I’m a fan of David Platt and grateful that he is reorganizing the IMB, see Baptist Press article here.
I would like add to this conversation. I believe the IMB would NOT be better off streamlined, unified, and focused in its approach to reaching the world. We all know there isn’t only one way to accomplish this, and the last thing an organization the size of the IMB needs is to cram everyone into one particular method. If the good guys in IMB leadership were always right in their reorganizations, uniformity would be ok, but everyone on the field knows they are too often wrong. The IMB should embrace this fact.
I think the IMB should create groups within the organization that have a variety of approaches, styles, and structures. This would allow it to better reach today’s complex world and create a more dynamic learning organization. New approaches would be more easily beta tested before agency-wide implementation.
The IMB should create three to five organizations within one to better reach today’s world. A suggestion for the sub-organizations accounting for the current deployment of ~4750 missionaries:
- Reaching One Hundred Priority Cities (1500 missionaries)
- Reaching One Hundred Priority Unreached People Groups (UPG’s) (1500 missionaries)
- Relief, Development, and Community Transformation (500 missionaries)
- Ministry Support for North American Christians Working Abroad (500 missionaries)
- Developing One Hundred Priority Church Movements in other countries to become a missionary sending force (500 missionaries)
These organizations will have freedom to develop their own ethos, organizational structure, approved strategies, and styles. New missionaries will be attracted to the best ones and the other sub-organizations will have the choice to improve or decline. I believe the sharpening that would come from intra-organizational learning and healthy competition will strengthen the IMB for years to come.
What do you think?