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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

SBC Follows CBF's Lead On Mission Field

From Vicki Brown of the Associated Baptist Press (September 2008):

ATLANTA (ABP) -- The Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board will reorganize over the next year to focus more on local churches’ involvement in missions and provide flexibility to reach people groups across geographical lines.

At their Sept. 8-10 meeting in Atlanta, IMB trustees approved a reorganization of the missionary-sending agency and revised its vision, mission and core-values statements. The process will take about a year to fine tune and complete, according to an IMB news release....

But changes in the agency’s mission statement and core values also emphasize the local church’s role in reaching the world with the message of Christ.

“[T]he revised mission statement…reflects that the Great Commission is the responsibility of the local church and refocuses the efforts of the agency on assisting churches to fulfill that responsibility,” according to the IMB release.

The values statement, the release continued, shifts “the role of the agency from a primary focus on sending missionaries to one that serves the churches in their involvement in the Great Commission and the sending of missionaries.”

And from Patricia Heys via the Biblical Recorder (June 2007):
ATLANTA - Following a year of conversation with congregations, mission leaders and field personnel, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) will unveil a new vision and restructuring of CBF Global Missions at this year's General Assembly June 28-29 in Washington, D.C. The changes reflect a conviction on the part of CBF congregations and missions leadership that the 21st century will be the century of local congregations in global mission.

"The engagement of local congregations in global missions is one of the great seismic shifts among evangelicals in the last decade," said CBF Global Missions coordinator Rob Nash. "We want to do all that we can possibly do as a mission entity to facilitate that engagement and to work alongside congregations in being the presence of Christ in the world."
In light of the fact that some SBC leaders have recently questioned whether the CBF is truly Christian, it's quite interesting to see the International Mission Board of the SBC follow the CBF's lead in restructuring how they do Global Missions by putting the emphasis on the local congregation. The CBF must get at least a thing or two right for the SBC to follow the CBF's lead and copy part of CBF's vision.

As the old saying goes....

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

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Anonymous Lee said...

They may be doing similar things, but I seriously doubt the SBC is "following" CBF's lead in this particular initiative. Emphasis on local church involvement in missions, even without the reorganization in the IMB, has been a high priority for them for quite some time.

9:42 PM

Blogger TheoPoet said...

Hmm...interesting...it was the mission field that increased the modernist/fundamentalist conflict----so perhaps the shift to missional living is a new way of increasing the SBC/CBF conflict.

12:27 PM

Blogger shadrach said...

Wow, that is ridiculously arrogant. As a worker with the IMB (the international missions side of the SBC) I can tell you that this change has been in the works for a while. For a long time we have been looking at how to make this more about the local church and less about individual missionaries.

Following the CBF?! Ridiculously arrogant!

4:04 PM

Blogger Ministry Happens in Ukraine said...

It's another example of a big ship turning really, really slowly! If the IMB doesn't do something to increase the connection between the local church and missionaries I think we'll see more and more SB Churches opting to send and fund their own missionaries. I don't think people want to give to an "entity"; they want to give to someone they know is doing Kingdom work.

8:27 PM


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