CLARIFICATION – I will be going dark again soon, but I received some clarifying information. Evidently, this move – the communications department – is part of a complete restructuring of the stateside operations. I assume it is for cost-cutting and efficiency, but I’m no expert on that. The numbers I’ve been given range from 30 to 40 positions being eliminated.
However, it seems that not everyone is being terminated. Some may be kept on in lateral moves to other departments.
I am writing from Ziguinchor, Senegal. The airport, surprisingly, had Wifi (and air conditioning – hallelujah!) and so I am going to publish before I board and begin the long, two-day trek home. I have received some news from multiple sources, reliable sources, who contacted me, and it seems like this news should go out to the SBC family.
Let me be clear. I have no idea what this news means and I am not going to speculate. I will tell you what I know. None of my sources said a single word as to WHY this happened and I am not going to guess. Some will spin this to the negative, of course – those who put a backspin on every action of Dr. Platt, and others will try to counteract it with some topspin. I will tell you that I simply do not know. I’m not part of the “company” (what missionaries call the IMB) though I’ve spent the last week working with a UUPG in Senegal. I have two items to share with you.
1. An (Tentative) Update on the VRI
First of all, I have been told that the totals of Voluntary Retirement Initiative have reached somewhere around 750, including 700 missionary personnel and 50 from the headquarters. These numbers have not been published and may be corrected. I’ve been asking often about this and no one seems to know, but a reliable source, whose information has always been accurate, has told me that these are the numbers. Since the VRI was supposed to reach between 600 to 800, it seems that it can be seen as successful in its purpose – to reduce personnel to a sustainable number.
2. BREAKING NEWS – The Communications Department of the IMB has been terminated.
The big news, the breaking news, is that David Platt has terminated his communications department – which amounts to about 40 people from what I’ve been told.
I know nothing of the reason for this and I will offer not even a hint of speculation. I only know that this information comes from two sources that are reliable and I believe the information to be accurate. I do not have any idea why this was done and none of my sources gave any reasons.
I am publishing this to provide information, but I will not be able to interact a lot. Still traveling home from my week in Senegal and I’m not going to be sitting by a computer or have access to the internet all the time.
Some of us think highly of Dr. Platt, some of you do not. Some are on the fence Few know the reasons for this. Nothing is accomplished through speculation, by acting as if you know what is going on! When the “real story” comes out, if it does, maybe we can beat it to death then. Until then….
Pray. Then pray some more. Then pray some more.
Having just spent a week among people who have had Christianity for centuries but no hint of the true saving gospel of Jesus Christ, I can only say that we need to pray that Dr. Platt gets the IMB on firm footing financially and in every way so that the work of Christ can go forward. From people who know him well I have been a assured that his agenda is singular – to bring the saving message of Christ to a world that needs nothing else! That is my agenda and I hope it is yours.
I don’t know what’s happening, but today, would you set aside the politics, they soteriological agendas, the convention back and forth, and simply pray for Dr. Platt, the IMB, the people who are still there, those who took the VRI, those who have been terminated – and the lost world that needs the Savior we serve!
And, if you have a spare moment, pray for Bart Barber, Dave Miller, and Matt Widman as we spend a LOT of hours on several different planes over the next two days.