Monday, January 31, 2011

IMB Search Committee: Take your time but get it right.

What’s up with the International Mission Board trustees and their search committee for the new leader?

Not much that I can see. Periodically, the committee tells we SBC commoners that they’re still looking but when they get the job done they will “have full confidence that we’re presenting God’s man.” The search committee chairman said that back in September.

I grant that the committee is genuinely interested in finding and doing the will of God in this matter; however, the ‘God’s Man’ talk is sorely overused and virtually meaningless. Would any search committee present a candidate for any position and say that he is not ‘God’s man’? Uh, no.

Nonetheless, this is one job, one position that we need to get right. God forbid that we have to go through a couple of ‘God’s men’ like the last two NAMB CEOs.

Plodder eschews inside information and cannot add any insight to what is going on. Actually, I am so much an outsider that I haven’t the foggiest idea what the problem is but most of us could guess. Perhaps the committee is divided. Perhaps they are courting a consensus candidate who can’t make up his mind. I don’t know.

I will say that the IMB absolutely must not end up with a leader who is lacking in a couple of key areas:

  • He must have a record of stellar support of the work of the IMB, the Cooperative Program, and the Lottie Moon offering. Whatever NAMb has done, is doing here, I don’t think you can make even a weak case for an IMB leader who has not been a strong believer in the work of the IMB. But should the search committee be mezmerized, and no group is more susceptible to such than a Southern Baptist search committee, by one who has no record of support but whom they think is irresistible because of perceived gifts and abilities, we will be in for some acrimony.

  • He much have solid missiological knowledge and overseas experience. I cannot imagine the leader of over 5,000 missions personnel not having some life experience overseas with another language and culture.

There are plenty of people who meet these two requirements.

Gerald Harris, editor of our pretty good state paper, The Christian Index, editorializes about the search and makes some good points. Harris points out that since Jerry Rankin announced his retirement the trustees have had a solid SIXTEEN months on this task.

This search committee has been working longer than any I can recall in national Southern Baptist life. I hope the length of time is rewarded by the right person being chosen. We absolutely cannot afford to go through turmoil on this one.


Justin Owens said...

Here is a link to the article by Gerald Harris. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Justin.