On the Changing President of the IMB

By now, most would have heard that Dr. David Platt has asked the trustees of the International Mission Board (IMB) to begin searching for a new president. (Click here for news story) For many, this news comes as a shock. For some, it may even be a point of frustration and fear. The IMB is, and will remain, the flagship organization of our denomination and any change at the top is certainly a matter for prayer.

In this post, I want to provide a couple thoughts from one who has been involved with IMB for the better part of the past two decades.

1. Now is the time to express appreciation to David Platt for the strides taken during his leadership.

Leading an organization like the IMB is often a thankless task. When a man is willing to step away from a ministry he enjoys embracing a challenge of this magnitude, we should say “Thanks.”

David has been a passionate leader and has turned the hearts of many Southern Baptists to the nations. His sermons, his SBC reports, and his written works have inspired us all to pray more, give more, go more, and even consider how we can invest our lives in God’s mission.

David's sermons, his SBC reports, and his written works have inspired us all to pray more, give more, go more, and even consider how we can invest our lives in God’s mission. Click To Tweet

David has also reminded Southern Baptists that the missionary enterprises must be done through the local church. The IMB does not do missions on behalf of Southern Baptists. The IMB is Southern Baptists on mission.

2. The IMB is in good hands, and we need to pray for the leadership to find our next president quickly and competently.

The SBC has placed each of our agencies under the watch-care of a board of trustees that represent local SBC churches. At this moment, those men and women are on the job. The serve our convention and the IMB by providing oversight, leadership, and searching for the next president. The IMB is not leaderless – we need to pray for them today.

The mission of the IMB is God’s mission. God is still on his throne, and he is still passionately concerned with the salvation of the nations. Because of this, we can also be assured that the Lord is concerned with our International Mission Board. We pray to a missionary God about our mission board; we can trust him to fill the gap.

3. The Mission marches on

The work of the IMB does not take place primarily in Richmond. The primary work of the IMB takes place in the cities, villages, valleys, islands, and among the peoples of the world. Our frontline missionary force is still on point. They are still engaging lostness, rolling back darkness, sharing the gospel, and seeing God do great miracles.

The IMB does not do missions on behalf of Southern Baptists. The IMB is Southern Baptists on mission. Click To Tweet

From Southeastern:

  • Our students are still training to serve overseas among those who limited access to the gospel.
  • Today, our graduates are talking with IMB consultants, selling their goods, and planning to leave the US in the next few months.
  • Our Alumni serve around the world. They are still laboring for the glory of King Jesus.

Because of this, we pray for the success and protection of our missionaries. We ask God to keep them focused on their callings. We pray that our missionary God will accomplish his mission through our SBC mission force for his glory.

Scott Hildreth Administrator
Scott Hildreth is the director of the Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies. He frequently speaks on issues of missions, spiritual formation, missiology, and theology. Scott also produces content on his own blog at www.dshildreth.com.
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