I’ve been to IMB headquarters in Richmond just once, some years ago for a couple of days. I came away with the view that all of the people there were highly committed and very fine servants of SBC churches but also that the organization had a distinct subculture, somewhat mysterious with more than a modicum of inscrutibility. Individual IMB workers have always been congenial and helpful but over the decades I had the impression that the organization was not much for openness and transparency although not so in any deliberate, recalcitrant, or nefarious manner.
It stands to reason that the IMB, with a budget larger than all six seminaries plus NAMB combined, would invite more scrutiny, have more challenges, and field more criticism than any other SBC entity. Fair enough. They work for us. We pay all their bills and should have answers to all reasonable and proper questions.
In that light, peruse the IMB website Frequently Asked Questions pages wherein one may find numbers and such but also quite a few other things of interest.
There are definitions. An IMB missionary is a disciple of Jesus set apart by the Holy Spirit, sent out from the church and affirmed by the IMB to cross geographical, cultural and/or linguistic barriers as part of a missionary team focused on making disciples and multiplying churches among unreached peoples and places.
There’s not a small bit about finances. The LMCO was lower this year than last. What’s that mean? In regard to the 2017 fiscal year budget, we are trending below our LMCO projections. As of April, our expenses also are trending below our budget for the year. Our current projections do not anticipate an overall deficit for the fiscal year. OK, how about projections, contingencies, and overseas property sales? Answers given. How about money that comes to IMB without being labeled “Lottie Moon Offering”? Answer given.
What about personnel? Answers give projections for losses and anticipated new appointments.
What about future strategy and structure? Is IMB moving toward a societal giving platform in allowing churches to send however they want? How can going to “limitless” pathways not undermine cooperative giving? That’s the question posed by IMB itself…and answer given. You can look it up.
What do trustees do? List of eleven trustee roles given.
Does the IMB promote any particular theological positions or persuasions? That’s their question. The answer is a secret…unless you are not too lazy to look it up on the link given.
Divorce…baptism…tongues…education…Southern Baptist identity? David Platt’s new church position? All asked and answered.
It’s expecting too much I think to presume all the questions Southern Baptists might have are answered but at the least one should read the FAQs. Who knows, maybe your question has already been answered.
Show me another SBC entity, institution, state convention, state college who offers this much detail.
And who cares about the Super Bowl?