EC recommends changes for mission boards
Bob Allen, Associated Baptist Press
June 14, 2011

EC recommends changes for mission boards

EC recommends changes for mission boards
Bob Allen, Associated Baptist Press
June 14, 2011


Executive Committee (EC) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)

voted June 13 to recommend changes to working agreements that will allow the

International Mission Board (IMB) to work directly with internationals living

in the United States.

“I think what we see this allowing us to do is us — in

conjunction with (the North American Mission Board), as NAMB works with state

conventions and association and local churches — seeing places where there is

need for additional training and additional expertise that IMB personnel who

are in the states, usually on stateside assignment, would be able to be asked

to go to a particular place to provide training, possibly to work alongside

churches,” said Clyde Meador, executive vice president of the International

Mission Board.

The motion, recommended by IMB trustees, would expand the

agency’s ministry assignment beyond geographic borders to authorize

“specialized, defined and agreed upon assistance to the North American Mission

Board in assisting churches to reach unreached and underserved people groups

within the United States

and Canada.”

The change is designed to enhance cooperation between the

convention’s international and North American mission boards. IMB personnel

would lend expertise, for example, with a particular people group that lives

both abroad and in the United States,

while increasing communication between the two boards to prevent duplication of


Meador, who served as interim president between Jerry

Rankin’s retirement last year and the recent naming of Tom Elliff as his

successor, said the IMB does not foresee assigning international missionaries

in the United States.

“That is not what this is about, but what we do see is IMB

personnel have certain cultural, and language and other expertise that may not

be available otherwise, then this gives us a clear opportunity working in

agreement and in communication with NAMB,” Meador said.

The proposal stems from a “Great Commission Resurgence” task

force recommendation approved last year to entrust the IMB with “the ministry

of reaching unreached and underserved people groups without regard to any

geographic limitation.”

A separate recommendation by the EC would also change the

ministry assignment of NAMB, consolidating nine ministry assignments into six.

NAMB leaders said some of the program areas were combined to

give narrower focus, while one area, to “effectively use radio and television”

is not needed because it is assumed the agency will use all forms of

communication technology. That ministry assignment was given to NAMB when the

former Radio and TV Commission was eliminated in a denominational restructuring

in the 1990s.

NAMB sold its Family Net television network four years ago

to Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries.