Why Independent Baptist Missions Is Failing

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CPHurst's picture

It is about time someone begin to discuss this publicly. I remember having this discussion in seminary and wondering why in the world we still do deputation the same way in a totally different context.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Some problems in his analysis.
For example, he says missionaries have to make too many calls to get a meeting scheduled, but later says...

Quote:
(1) Pastors, only bring missionaries to your church if you have the ability and intent to take them on for monthly support. It is foolish to ask missionaries to drive all over the country to attend the beauty contest that we call a mission conference.

(The overall tone of the piece is pretty cynical, too.)

But you can't have it both ways: either we more readily schedule meetings OR we use a more strict standard for allowing meetings. Can't do both. (And how can you have "intent" to support until you've had a meeting?)
A better approach: tell missionaries up front if you're church is is not in a position to support. It's their choice then whether they want to build a relationship with your people despite that. I've done this several times (though not consistently) and found that only about 1 in 9 prefer not to come if they know we're unlikely to take on new missionaries in the next two yrs or more.

But the truth is that our congregation needs exposure to these missionary families--sometimes even more than they need the contact with us. So we can't turn down everybody on the grounds that we're not able to take them on (one reason we can't take on new ones is because we don't mess with $50/mo. stuff)

He also says the average is one supporting church for 4 meetings. That's actually pretty good, IMO. I think most are not doing that well.

Strongest point: if indeed churches are taking missionaries on at $50/mo., there's your key problem. If support levels are significantly higher (as in at least quadruple that amount), you can easily afford 1 supporting church out of 10 meetings and still get to the field faster--because you don't need so many supporting churches.

Bob Nutzhorn's picture

I do wonder if the problem is more about the amount of missionary dollars that are being spent to men that began as missionaries and are now pastors of a foreign church. In our church, we have stopped our financial support of two such families because it does not line up with our philosophy of missions. If pastors and churches would keep the missionary accountable to be a church planting missionary and not a foreign pastor, we just might have more missionary dollars to support new missionaries.
In my experience, I have seen the length of deputation dependent upon two things: the active support and help of the sending church and the attitude of the missionary. We are excited to partner with a young couple who just started deputation in December of 2011, and they are already at 69% of their support. It is likely their deputation will only last one year. I have never witnessed a home church help a missionary get to the field like this church has. I am not speaking of financial support, but help in getting meetings, recommendations, training, etc.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

It's also a bit apples and oranges if you compare the support cost of sending a missionary to Europe vs. sending one to several South American or African regions.
So in real dollars 69% for one might be 10% for another.

Bob Nutzhorn's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
It's also a bit apples and oranges if you compare the support cost of sending a missionary to Europe vs. sending one to several South American or African regions. So in real dollars 69% for one might be 10% for another.

Aaron,

My example is a missionary heading to Europe - Spain to be exact. It is not a case of comparing apples to oranges. It seems to me that the biggest differences between these missionaries I speak of and others that I have talked to really is the sending church's involvement, oversight and accountability. It does make a difference - a big difference!