For security reasons, this post must remain anonymous.
As someone currently serving on the field, I am disappointed to see Platt go. However, I don’t want to see a pendulum swing in response. Platt led us well, and his strategy forced us to reevaluate many of our on the field practices that were in need of some sound criticism. I think the list mentioned above is great, but there are a few things that I would like noted.
First, someone that can encourage the Church to creatively think through missiology is needed. The “Limitless” campaign has opened many people’s eyes to the reality that every professional can leverage their career for missions, they don’t have to leave their career for missions. Platt was always fully supportive of the career IMB missionary, but he was right to voice that the job is much larger than even the largest sending agency in the world can manage alone.
Second, Platt pushed IMB to foster supportive relationships with national churches around the globe. Under his leadership, we were empowered to engage, train, and support nationals churches and allow them to take the lead. This may seem like common sense, but it was not always practiced on the field and in some instances, it was discouraged.
Third, Platt pushed our workers to question methodology and make sure it was sound according to the BF&M. The IMB as an organization has maintained sound doctrine for the 8 years of combined service I have with them; however, field practices do not always match organizational standards. The majority of workers I serve with have amazing methodology, but there is a temptation to allow practices to be results driven rather than doctrine driven and more than a few missionaries have wandered down that path. Platt pushed training to go all the way down to the field level to ensure that all methodology fell within BF&M standards. It would be great to have a president that had many years of field experience, but Platt’s fresh eyes were a God sent for IMB. It took him 4 years to really define his plan for IMB, and I am slightly disappointed that he is not going to stay for 4 years to actually see it implemented.
I would be foolish to think that the next president will be completely like-minded with Platt, but I would like to see someone who would build on the work Platt has done rather than set a new agenda for IMB.