The future of denominational/institutional missions organizations is something that is clearly being redefined. As a missionary serving in one of the largest denominational missions organizations (IMB), I can attest to the urgent need that organizations change to meet the challenge of a changing world. The question becomes, though, how do we do this? What needs to be done to stay on the cutting edge of global missions today?
Bob Roberts, Jr. shares his thoughts on what this needs to look like...
There has never been a time, or as conducive an environment, for mission agencies and institutions to engage the world like there is today. If it happens, mission agencies and institutions are going to have to:
1. See themselves as connectors of the whole body of Christ to the whole world.
2. Release control or lose any control at all because people aren't going to sit around and wait.
3. Train not just local culture and practices to a missionary, but global culture and practices.
4. Redefine how missionaries work, what they do and how they operate.
5. Be a revolving door not just of sending western missionaries but of "global" missionaries from every society.
6. Be a receiving entity for missionaries coming to America who feel called to work here [in the USA]...
7. Value local churches and laymen beyond just seeing them as cows to milk for their institution (I'm convinced the key to raising funds is not asking for money but partnering and doing things together--there will be more money than they could ever imagine.)
8. View themselves not as funders of people who want to be vocational missionaries, but partner "gospel seed planters" of the kingdom throughout the world...People are going to work with people that are willing to work together and ignore those who aren't willing to partner. The days of a huge bureaucracy telling a church that is funding it what it can and can't do are numbered. Getting a bunch of young guys in a room and telling them "we want to hear from you" won't cut it. Getting a bunch of youngsters with a radical "newlight" missionary--saying there's a city, now take it, and the skies the limit. You empower them all, you infuse enthusiasm, and you learn from one another...
What do you see as the future of missions organizations like the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, SIM, YWAM, CCC, etc. as we know them today?