RICHMOND (TAB, IMB) — The recent move among International Mission Board (IMB) officials to allow missionaries and support staff to cut themselves from employment — both through retirement and resignation incentive plans — has resulted in 20 percent of the current missions force leaving the field.
IMB President David Platt announced during this morning’s trustee meeting that 983 missionaries of the 4,800 on the field and 149 of the 450 stateside staff have transitioned out of the IMB during the past six months. He reported 702 missionaries and 109 stateside staff took the voluntary retirement incentive, and 281 missionaries and 40 stateside staff took the hand raising opportunity. The number who have taken the hand raising opportunity could decrease, however, because missionaries can rescind their decisions through April.
Another 30 staff members lost their jobs in January when the stateside communications department was eliminated.
“The stage is now set financially, organizationally and spiritually for IMB to work with Southern Baptist churches to create exponentially more opportunities for disciple making and church planting among unreached peoples around the world,” Platt said. “IMB is committed to a future marked by faithful stewardship, operational excellence, wise evaluation, ongoing innovation and joyful devotion to making disciples and multiplying churches among the unreached.”