This whole article was radically changed to promotional style from 6 July 2016 and contains content that is written like an advertisement. (May 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Associations||National Association of Evangelicals|
|Headquarters||Fort Wayne, Indiana|
|Merger of||United Missionary Church and the Missionary Church Association|
Faith and practice
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.
Biblically Grounded: Missionary Church is fiercely faithful to core biblical doctrines, 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).
Relationally Connected: They encourage, facilitate and resource churches, rather than direct them. The goal is to inspire and partner with one another to increase ministry effectiveness.
Creativity Embracing: They are unique in the fact that they allow local churches freedom to minister effectively in their contexts. This is because they are a permission-giving culture, not a restricting one.
Leadership Empowering: They identify, develop, and release leaders. They do not limit God in who He calls to leadership.
Kingdom Minded: They focus more on the mission than the institution. They share best practices with like-minded organizations and partner with them. And They also encourage and support Kingdom endeavors.
Scripture is our authority. The Missionary Church is committed to this basic statement of faith.
GOD. There is only one eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing and everywhere-present Triune God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit— who is the creator and sustainer of all things (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; 1 Timothy 2:5).
JESUS CHRIST. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human. He 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. He is coming again in power and glory for His believing followers, and is the only Savior of mankind (John 1:1, 14; Titus 2:11-14).
HOLY SPIRIT. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, regenerating all who repent of their sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. He sanctifies, empowers, teaches, guides and comforts the believers (John 16:7, 8, 12-15).
BIBLE. 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. Salvation is the result of genuine repentance of sin and faith in the atoning work of Christ. It brings forgiveness to the repentant, makes him a participant of the divine nature and gives peace with God. We call this new birth (Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
CHURCH. Missionary Church believes in the invisible and universal Church as the living Body of Christ. It 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. Missionary Church believes there are two Christian ordinances: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They believe they 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).
The Missionary Church has a rich theological heritage that serves as a launching pad for aggressive outreach. While our message from the Bible is unchangeable, our methods of communication must change 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;” A.B. 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 unique 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.
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.
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.
The Missionary Church has productive 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 (NAE), the Missionary Church responds generously to appeals from World Relief Corporation (the international assistance arm of NAE) for funds to meet disaster and poverty needs around the world.
- "History of the Missionary Church". Archived from the original on 1 January 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
- "Missionary Church - Become Part of the Missionary Church". Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- "Constitution of the Missionary Church" (PDF). Retrieved 21 November 2017.
- "Merging and Diverging Streams: The Colorful and Complex History of the Missionary Church" (PDF). Retrieved 21 November 2017.