The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention announced this week that it will need to cut staff and missionaries to balance its budget.
According to Christianity Today, David Platt, the president of the board, announced Thursday that 600 to 800 missionaries and staff positions need to be cut to make up for a $21 million deficit.
Cuts will start with voluntary retirements and then restructuring.
Currently, the IMB employs about 450 people and oversees about 4,700 missionaries.
The board is primarily funded through donations to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering and funds from the SBC’s Cooperative Program. Other income sources have included reserve funds and money from sales of missionary property overseas.
Over the past six years, the IMB has spent about $210 million more than it has brought in.
“We cannot continue to overspend,” Platt said in a statement. “For the sake of short-term financial responsibility and long-term organizational stability, we must act.”
In June 2015, the IMB had $168 million in reserves and a total operating budget of about $301 million.
Also this week, the IMB appointed 42 new missionaries.
To help with cost cutting, the agency is also looking at partnering with missionaries from other churches.
“We’ve got to figure out,” Platt said. “How do we integrate [them] into intentional disciple-making and church-multiplying strategies among unreached people?”
Photo courtesy: common.wikimedia.org
Publication date: August 28, 2015