1945, has made mission and church planting a priority, both in Canada and internationally. Numerous committees and organizations worked both independently and together with the national Canadian Conference and the Mennonite Brethren Provincial Conferences to further the cause of missions in Canada and throughout the world.
In 1948, the Canadian Conference created the Evangelism Committee, which focused on shaping an evangelistic strategy for Canadian Mennonite Brethren churches. During the late 1960s and 1970s, the Evangelism Committee, whose name changed to the Board of Evangelism in 1967, shifted its focus toward church planting in Quebec and the Maritime provinces. In the 1980s, the Board concentrated its efforts on promoting national church growth through seminars, conferences and publications, returning its attention to church planting in the 1990s with renewed vigor and establishing the Key City Initiative program in 1998.
When the Board of Evangelism was absorbed into the Board of Discipleship Ministries in 2002, the Key City Initiative program and church planting efforts continued under Evangelism Canada, a small department of the Canadian Conference directed by Ewald Unruh. In 2004, the Canadian Conference underwent immense structural changes, adopting Les Stahlke's Governance Model and reorganizing itself around 6 focus areas. One of these foci was "reaching out," a term which signified church planting.
With the Key City Initiative program ending in 2006, the Conference searched for another way to keep the national motivation for church planting alive. ReGenerate 21-01 was introduced in 2008 in an effort to connect 21st century churches with the vitality of the 1st century churches (21-01) by focusing on church planting, church health, and leadership development. At this time, the term "reaching out" was readily used as a service of the Canadian Conference. ReGenerate 21-01 become the department of Church Ministries in 2010.
The service of "reaching out" remained under Church Ministries until 2011, when Gord Fleming was hired by the Canadian Conference as the national church planting director. Having spent numerous years on the board of Church Planting BC, Gord brought along a vision for a national church planting community that worked together with the provincial conferences. In order to realign the national and provincial church planting effort, the C2C Network emerged as the Canadian Conference's national church planting body in 2012.
The C2C network partnered with the Provincial Conferences and placed C2C directors in each province or provincial region offering services in church planter assessment, coaching, mentoring, apprenticeships, and internships.
In 2014, the conference ministries were re-framed as "services" and reorganized around four headings: Building Community, Multiplying Churches, Developing Leaders, and Financial Ministries (renamed Resourcing Ministry). The C2C Network fits in the Multiplying Churches service.
At the 2017 annual general meeting of CCMBC, the delegation approved a motion to merge the church planting arm (C2C) with the global mission arm (MB Mission), removing C2C from the CCMBC budgetary and administrative oversight and placing it within the MB Mission structure. In 2018, to signal the new reality, MB Mission changed its name to Multiply and spoke of mission locally, nationally, and globally. The name change also reflects the ongoing church planter services offered to other denominational church planting organizations beyond Mennonite Brethren: namely, assessment, coaching, mentoring, apprenticeships, and internships.
By 2019, due to financial and fund raising pressures, the board of Multiply decided to "release" the multi-denominational aspect of U.S. and Canadian church planting (formerly called C2C network) to continue on its own apart from Multiply organizationally and financially.