Thursday, March 16, 2006

Blogging and the IMB Meeting in Tampa Bay

Next Monday through Wednesday, March 20-23, 2006, the International Mission Board of Trustees will be holding a trustee meeting in Tampa Bay, Florida. I will be posting the schedule for the trustee meeting tomorrow. The culmination of the three day meeting will be a wonderful appointment service for a very large group of missionary candidates on Wednesday night, March 23rd. I hope that anyone within traveling distance of Tampa Bay will make it a point to be present at the service. It will be extraordinarily moving and all in attendance will leave the appointment service having been reminded again of the common bond that unites a very diverse group of churches that form the Southern Baptist Convention --- global missions.

For those of you that read this blog and cannot attend the meeting in Tampa Bay, I would like to know what it is you are interested in me blogging about. Please remember that I will not be able to report on any events within Monday night's forum or any Executive Sessions of the Board, if there are any. Hopefully, all business will take place within plenary sessions unless there are concerns about missionary safety. It is my desire to inform everyone who has an interest in SBC missions what is taking place.

It goes without saying that I can only give you my "interpretations" of events, as the manual for trustees states, and will not be speaking offically for anyone, or any organization, including the IMB. I speak only for myself. It also goes without saying that I will be positive about all events that occur, since I believe God works everything out for an ultimate good. Finally, if you have read my blog from the last IMB meeting, I gave some personal anecdotes, but am not sure that is of any interest to you, so I am now asking.

What is it that you would like to know?

I will post the meeting schedule tomorrow night.

In His Grace,



Bob Cleveland said...

When I read of the life of Jesus, He doesn't seem to have done anything from pure personal preference. On the other hand, he was unbendable on matters of principle.

What interests me is the actions the organization takes and the decisions it makes.

Beyond that, your observations on the principles involved is important, too. I enjoy hearing of things which evidence a stand on those principles.

Let's hear some good news, too. One of the things the "turmoil" brings out in me is more attention paid to the positive accomplishments, too. I suppose I've been guilty of not paying attention to things that go well, in favor of joining the "feeding frenzy".

So, make a list already. I'm sure there will be plenty of Good Things. said...


Good suggestions.


I will not be resigning.


Information related to terminated employees will remain confidential by law. However, you can rest assured that I will be asking pertinent questions regarding the proposed termination of any employee of the IMB.

Kevin Bussey said...


Bob has a great point. I would like to hear about the great things God is doing on the field. I will be praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Wade,

I read your blog after becoming aware of the debate in IMB circles. I share the concerns of those who don't want to grow the list of essential doctrines beyond what it should be. I am an MDIV student at SEBTS. Your blog keeps me posted on happenings with the IMB trustees and the IMB in general.

I also want to express my respect for men like you who stand up for keeping non-essential issues non-essential; even if your position is the same as most everyone else (such as a prayer language). Thank you.

James Alexander

Anonymous said...

Hi Wade,

I'm hoping someone who is present at the BOT meeting will post what I suspect you cannot - a sense of the attitude and spirit of the individual members of the BOT: Has this been a learning experience that has resulted in humility and openness to other points of view? Is the BOT ready to substantiate their accusations against you or apologize to you publicly? Is the BOT ready to change the policies? OR Are those who led the efforts to change the policies digging in to continue to defend what they have done? Are those in leadership counting the troops on their "side" and preparing for battle?

I suspect that whatever happens in Tampa will likely foreshadow what is likely to happen in Greensboro.

Christie said...

My husband and I will be attending the meeting in Tampa and are excited about seeing all of the events first hand.

Anonymous said...


Confidentiality in terminations is not the issue. The policy says "the board always retains the right to terminate any field personnel (career, associate, apprentice, Journeyman, and International Service Corps) FOR ANY REASON SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD WITHOUT DISCLOSING TO THE PERSON THE REASON FOR THE TERMINATION." (emphasis mine)

That's a pretty non-Biblical way to deal with sin or conflict!

It also sounds very similar to what you have experienced in recent months.

Anonymous said...

Are Tuesday night and Wednesday morning the only trustee meetings open to the public?

Patrick Barrett

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Wade,

I wish you could journal every single word said in your hearing during the whole meeting. I was never interested before, but now I'm ravenous for information on how the BOT operates. If you use basically the same approach you used in January, that would suit me just fine. Our church prayed for the IMB BOT in prayer meeting, probably for the VERY FIRST TIME last Wednesday. I'll be praying for you during the whole meeting.

Love in Christ,


Anonymous said...


When you assume the duties of leadership that also involves not hindering debate with the leadership corp. Blogging about Jesus and mission efforts is valid BUT not private debates that can, as you have seen, hurt the cause and hinder the mission effort.

What ever policy you assume for your position in the IMB you MUST apply to your Church organization which means your leadership has the right to make public any conversation that you might hold in a leadership debate. What is good for the goose is good for the gander!!

Beware of assuming God's position and attempt to manipulate those who do not agree with you by threat of public disclosure. That is another activity that is a two way street.

Our mission program in the IMB is critical to this denomination if it is to remain viable.

God Bless and have a good day.

Gary Snowden said...


How about a snippet or two from some of the testimonies shared by those being appointed? I know that not all can be identified due to the nature of their assignments, but the way God has moved in their lives to bring them to the point of responding to His invitation to serve as missionaries is always edifying and encouraging.

Dori said...

Full play by play with color commentary!

9:30 a.m. - Breakfast at the Hotel ... cereal was stale
9:40 a.m. - stepped in mud puddle on sidewalk ... that was my only clean pair of socks.
10:00 a.m. - show up at plenary session in dirty socks
10:02 a.m. - First motion of the meeting is to censure me for airing dirty laundry in public.
10:04 a.m. - Motion carries and I am sent back to the hotel to find a clean pair of socks

And so forth ...

art rogers said...


We are praying for all of you. I specifically will be praying for your particular situation. I will not go long on this here, but will be blogging about your situation this weekend and next week. Since you ae asking a different question, though...

I would like to hear about what God is doing on the field. India in particular interests me. I jsut posted about India and our mission work there.

Anonymous said...

I have discussed this post with a friend who does not have internet access with whom I have been sharing info from this blog. We have agreed that we would like to be informed of any board action relating to your presence on the board and any items that the board plans to present to the convention. We expect there to be appropriate publicity about the newly appointed missionaries.

We suppose there is prayer at the sessions. Not only do we suggest prayer for the missionaries, but also that those in this country who say and do things that would endanger them would realize the importance of choosing their words and actions carefully. We also suggest that there be special prayer at the beginning of the first meeting that all words and actions be to the glory of God and the ongoing of His purpose.


Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher said...

Jesus says the key to having more workers is to pray. Talk is great but prayer is essential!

I'd like to know ways to pray for our missionaries -- overall trends and convictions that you feel are important for those of us who feel called to blog and pray for missionaries.

I believe blogging gives us a way to pray in focused, laserlike efforts for missionaries as they work.

Thank you for being faithful and for helping the focus return to the missions work that is central to all we as SBC do!