WOW! What a response to my two posts on Independent Baptist Missions. My goal in these articles was to get the conversation about independent Baptist missions started, and based on the feedback I have received, it is started. I appreciate all the comments both positive and negative.
Let me acknowledge up front that I overstated some of my concerns. As has been pointed out, by both those who agree with my thoughts as well as those who disagree, stating that “Independent Baptist Missions is a colossal failure” is an overstatement. I agree. It was a hyperbolic satement that was an obvious and intentional exaggeration; a figure of speech not intended to be taken literally. Most readers understood this, but I thought I would clarify it for those who did not. I do not believe that the current process is not getting missionaries to the field. I am not saying that souls are not being saved. I am not saying that churches are not concerned with missions.
However, I do believe that the current process needs to be changed/tweaked/adjusted/rethought/discussed/ improved…however you want to say it.
I thought it would be beneficial to briefly recap and summarize both the response that I have received as well as my thoughts on this issue.
Some Of The Responses (Both Positive And Negative)
“Thank you for saying publicly what so many have been thinking privately.” ~ Independent Baptist missions Director
“I would rather be doing missions our way than all the others ways that others are not.”
“Thank you for starting this conversation. The next step is to talk about what can be done.” ~ Independent Baptist Pastor
“Your concerns are seriously over-stated.” ~ Baptist Professor
“The problems you brought out need to be addressed.” ~ Anonymous BIMI missionary
“Son, you don’t have the experience to know what you are talking about.”
“It is about time someone pointed out the elephant in the room” ~ Christian counselor
“You brought out some good points. Now, let’s get to work fixing it.”
“Great article.” ~ BIMI missionary
The vast majority of comments have been positive.
I may not have the experience of some, but that does not mean my concerns are not valid. My point, and the concerns of many, is that while the specific numbers may vary from region to region and missions board to missions board, the process of getting missionaries to the field is not as efficient as it could be. We can either deny that there is a problem, ignore the problem, or work together to fix the problem. I propose that we work together to fix the problem.
To do this I believe that we need to recognize the following:
- Sending missionaries to the field is of vital importance.
- Sending churches need to take more of a responsibility in the ministry of those called from their church.
- Independent Baptist pastors need to intentionally work together to get missionaries to the field sooner. This requires that we not be isolated, that we focus on building God’s kingdom, and that we stop competing with other churches.
The conversation from this point forward needs to be directed at what can be done to get missionaries to the field sooner so that less time and money is spent in an attempt to get them to the place to begin their field ministry.