The Florida Baptist Witness is reporting the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force will not recommend to the SBC a merger of its two missions boards. During the pastors conference at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville on Tuesday, the GCRTF held a Q&A session with pastors, staff, and others in attendance. Task force members were asked if a merger was likely, to which task force chairman Dr. Ronnie Floyd answered, ““But I can tell you, our sights are set on having the North American Mission Board and our sights are set on having an International Mission Board,” he said. “There was great, great, great discussion studying, planning and even to the point of having strategic formation of the possibility of the other. But we just really sensed in our heart that wasn’t right at this time.”
The GCRTF had been given the mission and responsibility to discover ways in which the SBC could more effectively carry out the Great Commission. Among many ideas being considered by the task force, the possible merger of the IMB and NAMB seemed to be the most talked about. Personally, I am relieved to hear they will not be making a merger recommendation. I believe that a merger of our two mission boards would have a negative effect upon our overall missions efforts, both stateside and worldwide. My belief is based upon the following.
1. It is no secret the constant turnover in leadership at the North American Mission Board over the last ten years has greatly decreased its overall effectiveness. There is something within this agency that needs to be addressed, whether in its organization or its strategies. I feel it would be counterproductive to take a somewhat anemic NAMB and merge it with a healthy IMB. The result would be a less than effective missions agency. The SBC should invest in NAMB, to the point it is as healthy as the IMB.
2. Language and culture demand separate mission boards. Within our current two board structure, new language and people groups are being discovered on a regular basis. It required people who are trained in bridging language barriers, navigating hostile cultural environments, and pushing into regions where the gospel witness has not yet been. A missions board exclusively devoted to training missionaries in international languages, cultures, customs, and strategies is vital to the effective advancement of the gospel.
What do you think?