Missionary Church

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Missionary Church
OrientationEvangelical, Anabaptists
AssociationsNational Association of Evangelicals
HeadquartersFort Wayne, Indiana
Origin1969[1]
Detroit, Michigan
Merger ofUnited Missionary Church and the Missionary Church Association
Congregations20,000+[2]
Members2,000,000[2]
Official websitewww.mcusa.org

The Missionary Church is an evangelical Christian denomination of Anabaptist origins. They are committed to Jesus Christ, the Bible, and the Great Commission.

Faith and practice[edit]

The Missionary Church recognizes Jesus Christ as the ultimate authority.

The Missionary Church, in obedience to Jesus Christ his Lord, is committed to being holy people of God in the world and to building His Church by worldwide evangelism, discipleship and multiplication of growing churches, all to the glory of God.

They are committed to the Great Commission: multiplying disciples who multiply disciples who multiply disciples. That is the command that Jesus gave us, and Missionary Church will not be distracted by buildings, programs, or anything else.

Core Values[edit]

Grounded in the Bible[edit]

The Missionary Church is faithful to core biblical doctrines in order to ensure that they stay theologically sound. Some leaders and members, however, are becoming increasingly dogmatically exclusive on several doctrines, particularly the belief in a literal Adam and Eve and Young Earth Creationism.

Connected to Relationships[edit]

The Missionary Church encourages, facilitates, and gives resources to churches, rather than direct them. The goal is to inspire and partner with one another to increase ministry effectiveness.

Embracing Creativity[edit]

The Missionary Church allows local churches the freedom to minister effectively in their contexts. The Missionary Church maintains a permission-giving culture rather than a restrictive culture.

Empowering Leadership[edit]

The Missionary Church identifies, develops, and releases leaders. The Missionary Church does not limit God in who He calls to leadership.

Kingdom-Minded[edit]

The Missionary Church focuses more on the mission than the institution. The Missionary Church shares best-practices with like-minded organizations and partners with them. The Missionary Church encourages and supports Kingdom endeavors.

Beliefs[edit]

Scripture is the authority of the Missionary Church. The Missionary Church is committed to this basic statement of faith.

God[edit]

Missionary Church believes there is only one eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere-present Triune GodFather, Son, and Holy Spirit—who is creates and sustains all things.(Deuteronomy 6:4–5; 1 Timothy 2:5).

Jesus Christ[edit]

Missionary Church believes Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human, lived a sinless life, died to make atonement for the sins of all mankind, was resurrected, and is now mediator at the right hand of the Father. Missionary Church believes that Jesus Christ is coming again in power and glory for Jesus Christ's believing followers and that Jesus Christ is the only Savior of mankind (John 1:1, John 1:14; Titus 2:11–14).

Holy Spirit[edit]

Missionary Church believes the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, regenerating all who repent of their sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Missionary Church believes that the Holy Spirit sanctifies, empowers, teaches, guides, and comforts the believers (John 16:7, John 16:8, John 16:12–15).

Bible[edit]

Missionary Church believes the Bible is the inerrant, divinely inspired Word of God and authoritative in all matters it addresses (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20–21).

Salvation[edit]

Missionary Church believes salvation is the result of genuine repentance of sin and faith in the atoning work of Christ. Missionary Church believes that salvation brings forgiveness to the repentant, salvation makes the repentant a participant of the divine nature, and salvation gives peace with God. Missionary Church calls this new birth (Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3–5).

Church[edit]

Missionary Church believes in the invisible and universal Church as the living Body of Christ. Missionary Church believes the Church is composed of all believers in the Lord Jesus who have been vitally united by faith to Christ, its living Head and sovereign Lord (Matthew 16:18; Hebrews 12:22–24).

Ordinances[edit]

Missionary Church believes there are two Christian ordinances, namely baptism and the Lord's Supper. Missionary Church believes baptism and the Lord's Supper are outward rites appointed by Christ to be administered in each church, not as a means of salvation, but as a visible sign and seal of its reality (Acts 8:36; 1 Corinthians 11:24–34).

Roots[edit]

The Missionary Church has a rich theological heritage that serves as a launching pad for aggressive outreach. While the Missionary Church's message from the Bible is unchangeable, the Missionary Church's methods of communication change in order to reach every culture for Christ.

Early leaders had a commitment to the position that the Scriptures were to be the source of doctrine and life. In addition to this commitment to be a biblical church, the theological perspective of the Missionary Church recognizes the contribution of John Wesley's emphasis on "the warmed heart"; Albert Benjamin Simpson's fourfold emphasis on Jesus Christ as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King; the Anabaptist concepts of community and brotherhood; and the evangelical emphases of the lost estate of mankind and redemption through Jesus Christ.

The Missionary Church is a blend of the thought and life of a people who have sought to build their church according to the Scriptures with an appreciation for their historical roots.

History[edit]

The Missionary Church has diverse roots, especially in Anabaptism (directly through the Mennonites), German Pietism, the holiness movement, and American evangelicalism, (and to a smaller degree fundamentalism and Pentecostalism). The preamble to their Constitution references this by stating:

...the Missionary Church will be better understood by the reader who recognizes that a singular commitment of our early leaders was to the position that the Scriptures were to be the primary source of doctrine and life. In addition to this commitment to be a biblical church, we recognize the contribution of John Wesley's emphasis on "the warmed heart"; A.B. Simpson's fourfold emphasis on Jesus Christ as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King; the Anabaptist concepts of community and brotherhood; the evangelical emphases of the lost estate of mankind and redemption through Jesus Christ. The Missionary Church, then, is a unique blend of the thought and life of a people who have sought to build their church according to Scriptures and who have appreciated their historical roots.[3]

In the late 19th century, several Mennonite preachers embraced pietism and revivalism. Revivalistic practices such as prayer meetings, revival services, and public testimonies were frowned upon by some conservative Mennonite leaders, and those who embraced such innovations were expelled from their churches. Many of those who were expelled became leaders in a new movement. Among the leaders were Solomon Eby (1834–1929) of Ontario, William Gehman (1827–1917) of Pennsylvania, Daniel Brenneman (1834–1919) of Indiana, and Joseph E. Ramseyer (1869–1944). These brethren gradually found one another and their movements merged. Daniel Brenneman and Solomon Eby established the Reformed Mennonites in 1874. The Reformed Mennonites joined with some other expelled Mennonite members (called the New Mennonites) and formed the United Mennonites. In 1879 the followers of William Gehman (called Evangelical Mennonites) merged with the United Mennonites, creating the Evangelical United Mennonites. In 1883 a group from Ohio (called Brethren in Christ or Swankites) joined the movement. The denomination became the Mennonite Brethren in Christ on December 29, 1883, in Englewood, Ohio. The Mennonite Brethren in Christ changed their name to the United Missionary Church in 1947.

The Missionary Church Association was founded in Berne, Indiana, in 1898. In that year, Joseph E. Ramseyer was excluded from the Égly Amish because he was rebaptized at a revival meeting. The Égly Amish rejected both the nature of the baptism (immersion) and its non-Amish and Mennonite connections (he had already been baptized by the Égly Amish). Ramseyer continued to preach the message of God’s love through Jesus Christ as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King. The Missionary Church Association and the United Missionary Church (formerly the Mennonite Brethren in Christ) carried on fraternal relations for many years, and then merged in 1969 to form the Missionary Church.[4]

Relationships[edit]

The Missionary Church has relationships with a number of other churches, mission agencies, and ministry organizations committed to Scripture and to the cause of Christ in the world.

As a member of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Missionary Church responds to appeals from World Relief, the international assistance arm of the National Association of Evangelicals, for funds to meet disaster and poverty needs around the world.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History of the Missionary Church". Archived from the original on 1 January 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Missionary Church - Become Part of the Missionary Church". Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Constitution of the Missionary Church" (PDF). Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Merging and Diverging Streams: The Colorful and Complex History of the Missionary Church" (PDF). Retrieved 21 November 2017.

External links[edit]