Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why Missionaries Fail Part 10

In dealing with legal problems of sending American money outside the country, many missionaries need their supporting churches to send money to the mission board, and then the board transfers the money to the missionary. BIMI is a mission board for independent Baptists, and problems developed when some independent Baptist churches joined the Southern Baptist Convention while they still had missionaries on the field.

For years, there was no problem, and then somebody in the Convention said something that BIMI didn't like, and BIMI demanded that their missionaries repudiate the statement or BIMI would cut them off. If anyone in the world ought to believe that a mission board has no authority to rule over missionaries, it ought to be independent Baptists.

But when someone has power, and that someone controls the money, that isn't how it works out.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why Missionaries Fail Part 9

Who do missionaries actually answer to?

By definition, most missionaries start small. They have to speak in a variety of churches, and they usually get a small amount (often $50/month) from those churches that support them. Many of these churches will have a Women's Missinary Society that reads the missionaries' letters, prays for them, and even gives them extra money. And some churches have a Missions Director.

Sometimes given the job to placate him after the congregation had rejected him as a leader, the MD oversees the missionaries who are getting $50/month. He has almost absolute power to have the church drop a missionary. And so missionaries have to send this man monthly reports, answer his questions, and not do anything that he objects to. In other words, they have to obey him. Since most missionaries have to answer to several MDs, problems easily develop.