ICOMB’s members are national churches, located in every continent. Some were established over 100 years ago (India, Canada, USA). God continues to bless with the planting of churches in new areas of the world, which, once organized at a national level, first become associate members and eventually achieve national membership status in ICOMB.
Each of our 21 member national churches plays an important role in ICOMB. We meet annually at Summits to connect, explore mutual concerns, encourage each other, and hear reports of what’s happening around the world. The Church On Mission in Thailand 2017, was the first time that associate members were also present for ICOMB meetings.
Many of our members also connect through area cohorts: the European cohort and Latin American cohort meet to discuss issues specific to their region.
National churches also connect on an individual level, for example: Brazil has sent a training team and a missionary to Angola, and a German congregation sent funds to the Japan conference after the 2011 tsunami.
Igreja Evangelica dos Irmaos Menonitas en Angola is a Portuguese-speaking national church with 12,000 members in 90 churches (Operation World).
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: resolving conflicts to avoid further splits among Mennonite groups, funding for national and regional church activities.
Current programs and goals include: revitalizing the Bible School for training church leaders, and achieving the church planting vision to reach every province in Angola.
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: leaders lacking sufficient support and materials (including a shortage of bibles), lacking transportation to visit all church areas, lacking means for buying land and training leaders.
Current programs and goals include: leadership development, evangelism and church planting, and community education in peaceful responses to conflict.
The Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Church in India is the largest national church with 212,000 members in 992 churches. Telugu is spoken by a majority of MB churches, but the country is known for its many languages and multiculturalism: 22 official languages, and hundreds more without official status (Operation World).
Challenges facing MB leadership include: a shortage of trained pastors and support for many church extension workers; finding ways to reach out to the thousands of unreached people groups in the country.
Current programs and goals include: creating a mission training center and upgrading the library for the Bible College; church planting; creation of a medical services and training center.
Nihon Menonaito Burezaren Kyodan is a national church of 1,785 members in 28 churches. In May 2015 it celebrated its 65th anniversary. (Operation World).
Challenges facing MB leadership include: an aging Japanese society and an aging church population due to low birth rates and low rates of new conversions, a financial crisis developing due to decrease in membership.
Current programs and goals include: sending missionaries to Thailand and Rwanda, new strategies for evangelism, managing the Evangelical Biblical Seminary, training young leaders.
Challenges facing MB leadership include: traveling between many isolated groups to train leaders, a lack of religious rights in Laos and Myanmar, a young church with many new believers.
Current programs and goals include: unity between the different Christian denominations within the Khmu people, sharing the gospel with other tribal groups, training 1,000 leaders by 2020, training missionaries to send to Khmu people in other countries.
Mennonitische Freikirche Oesterreich is a national church with 365 members in 5 churches. The country’s official language is German. The majority of the population self-identify as Roman Catholic Christian (Operation World).
Challenges facing MB leadership include: establishing a strong sense of identity; vision, resolve and resources (primarily leaders) to plant churches; recovery from some recent discouraging events.
Current programs and goals include: leadership development to ensure sufficient pastors for all churches; taking advantage of the new status in Austria as a recognized church; fulfilling a new, recently adopted vision for the national church.
Germany has three national Mennonite Brethren churches.
(For info on Germany: Operation World)
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Mennonitischer Brudergemeinden in Deutschland (AMBD) is a national church with 1,600 members in 14 churches.
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: how to help smaller churches minister, and reaching out to the many different ethnic groups around them.
Current programs and goals include: helping Syrian refugees find a home in towns where AMBD churches exist, church planting in two areas, and hiring a new pastor to strengthen the church.
Vereinigung der Menoniten Brudergemein von Bavaria (VMBB) is a national church in south-east Bavaria with 130 members in 3 churches.
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: being seen as strange in a Catholic area.
Current programs and goals include: connecting members through youth services, women’s retreats, and counselling.
Bund Taufgesinnter Gemeinden (BTG) is a national church with 7,324 members in 26 churches.
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: structuring a good response to Syrian refugees coming into the region of their churches
Current programs and goals include: a large school for children and youth; an outreach into regions of the former Soviet Union to serve friends and relatives with needed clothing and literature.
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: discerning a common vision for strategic plans, need to train future leaders.
Current programs and goals include: the Evangelical Bible Institute, run in partnership with other evangelical organizations (including Eastern Mennonite Mission and MB Mission); summer camps programs; day care centers; and Bible studies.
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: fundraising for projects, needing new team members to carry out the work, and transitions in staff.
Current programs and goals include: managing a thrift store and furniture refurbishment to help unemployed members; adding a Portuguese service to a Russian church plant
Convenção Brasileira das Igrejas Evangélicas Irmãos Menonitas is a national church with 7,317 members in 48 churches. The MB church in Brazil was historically German-speaking, but has become primarily Portuguese-speaking. (Operation World)
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: corruption in the country and the corruptibility of church leaders, theological alignment for church leaders, unity between churches in two distinct areas – north and south – plus a recently added group of churches.
Current programs and goals include: church expansion programs, integrating Haitians into existing German and Brazilian churches, mission work in Angola, Senegal, India, and Guinea-Bissau.
Asociación de Iglesias Hermanos Menonitas de Colombia is a national church with 2,800 members in 47 churches (Operation World).
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: violence, insecurity, and corruption in the country; lack of trained pastors; lack of funds for training
Current programs and goals include: expanding and growing in two regions; discovering new leaders and helping them discern their call to serve in full-time ministry; social programs for minorities.
Iglesia Cristiana de Paz en México is a national church with 622 members in 9 churches. The church is included in the Latin America region because it is is Spanish-speaking (Operation World).
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: need for restoration in relationships and trust between churches and leadership.
Current programs and goals include: evaluation, establishing a good administrative base, restoring trust, supporting students studying at Instituto Bíblico Asunción in Paraguay.
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: indigenous land claim issues, where loggers and farmers encroach on traditional lands, and the potential for violence in these conflicts; discipling youth who move from river villages to Panama City
Current programs and goals include: training future missionaries and young leaders, youth retreats, pastoral care.
The Spanish-language national church, Convención Evangélica de Iglesias Paraguayas Hermanos Menonitas, has 3,304 members in 56 churches. (Facebook page)
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: unity and shared vision between churches, lack of full time pastors.
Current programs and goals include: a new church planting program reaching the different districts of Paraguay.
The German-language national church, Vereinigung der Mennoniten Brüder Gemeinden Paraguays, has 3,165 members in 22 churches.
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: sustaining support of significant media programs and a prison church.
Current programs and goals include: Instituto Biblico Asuncion which serves the wider Latin American church region; church planting in schools; Obedeira (radio station); Red Guarani (TV station); La Libertad (MB church in a national prison).
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: a need for stable leadership, lack of full-time pastors.
Current programs and goals include: short-term mission trips and mission conferences to train and inspire in-country missions, biblical training for leaders.
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: a recent change in leadership, post-modern European culture of Montevideo makes church growth slow
Current programs and goals include: renewing the training institute; exploration of church planting with southern Brazil Mennonite Brethren in that region of Uruguay.
The Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches is a national church with 36,439 members in 245 congregations (Operation World).
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: church unity as the national church changes direction, financial support, need for mission to be at the heart of the church.
Current programs and goals include: C2C – church multiplication network, L2L – developing leaders through coaching and other online training.
Current challenges facing MB leadership include: restructuring towards a new direction, rural churches declining or struggling.
Current programs and goals include: Mission USA – church planting, Giving Tuesday campaign to raise funds for church planting, Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary and Tabor College providing training for leaders.