The most effective missionary organization

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by rlvaughn, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    On another thread, a link to Rick Thompson's blog is given. In his comments on the International Mission Board and baptism, Thompson wrote the following:
    IMB & baptism blog

    Is the IMB of the Southern Baptist Convention "the most effective missionary organization with the most effective strategy in the history of Christianity"?

    I do not know every missionary organization in the history of Christianity, nor the stragety of such. Neither am I positive that I would be qualified to judge them. But on first thought, I draw back from this statement like from an unripe persimmon. Surely the early New Testament church under the apostles might be near the top of this category?
     
  2. gb93433

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    I have heard excellent reports from some of my friends who have been with Wycliffe, Sudan Interior Mission and TEAM.
     
  3. MikeinGhana

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    The early church turned the world upside down with their doctrine. No reason to believe we can improve on God's plan. The church is by far and away the most effective organization to reach the world with the gospel. It is the church which has been promised perpetuity, not a mission board.
     
  4. Jimmy C

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    My guess is that Rick Thompson, as a Trustee of the IMB is very biased. The cooperative program has been a VERY sucessful method of sending missionaries around the globe, and is one of the reasons that I became a Southern Baptist. I agree with him to a point, I guess the only better organizations of reaching people for the church was the Roman Empire under Constantine - you join or you die!
     
  5. John of Japan

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    Well said, Mike. I am out on the mission field THROUGH a mission board but SENT OUT by a local church.

    Frankly, I believe the denominational method to be somewhat wasteful. The SBC missionaries when they reach the field have a car and house already provided for them, which is handy, but the SBC houses I've seen are top-notch places, nothing spared. Isn't it better for the missionary himself to choose and choose wisely how his funds are spent?

    By the way, you SBC folk, I've often wondered, what do SBC missionaries do on furlough? Faith missions missionaries visit the supporting churches one by one. I went to language school ages ago with the SBC missionaries and had some good fellowship with them, but when I explained the faith missions method to one, and how we knew personally people in many churches and were prayed for individually by them, he was jealous.

    Personally, I believe the method of being supported by individual churches rather than a central fund to be the Biblical method. Paul and Barnabas were sent out by one church (Acts 13:1-6), supported by it and others (Phil. 4:16, 2 Cor. 11:8), and returned on furlough to report their work to the sending church (Acts 14:26-28).
     
  6. nate

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    I respect your opinions a lot and you've always given me good advice so please do not feel this is in anyway an attack on you or even your position but I must ask this.... my Uncle is a missionary to Ireland he spent 3 1/2 years raising support and traveled all over the southeast,mid-atlantic region. I have a cousin on the other side of the family who is SBC he was called by God to resign his associate pastor position and go to the country of Brazil it took him 6 months and he was down there I just don't understand how the IB way of doing things is better. I believe it's Scriptural to get missionaries on the field as quickly as possible and it seems the SBC method of doing missions is more efficient.
     
  7. PastorSBC1303

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    The churches are still the ones supporting the missionaries...we just do it cooperatively instead of individually.

    Sure it is not the only way to do it, but it has proven to be a very effective way.

    Our churches have missionaries come to speak while they are on furlough as well.
     
  8. bapmom

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    nate,

    this is why both ways of getting onto the mission field exist. Some people see it as more efficient and takes less time to do it the SBC way, but those of us who go on deputation see it as an experience which is part of the learning process.

    Deputation is also a time when the missionary learns to put his complete trust in God for all of his finances, unlike the way anyone who is NOT a missionary usually ever does.

    Suffice it to say, there are many many things the missionary learns on deputation that he would never learn otherwise....OR that he would have to learn on the foreign field, where the lesson itself may be enough to send him home.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    Cooperative missions/church planting was the whole BASIS for Baptists to work together and ultimately form "conventions". The Triennial Convention sent missionaries mostly into the Old Northwest (think 1800's).

    Churches knew they could pool resources and send trained men to the frontier in America and then around the world.

    The problem? The mission boards became a "god" to themselves, not answerable to a local church. Nor the missionary. Liberal missionaries, men with low morals or standards, slackers were on the field, being supported by good fundamental churches.

    Am I exaggerating? Look at how many SBC missionaries COULD NOT sign the most basic evangelical doctrinal statement (Baptist Faith & Message). 10% I recall.

    So I promote a church (or two) supporting a missionary. He is answerable to that church and an extension of it. And when home, he can truly rest as well as serve in the church. No running all over to get $$ or report. All local-church based.
     
  10. Gold Dragon

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    As much as we don't like to admit it, Christianity was spread by the sword at times throughout history. The other major Christian military expansions were the Crusades of the middle ages and the imperialistic empire building competition of England, France, Spain and other European countries.

    Of course, Baptists successionists or Landmarkers will disagree and use that as an example of the corruption of those outside the so-called "trail of blood".
     
  11. John of Japan

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    I respect your opinions a lot and you've always given me good advice so please do not feel this is in anyway an attack on you or even your position but I must ask this.... my Uncle is a missionary to Ireland he spent 3 1/2 years raising support and traveled all over the southeast,mid-atlantic region. I have a cousin on the other side of the family who is SBC he was called by God to resign his associate pastor position and go to the country of Brazil it took him 6 months and he was down there I just don't understand how the IB way of doing things is better. I believe it's Scriptural to get missionaries on the field as quickly as possible and it seems the SBC method of doing missions is more efficient. </font>[/QUOTE]Thanks for the nice compliment, Nate.

    You know what? Deputation was the absolute hardest thing I ever did. I am not a forward person (in person anyway ;) ), and would literally have to pray sometimes for hours before I could get on the phone and talk to pastors for one hour. During those 3 1/2 years I longed so much to be on the field it hurt. We finally had about 80% and I decided to ship our stuff, hit the road to California, visiting churches on the way. If we got to CA without enough support, I was going to quit the mission board and go anyway. The very day I made that decision, God brought in enough support to put us over the 85% mark, which was the board's minimum. We left for Japan from California a few weeks later.

    Before I started deputation, Dr. Monroe Parker (and yes, it was an earned doctorate before anyone asks, with study at Princeton, etc.), the director of our board, told me, "John, deputation will be like seminary to you. You will learn much." I found that to be true. I saw many different methodologies, met many pastors, and learned a great amount about the Lord's work. So though it was incredibly hard for me, I do not regret it one bit.

    Now Japanese language school for two years, that I loved--best 2 years of my life. :D
     
  12. John of Japan

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    Dr. Bob, I'm going to have to disagree with you here. I'd hate to give that much power over my ministry to one or two churches. Whoever controls the purse strings controls the ministry, as you know.

    I know this idea is gaining in popularity in the States, but I don't see it as Scriptural. In Acts 13:3, when the elders sent out Paul and Barnabas, the word used is apoluo, a very strong word used sometimes for "divorce," instead of the usual pempo or apostellw. Therefore, the sending church should not have control over the ministry of the missionary. That said, I do believe in a certain amount of personal accountability to the sending church.
     
  13. MikeinGhana

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    While I think God is a big enough God to allow for differences in methods, ie., IB and SBC missions philosophies, I do think there are advantages of the IB way that are seldom talked about. Do not think I am saying this is the only way or even the best.

    A faith based missioinary spends time going to churches to "deputize" partners in his ministry. Hence the word "deputation." When he does get people that partner with him, according to God's will, they will feverishly (sometimes) support and pray for him. They feel they are a very real and necessary part of the work.

    Another ahdvantage is the time of separation the missionary family goes through. When we are traveling around the country for two ro three years we are gradually severing family ties that can be very difficult for some people. No more family reunions, birthday parties, etc. A family that is close in this way can be devastated the first few Christmas away from home. The deputation process makes this separation gradual.

    Another advantage is that churches learn to pray specifically for people whom they know personally, instead of the generic, "Lord bless all the missionaries everywhere in the world, amen."

    The only SBC church that is involved with our ministry is pastored by my cousin who, btw, disagrees with our method of deputation. His church (and other of my family) loves our family and gives gifts from time to time to help with specific needs they hear about in our prayer letters. They do not support us because we are not approved by the coop program.

    All the other stuff about the houses and cars being provided, well, I say amen that their lives are not made difficult like some of us IB missionaries. It is, however, God who provides for all our needs. I have met some very godly SB missionaries who are living by faith. Hats off to them.

    There are advantges to the way we IB missionaries do it that never get talked about though.
     
  14. Robert J Hutton

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    It depends on what you mean by effective. A group of believers may be very faithful and yet not see many converts, that doesn't mean they are ineffective. We should serve the Lord faithfully by wotnessing and evangelism and leave the results with God.

    Kind regards to all.

    Bob
     
  15. Robert J Hutton

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    My apologies for spelling mistake in last post witnessing not wotnessing!

    Kind regards to all.

    Bob
     
  16. Helen

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    I'm not sure ANY man-run organization is nearly as effective and Christ Himself working through the lives of individual believers, no matter where they are.
     
  17. MikeinGhana

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    Thats OK Robert, you made the language, we in America perfected it! Haha. Cheers!
     
  18. PastorSBC1303

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    I think there are pros and cons to doing missions either way. The important thing is both groups are taking the Gospel to the uttermost ends of the earth.
     
  19. rlvaughn

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    I am enjoying the reasonable discussion of the different missionary methods. I don't exactly agree with either the SBC "board-type" method or the IFB method in which a missionary announces a call to a certain field but instead of going there spends 3 or 4 years in deputation. But that is outside my next point. As I said, when I read the quote it caused me to immediately "pull away from it" as something I would instinctively avoid.

    It quickly brought to mind the following, which has stayed with me for 25 years (though I might not get the quote exactly right). The Rick Thompson statement (see OP) reminded me of something pointed out by one of my teachers. He was pastor of a church in the American Baptist Association. He said, "If I make the statement, 'I think the American Baptist Association is the best association in the world'", it assumes three things.

    1. That I know all of the associations in the world.
    2. That one must be superior to the others.
    3. That I am qualified to judge which is the best.
     
  20. John of Japan

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    Well said, rlvaughn! [​IMG]
     

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