OK, David Platt, one in five SBC overseas personnel have either retired or resigned and we have moved from about 4,800 such to around 3,800. Now that’s a reset, recalibration, retrenchment of the first degree.
NASHVILLE (BP) — The International Mission Board announced today (Feb. 24) that 983 missionaries and 149 stateside staff have transitioned outside the mission entity during the past six months as a result of its voluntary retirement and resignation programs.
The number of missionaries on the field is now around 3,800, according to IMB figures. The last time the number of missionaries was below 4,000, according to SBC Annual reports, was in 1993 at 3,954.
No one celebrates this as good news but, as Platt said, “IMB is now in a much healthier financial position.” Indeed.
One wrinkle in this is that those who took the HRO have a chance to rescind their decision. I suspect some may as a result of the greater than expected numbers.
Here are a few things to think about:
- We have a missionary force that we can (a) support without selling real estate and dipping into reserves, and (b) support adequately without dangerously cutting corners. Good.
- We can appoint more people with greater confidence that they will be funded.
- IMB has far greater flexibility to move forward than they had while hamstrung with massive deficit budgeting.
No SBC leader has made decisions that have had greater impact than David Platt. The amount of budget reduction is the equivalent of one of the larger seminaries annual budget. The people affected total more than the total number of employees of several of the legacy state conventions combined.
The organization and all the people are in my prayers.