"I, and many of my colleagues, follow your blog. Thanks for the work you put into it. It is very much appreciated.I know precisely to what this missionary is referring. When an organization becomes heavy on the top end, with no allowance for communication, criticism and suggestions from the front lines, then the organization must create a climate where leadership cannot be questioned.
I was reading some stuff of Mormonism and I stumbled a quote from a blog called Mormon Truth, a blog written by an obviously disenchanted ex-mormon. Anyway, on the May 25, 2009 posting there is this quote:
"Oh yeah, I forgot...Mormons aren't allowed to ever criticize their hierarchy either because 'its wrong to ever criticize the leaders of the church, even if the criticism is true'"
As a missionary I and a few others have been increasingly frustrated with this type of atmosphere so rampant in the SBC and especially in the IMB. Criticism, even if true, is not allowed. The IMB President's closing letters to the missionaries (he is up to 21) just reinforce this. All blame is placed at the feet of complaining missionaries with little, actually no, thought given to the idea that the "complaints" of the missionaries might be true. I was only sharing this because I was really struck with how similar the tact of the LDS is so similar to the predominate leadership in the SBC and IMB.
Ok, that's enough of that. Again, thank you for fighting for truth. Know that there are many missionaries on the field who are thankful that you are bringing things to light that should not be hidden.
This is one of tactics used in mega-churches, large religious organizations and conventions. It's also one of the reasons that Southern Baptists should seriously look at the long term effects of the GCR report. The further removed you get from the field of actual ministry, and the more you depend upon national headquarters to make decisions about what should be done in local municipalities and states (instead of the local missionaries on the field), then the more you are throwing money at a problem with no real solutions.
Just ask New York City Southern Baptist pastors about their experience with the North American Mission Board and their top down approach to doing ministry there. The criticism voiced was dismissed as irrelevant and all that is left to show for the NAMB ministry are rooms stacked full of high dollar office equipment in a building at 72nd and Broadway and an association of local pastors who have fought having to file bankruptcy because national headquarters refused to listen to their pleas that NAMB's efforts were duplicating their own. NAMB's now gone, and the New York Baptist Association is left to pick up the pieces. They will make it, but what would have happened had national headquarters been open to suggestions and criticisms before they made their move to strategic city ministries?
It's time we Southern Baptists listened to criticism. It will help us in the long run.
In His Grace,