Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The IMB Meeting, Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Today was a really eye opening day for me in Springfield, Illinois at the International Mission Board Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Missionaries

It was my privilege this morning to meet with several missionaries who are being appointed Wednesday night. Among those with whom I visited were several from Oklahoma including Miss Teri Blanton. Teri is the current Director of Adoption and Foster Care for the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children. She is being appointed to overseas to the Central Asia region and will be working with a growing number of IMB personnel in that region. Teri is a delightful lady who epitomizes the quality kind of Christian people the International Mission Board appoints. I would like to encourage my fellow Oklahomans to ask the Lord to raise up a replacement for Teri in her position at the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children. Teri needs to train her replacement before she heads to the mission field. Teri will be a wonderful missionary for the IMB.

I also had the privilege of eating lunch with fellow Oklahomans Jason and Rachelle H______ who are being appointed to a Security Three Zone in Central and Eastern Europe. Jason and Rachelle are really great, godly people who make me not only proud to be a Southern Baptist, I told Rick Thompson and Ben Cole that my conversations with them make me only wish to increase my Lottie Moon and Cooperative Program giving. Emmanuel Baptist Church has eight IMB missionary units (people) that are members of our church, but through Lottie Moon and the CP we support well over 5,000 missionaries in every region of the world.

In the lobby I had the special privilege of visiting with many other missionaries, including several IMB administrators and regional leaders. I can say without equivocation that every time I am around our missionary personnel at the IMB, I realize just exactly why I am a Southern Baptist by choice – it is the ability to partner with some of the classiest Christian people I have ever met as we seek to proclaim the gospel of Christ around the world.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

In the past year I have visited the Truman Presidential Library, the Clinton Presidential Library, the Carter Presidential Library and today, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library. As you can tell, I love history.

Hands down, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is the finest of its kind in the United States. I was moved to tears in the different exhibits that portrayed Abraham’s Lincoln leadership during a very difficult time in the history of our United States. The music, exhibits, and audio/visuals were second to none. What gripped me the most was reading the speeches of Lincoln, who was vilified during his entire tenure as President, but revered after his death. His words were always profound, usually succinct, and epitomized a leader’s firm resolve and gracious conviction in the midst of very difficult opposition.

This Christmas the sequel to the movie National Treasure, starring Nicolas Cage, will be about the assassination of President Lincoln, and several of the scenes in the upcoming movie were filmed a year ago in and around Springfield, Illinois, the hometown of President Lincoln. Even though I love Hollywood movies, and even though Nicolas Cage’s movies are some of my favorites, and even though National Treasure is one of my favorite adventure movies and I know I will love the sequel, my experience today at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library far surpasses anything Hollywood could ever represent on the big screen. If you are anywhere near Springfield, Illinois, run – don’t walk – to tour this true national treasure.

The Plenary Session of the International Mission Board

The trustees of the International Mission Board convened for our regularly scheduled public session on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. in the Ball Room of the Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center.

After prayer and worship Dr. Jerry Rankin gave us his report. Once again, Dr. Rankin did a phenomenal job articulated the reasoning behind the Church Planting Movements (CPM’s) of the International Mission Board. He very clearly explained why planting indigenous churches that replicated themselves very quickly was the best method to taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to a world in need of the good news. Dr. Rankin’s passion, vision and leadership continue to set the pace for all of us Southern Baptists who are interested in cooperative missions.

After Dr. Rankin’s report the Budget Committee presented the 2008 International Mission Board budget. For the first time the IMB budget crosses the $300 million dollar mark at $304,800,000.00. Of this amount only 34.78% comes from Cooperative Program gifts and 54.13% from the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the rest from investment income (6%) and various miscellaneous income streams (5%). To reach the goal of 8,000 SBC missionaries on the field Southern Baptists are going to have to give more through Lottie Moon and the Cooperative Program. I pledge to do my part in reaching this goal.

The Board was then called into Executive Session where it was announced three matters would be addressed. I cannot comment on what occurred in the closed door session but intend to post thoughts about the actions of the Board later today when the actions are reported during the Plenary Session (8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon) today.

Closing Thoughts

I leave you with the words of former President Abraham Lincoln and will post again at 12:30 p.m. central time today.

The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.


RKSOKC66 said...

I didn't realize that over 50% of the IMB budget comes from the Lottie Moon Christmas offering.

That is one important offering!

Anonymous said...

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is the single largest offering raised each year by churches across America. WMU leaders, missions committees, and pastors work in unision to promote the offering, to tell the missions story, and to encourage believers to give. The support to the field is incredible!

National WMU works with state WMU offices to publish and distribute Week of Prayer Prayer Guides, Week of Prayer posters, and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering envelopes. Well over 4 million prayer guides are created each year, telling the importance of the work at hand.

Don't forget to participate in your church's Week of Prayer for International Mission, coming December 2-9, 2007, and then give the largest offering ever to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering during December! As we do, God's name will be glorified and the missions story will be expanded.


WTJeff said...


That Lincoln quote sounds rather ominous. If it implies what I think it does, you'll comment count will exceed 200 before the end of the day. I'll pray for wise heads, calm demeanor, and most of all that I'm wrong!

OC Hands said...

Thank you so much for your reporting on as much of the IMB trustees meeting as is possible. When we were on the field, we would have welcomed visits from trustees like yourself.
Someone who commented on the greatest need was for prayer was right on. Nothing really gets done on the mission field without the prayers of missionaries and those who support them. The saddest and most discouraging words that we read were written in defense of requiring the missionaries to sign the 2000 BF@M (even after we were assured that we would not have to do so)were these "Mom and Pop Baptist were sitting around one day and wondered 'Do our missionaries believe the same thing we do?'"
What that told me was that if that was what they were doing, then they were not praying for us. It also told me that the concern over what missionaries believe came from someplace else, because the laymen that we have met have the greatest respect and appreciation for missionaries.
So, thank you again for your unwavering support for the IMB missionaries and personnel. They are some of the most godly people we have ever met. But they still need your prayer support.

Chad Kaminski said...


Was the Lottie Moon Offering originally collected for the budget, or was it originally supplemental to the budget?

Todd said...

I graduated from high school and college with Teri. We attended the same church in those days. We have a great missionary in Teri.

Anonymous said...

OC Hands, thank you for those words of wisdom. I hope everyone will read them often.

Wade, we look forward to reading your report later on. Just don't go to any plays today, please.

We appreciate all you do.


Paul Burleson said...


Mom and I simply say to have and you will stand strong. For that we are grateful beyond measure.


Anonymous said...

The tone of your last two posts, as optimistic as they were about current and new IMB missionaries. . .and the current President of the IMB, give this Okie pause (though I fervently pray that I am wrong) for what may be the continuation of the persecution that has been heaped on you and others who do not chant the mantra of IMB (mind you, not SBC) definitions relative to secondary and non-essential elements of Christian doctrine.

The recent rant of Dr. Jerry Corbaley, which graphically demonstrated his meanspirited knack for verbal volume sans any logical or evidentiary substance in the blatant personal attacks he perpetrated on you, may have set the stage for subsequent attacks from other like-minded Trustees of the IMB. This is a distinct possibility, judging from the quotations you cited in your last two posts.

It is no mystery that other members of the IMB Board would be more than pleased to rid your presence from their midst. Let's face it Wade, you are not a "company bobble-head" and, sadly, it appears that that characteristic is a preeminent "qualifier" in an organization obsessed with micro-controlling all of its Trustees.

Nevertheless, this Okie prays that the Lord will grant you continued strength, grace, love, and endurance to represent the many who have been made aware of the machinations of the theologues who are bent on excluding anyone who does not dance (or, more likely, would grudgingly admit to participating in rhythmical aerobic exercises ;^) to the tune of their version of "catechetical dogmas".

That said, this Okie sincerely prays that he is wrong in his speculations about what went on behind closed doors at the IMB Executive Meeting and Closed Forum in Springfield, Ill.

In His Grace and Peace,

T. D. Webb

Anonymous said...


It wasn't until later in our tenure with the Board that the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering became part of the budget. It had always been reserved for the capital needs of missionaries. The capital needs for missionary living are usually always met. It's the capital needs for their ministry that are not always met. We were asked to begin to put together a "Wish List" of sorts that our regional staff would share with people who asked. We were not allowed to share that list with other Southern Baptists unless they asked us what our needs were. We could, however, share the list with non-Southern Baptists. Only problem there was that most of us were not very well tied to non-Southern Baptist churches. Needless to say, it made life pretty interesting. The last year we were on the field, our ministry budget was reduced to one line item: Evangelism--with only $500 in it. We had to be VERY creative in our approach. I'm not exactly certain how this is being handled today. But that was only a few years ago, so my guess is that it probably hasn't changed much. Wade could probably clarify this.

greg.w.h said...

Your report is welcome and confirms the intention of those who contribute through their churches to the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Offering.

I continue my appeal for diligent prayer at this very moment that you read this for the IMB. God is listening and he is prepared to act. Will you approach his throne--striking the ground repeatedly with your bundle of arrows--to seek his participation in the concluding meetings in Illinois?

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

Wade you said; Teri Blanton who was being appointed to Central Asia and a replacement was needed.

Wade, this one is for you; wake up there a critical shortage of people committed to do God work, right hear in the good old USA. Our seminary has lots of student, how many are committed to do service for the Lord?

How about a “commitment for service to the Lord Sunday?”
Let say (using Luke 10) it could be the first Sunday in January 2008?

“The Old Gray Fox.”

David Simpson said...

My wife and I had a similar experience at Lincoln's museum. His speech about his commitment to abolishing slavery is literally breathtaking.
Your post inspires me to push the Lottie Moon Offering even greater at our church this fall...