(1). Chairman John Floyd
Dr. Floyd is doing an outstanding job as Chairman these last two meetings. He has handled the meetings with Christian decorum, saturated them with prayer, and has displayed true leadership.
In addition, I want to publicly thank Dr. Floyd for taking the initiative to visit with me. Without sharing with you our conversations, I can honestly say this man has listened to my concerns, offered wise counsel, and answered my questions. We may not see eye to eye on all matters, but I am quite able to work within a system where I am in the minority, when leadership answers the questions asked of them by duly elected trustees.
There is a fresh wind blowing from the position of the Chair of the IMB.
(2). President Jerry Rankin
You can't help but admire this man.
In our plenary session of the IMB last evening he displayed leadership, cast vision, and acted like what he is, the President of the IMB.
I will not go into the details of the public Presidential report, but let me say I believe his report is one of the most significant at the IMB in several years.
We trustees have functioned at these last couple of meetings as trustees and not like a Board of Directors. We are allowing our administrators to administrate, our missiologists to do missions, and we are doing our dead level best to assist our President as he leads our organization. We trustees are not called to micro-manage the IMB, or God forbid, undermine our President, and there is every indication that a fresh wind is blowing in the area of President and trustee relationships.
(3). Jeff Ginn and the Leadership Development Subcommittee
That's all I can say about their report. Wow --- in a positive sense. The report is thorough, articulate, professional and easy to read.
Many are aware that some outside the IMB organization began to imply two or three years ago that there was inadequate theological and missiological training for our missionaries as they made their way onto the various geographical regions of the world.
This report by the Leadership Development Subcommittee, chaired by Jeff Ginn, blew that theory right out of the water. The committee was formed "in response to concerns raised." It's time for people to put those concerns to bed.
Because this is such an important report, I am posting it in its entirety below. I will be in Fort Worth for the chapel service Thursday and will be unable to answer any questions until Friday. Blessings to all.
Leadership Development Subcommittee
Interim Report to the Overseas Committee
September 12, 2006
In response to concerns raised, the IMB established in February 2004 three subcommittees within the Overseas Committee. The Board charged one of these, the Leadership Development Subcommittee, to review and monitor leadership development issues. This Leadership Development Subcommittee was to do its work in conjunction with appropriate IMB staff. What follows are the description and responsibilities of this Subcomittee:
(1). Subcomittee Description
The Leadership Development Subcommittee of the Overseas Committee works closely with the Associate Vice-President for Leadership and Ministries Development. The Subcommittee meets on an "as needed" basis to review leadership training issues, including (but not limited to) Field Personnel Orientation, Stateside Assignment Conferences, and International Centre for Excellence in Leadership
(2). Subcommittee Responsibilities
a. As representatives of the Overseas Committee and the larger body of trustees, Subcommittee members will become especially knowledgeable about the board's strategies and the leadership training prcesses that support those strategies.
b. Subcommittee members serve as a bridge between the larger body of trustees and these important staff functions. Trustee members should bring to the Subcommittee questions or concerns about leadership training. Likewise, Subcommittee members should assist staff in communicating with the larger trustee body about the board's rationale and approaches to leadership training.
This particular interim report focuses on Field Personnel Orientation at the International Learning Center. Further study may be appropriate for the other elements of ongoing leadership development.
(1). For the past two years the Leadership Development Subcommittee looked at the programs of training offered at the ILC. The conclusion of this study is that the programs are sound theologically. This includes but is not limited to missiology and ecclesiology.
(2). There is adherence to biblical parameters as expressed in the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. IMB staff is cognizant of and compliant with the SBC/IMB positions on such issues as ecclesiology and the role of women in ministry.
(3). There is a healthy cooperative relationship between these training programs and the larger Southern Baptist theological training system.
(a). The IMB participates in an annual consortium with six SBC seminaries and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. This keeps all parties abreast of concerns, trends, needs and developments in the field of missions. The IMB is represented at these meetings by both staff and trustee attendees.
(b). SBC seminary professors cooperate with IMB staff as regular lecturers at the ILC.
(c). SBC seminaries partner with the IMB in their established 2X2 programs and newer programs such as the MATSIL program at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. This program grants master level credit for studies done at ILC as a part of the requirements for said degree.
(4). While the ILC training processes are not exhaustive, they are healthy, growing, and effective.
Word of Commendation
Ron Wilson, Associate Vice-President of the Leadership and Ministries Development Department, and Elbert Smith, Director of Field Personnel at the ILC were both very cordial and cooperative. They were responsive to the inquiries of the Subcommittee and forthcoming with all requests for information. The IMB staff gives every indication of being anxious to respond to Trustee inquiries and input.