Are there "dangers" with mission boards?

I'm wondering if any one else is becoming "unsettled" about the way some Baptist mission boards work with church property deeds of ministries "over-seas"? If a mission agency holds the "deed" of a church and then threaten's the leader or congregation with the loss of the building if they don't follow the will of the mission agency (vis-a-vis the will of the congregation), doesn't that seem more like Presbyterianism approach to polity than a Baptist one?

Help me understand why the "indigenous principle" would not be honored on the field by people who say it is a universal Baptist disctinctive?

Straight Ahead!

jt

2383 reads
Rob Fall's picture

If the ministry was fully and properly 'localized", then the board should not have their fingers in the pie. The situation may have come about because the property was in the board's name when a missionary ran the show.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Joel Tetreau's picture

Rob,

I can certainly understand that from time to time a MB might need to help a local assembly in a "special situation." I think what you are saying is that as a general rule a church oversees, even if planted by an American Missionary helped by a mission board, should carry it's own deed - not the missionary or even the mission board. That is what you are saying?

Shalom!

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Mike Harding's picture

Joel,

I think you have a point here. Therefore, I am meeting with the board today and we will vote to allow you to keep your church! Good News!!!!!

Pastor Mike Harding

ssutter's picture

"Help me understand why the "indigenous principle" would not be honored on the field by people who say it is a universal Baptist disctinctive?"

Part of it is stewardship. I think there's cases where the majority is wrong. If i bought a building overseas - gave it to a church as a church, then over time the church decided to do something crazy, I'd use whatever leverage I could do bring it back to the gospel. - But, just my 2c, i don't know the context at all of the conversation.

_______________
www.SutterSaga.com

Rob Fall's picture

I'm saying I understand how a deed could be in a Board's name when the work is not fully indigenous. This is because from what I understand are the various local property laws and customs. You don't want a property in the missionary's name as he may or may not continue on the field. Also, in some countries, having an individual foreigner hold property leads to complications. However, once the work is handed off to the locals, the name on the deed needs to be changed. It's not so much a special situation. It's where a work can have a building of its own before the local leadership is developed to the point of being able to take it over.

Joel Tetreau wrote:
Rob,

I can certainly understand that from time to time a MB might need to help a local assembly in a "special situation." I think what you are saying is that as a general rule a church oversees, even if planted by an American Missionary helped by a mission board, should carry it's own deed - not the missionary or even the mission board. That is what you are saying?

Shalom!

jt

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Rob Fall's picture

It could also be a vestige of the old missionary compound mode of operation both in board policies and in local laws overseas.

Rob Fall wrote:
I'm saying I understand how a deed could be in a Board's name when the work is not fully indigenous. This is because from what I understand are the various local property laws and customs. You don't want a property in the missionary's name as he may or may not continue on the field. Also, in some countries, having an individual foreigner hold property leads to complications. However, once the work is handed off to the locals, the name on the deed needs to be changed. It's not so much a special situation. It's where a work can have a building of its own before the local leadership is developed to the point of being able to take it over

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Joel Tetreau's picture

Mike,

That's wonderful. Thankfully our congregation holds the deed on our property, not the brethreim of Troy! What a thrill!

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

tlange's picture

The agency that I used to be affiliated with, did not hold deed to any property. Better situation for agency and missionary.

Jim's picture

Some do .... eg. : Baptists for Haiti: http://www.bhm.org . If you go to Guidestar.org you can view their 990 reports. Additionally on their website they have a link with an overview of their finances and an opportunity to request more detailed information.

Others do not provide 990's nor any publicly available financial reporting:

Like:

http://www.abwe.org
http://www.bmm.org

Why is that?

Guidestar link ... free signup for basic reporting. Check before you give: http://www2.guidestar.org/

Jim's picture

Why are fundamental organizations reluctant / negligent to provide thorough financial reporting in accordance with [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generally_Accepted_Accounting_Principles ]Generally Accepted Accounting Principles[/URL ]?

http://www.ecfa.org

See "best practices" here: http://www.ecfa.org/Content/ECFABestPractices.aspx

Here's other fundamentalist agencies doing it right:

[URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generally_Accepted_Accounting_Principles ]Generally Accepted Accounting Principles[/URL ] would include and income and expense statement and a balance sheet showing fund balances.

I am very suspicious of organizations that request and accept money while not providing these basic statements !