Joseph Patrick wrote:From Joseph Patrick...
Ed, Sandy, Flick, Fox and William, allow me to apologize for something that I do not like to see, I. e. a posting then the original poster goes away for a week or more...MY BAD.
Sandy asked for some indication that the statistics might not be accurate... looking at the IMB website, Fast Facts:
Number of Personnel on the field 4826 (not all are career missionaries, mind you).
Number of church starts in 2013: 6192
Number of Baptisms in 2013: 114571
Now, at any one time one fourth of the personnel (about 1200) are on state-side assignment, leaving 3626 on the field. This is not excluding those in support roles (treasurers, administrators, etc.) or missionaries in hospitals or schools. So by using these figures, each missionary started 1.75 churches last year and each missionary on the field baptized 31 persons. I just find that these statistics are a little over the top.
Now, as to accomplishments of Tom Eliff, I admit to being too judgmental. I was looking at his three predecessors and expecting like innovations, when maybe his mandate was to "Hold us together until we find someone else." If so, he did that. I still hop-e that someone who is a recognized missiologist is appointed as his successor.
What "innovations" were instituted by Eliff's predecessors? And what would you like to see developed that isn't already being done?
I doubt you can provide documentation that the stats are "over the top." I think we're well past the time where the missionaries did all of the church planting and baptizing. I think most Baptists, including those who know missionaries and their families personally, and those who have spent some time on a mission field, are familiar with the response that is received in many places around the world, and expect that the statistical information will reflect that advance. I know missionaries who serve in places where baptizing new converts and starting new churches is like setting a torch to dry brush, where they can barely keep up with training small group leaders for Bible studies and new congregations that spring up, and places where years of missionary presence has barely sustained a small, struggling church where baptisms are as rare as eclipses of the sun.
If you don't trust the stats, stop supporting the organization, and get out. Otherwise, you are supporting people you don't trust, who you think are liars.