A Prayer for the International Mission Board

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The International Mission Board is celebrated by Southern Baptists as the largest overseas missionary sending organization in the history of evangelicalism. As they leave everything familiar behind and set out to share the gospel among the nations, IMB missionaries are our denominational heroes. And rightly so. The risks and sacrifices faced by these faithful souls have often proved to be ultimate, with many of our beloved missionaries becoming martyrs for our Lord.

To support the work of these soldiers for Christ, Southern Baptists sacrificially give more than $200 million each year through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the IMB’s portion of the Cooperative Program. Individual SBC churches, associations, and state conventions provide additional resources to the IMB through special overseas partnerships and projects, as well as promotional efforts, to ensure that our missionaries have what they need to fulfill their mission. In addition to financial resources, Southern Baptists spend countless hours in prayer for our missionaries, their work, and the indigenous believers and churches who labor alongside them to make disciples.

Last week, David Platt announced his plans to leave the presidency of the IMB and again commit himself to the pastorate. Platt, who has served just over 3 years in the role, followed Tom Elliff, whose tenure as president was roughly the same. With such an enduring and significant investment, Southern Baptists have much at stake in the ongoing transitions of the IMB. While new strategies and structures hold much promise, the loss of an executive leader leaves no one to shepherd the lengthy process of transitioning a huge, international organization. As the IMB trustees begin searching for a fourth president in less than a decade, tenured missionaries with whom I have spoken are trying not to be discouraged but wondering what the future holds.

Kentucky Baptists love and believe in the IMB. And we thank God for the way He has used giving and going Southern Baptists from across the nation to shine the light of Christ to the ends of the earth. Let’s pray for God’s hand to guide our IMB trustees as they do their work, asking specifically that what Luke observed of the work of the early church would be true of the work of the IMB and of Southern Baptists today. Luke writes:

“Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:32-33).


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