More than 3 billion people ...

… don’t have access to the gospel or proximity to a follower of Jesus who can tell them about this good news. Another 2 billion people may have access to the gospel but have not experienced its life-transforming power. Very simply, our work is to share the good news of Christ’s transforming love with people who don’t know him.

EMM’s story begins with a boy who asked, “Why?” In 1869, 11-year-old John H. Mellinger was sitting in a church service when he heard Matthew 28:19-20:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The preacher spent the entire service focused on the “teaching them to obey” part of the passage but didn’t say anything about going and making disciples of all nations. John asked his father, “Why?” John’s father couldn’t answer him. For the next 25 years, John wrestled with the Great Commission until he and 11 friends gathered to pray together and started what would eventually become EMM. When EMM officially became organized in 1914, John would become EMM’s first president. 

In 1934, EMM sent our first international missionaries to least-reached people in what is now Tanzania. For the many decades since then, we have engaged in mission around the world, facilitating the development of more than 20 church multiplication movements and many other ministries.

We praise God for the work he has done through EMM in more than 100 countries over the past century. Now, we are focused on multiplying disciples among least-reached people in several priority regions.

EMM is the mission agency of LMC — A Fellowship of Anabaptist Churches. We also partner with Anabaptist and other like-minded organizations in the U.S. and around the world. As an Anabaptist organization we establish movements of disciples of Jesus in keeping with the historic position of the Anabaptist church and in agreement with the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective (1995).


Christ’s transforming love compels us to
cross cultures, engage the world, and multiply disciples of Jesus.



We pursue joyful, relational obedience to the voice of God regardless of the cost. Our obedience is rooted in thankfulness to God, who pursues humanity with love and forgiveness.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” — John 10:27


We seek the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of all people: those we serve, our partners, and EMM personnel around the world. Anointed by the Spirit, we proclaim good news, freedom, release from darkness, and the Lord’s favor. We bind up, comfort, bestow beauty and joy, rebuild, and restore.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  – Matthew 11:28


We endeavor to be disciples of Jesus who make disciples. We participate in the expansion of the kingdom of God throughout the earth by multiplying disciples, leaders and fellowships of believers, because the nature of the kingdom is to grow exponentially through multiplication.

“But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.” – (Acts 12:24 NASB)


We catalyze movements that multiply disciples of Jesus around the world, giving primary focus to people groups that are currently least-reached.

A Biblical Calling

We go on mission understanding that God’s overarching story throughout Scripture invites us to reach out with love and compassion across nations, cultures, and other boundaries that separate us. We share God’s message of love and salvation so that all may come to know and be reconciled to God.

God called and blessed Abraham and his descendants to be a blessing to everyone (Genesis 12:1–3). This call continued in the covenant God presented to Abraham’s descendants. The people of God (the Israelites) were to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). This nation of priests had a responsibility to know God, understand the purposes of God for all of creation, and reach beyond themselves revealing God’s identity and character to all peoples of the world (Isaiah 49:6).

Although the people of God routinely lost their way, God continued to speak through prophets, reminding the people of their responsibility to each other, to the nations of the world, as well as holding out the hope of restoration for all things (Micah 6:8).

Then Jesus, God incarnate, came to earth, and was anointed to restore the people’s relationships with God, each other, all nations of the world, and all creation. Jesus trained his followers in his ministry of liberating people held captive to sin, with instructions to extend the Kingdom of God to everyone on earth (Matthew 28:19).

Jesus died to make this possible, rose back to life in victory over sin and death, and sent the Holy Spirit to live in God’s people with transforming power.

Today, God invites us to reveal the good news of the Kingdom of God throughout the earth with our lives and testimony. God desires that people from all cultures and languages will gather in worship before the throne of the King (Revelation 7:9).

We use a few “jargony” words when we talk about mission work. Here is what we mean when we use the following words or phrases.

Catalyze: We participate in God’s work of starting new movements by sending missionaries, training and equipping believers, and joining with our church partners around the world to send their members as missionaries.

Movements: A movement occurs when existing believers and congregations share the gospel and multiply: A few believers become more believers, and a congregation becomes several congregations. Ultimately a movement can touch an entire population, bringing hope to everyone who hears.

Least-reached: A people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group without outside assistance. This often means that a people group has fewer than 5% Christian adherents and is less than 2% evangelical. (Definition adapted from the Joshua Project.)




We discern the movement of God’s Spirit to launch us into mission. Along with our partners, we nurture our relationship with God, listen to the voice of God, discern direction and priorities for mission, and intercede for God’s purposes to be realized on earth.

We engage our world as learners. We encourage everyone to relate to all people with humility, respect, and mutuality, especially as we interact with people from varied cultural backgrounds, religions, and spiritual streams.

We honor the unique gifts of each disciple. We encourage every person to discover his/her God-given gifts and abilities as an expression of the transforming work of God.

We disciple others who can multiply efforts beyond ourselves. We seek to develop local resources and leaders with a multiplication mindset so as to avoid unhealthy dependency.

We share what we learn with our partners. We do this by providing stories, training, preparation, and coaching for missions among our partners as time and resources allow.

We encourage congregations to be active in making disciples locally as well as globally. Ministry is most effective when it aligns with the calling God has given and the gifts and resources God has provided.

We hope all churches will become sending communities. Obedience to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) is a defining characteristic of a faithful Christian community in every time and place.

We collaborate with clusters of partners to whom God has given the vision for a specific region. These groups provide space to develop and encourage prayer, funding, recruiting and strategic projects for a particular region or people group.

We invite and provide channels for church leaders to walk in interdependent relationships with local, regional, and global associations of the Body of Christ. These relationships provide encouragement through prayer, fellowship, and sharing of information and learnings.

We learn from and partner with Anabaptist and other like-minded organizations.
We embrace clearly defined working relationships in our sending and serving, where beneficial.

We prioritize least-reached people groups. Our communication, recruitment and funding reflects what we have discerned to be God’s priorities for EMM in this season.

We commit to creative ways of engaging in God’s mission. Given rapidly changing contexts throughout the world, we stay abreast of new strategies and missional activities and experiment with those that are consistent with the gospel message, our core values, and these guiding principles.

We witness through incarnational love and a life of peace. As Jesus dwells in us, we invite others to experience the fullness of Christ and be transformed by His love. In this way, people of every cultural background can be transformed and participate in the transforming work of God.

We work to address physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. These needs are often intertwined, and we embrace the work of God that touches all aspects of human existence.

We connect people into life-giving community. Healing, encouragement, accountability, and wisdom all flow from a community that is formed and shaped by Jesus.



EMM’s strategic focus is to identify, equip, and send missional leaders to serve on multi-generational and multi-ethnic teams who invite people to follow Jesus as maturing, multiplying disciples and nurture transforming communities of worship. We primarily focus on least-reached people groups of Central Asia, Central Europe, Southeast Asia, and West Africa, and refugees in Lancaster, Pa.