RICHMOND, Va. (IMB) — International Mission Board announced a plan Aug. 27 to address IMB’s revenue shortfalls and complete a reset of the organization in order to move forward into the future with innovative vision, wise stewardship and high accountability.
The plan involves trimming stateside staff and overseas missionaries by 600–800 through voluntary retirement.
The plan was presented by senior IMB leadership, including President David Platt, during a town hall meeting including missionaries and staff, who collectively attended either in person or through digital communication. IMB trustees were informed of the plan during their Aug. 25-26 board meeting in downtown Richmond, Virginia.
Platt said the urgency of the plan is based in the reality that while Southern Baptist giving through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering has increased in recent years, the IMB projects it will fall $21 million short of its current annual budget, marking several consecutive years of budget shortfalls for the 170-year-old organization. Over the past six years, the organization’s expenditures have totaled $210 million more than has been given to it each year.
To address revenue shortfalls over these years, IMB enacted a plan to slowly reduce the number of missionaries through normal attrition and limited appointments, while using IMB’s reserves — including global property sales — to keep as many missionaries on the field as possible.
“We praise God for the reserves and property sales that made this possible and for leadership which chose to spend these resources for the spread of the gospel,” Platt said. “But we cannot continue to overspend. For the sake of short-term financial responsibility and long-term organizational stability we must act.”
For the full story, read the Sept. 3 issue of The Alabama Baptist.