Southern Baptist Convention Lays Off Over 1,000 Missionaries and Staff

Carrie Dedrick | Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Southern Baptist Convention Lays Off Over 1,000 Missionaries and Staff

The Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board (IMB) has reportedly laid off over 1,000 missionaries and employees over financial concerns. Christian Today reports 983 missionaries and 149 U.S. staff members accepted the IMB’s offer for resignation or early retirement. 

In November, the IMB estimated that 500 workers would be laid off, though the actual number was much higher. The SBC now has 3,800 missionaries in the field, the lowest number in over 20 years. 

IMB president David Platt said that the "IMB is now in a much healthier financial position" since the cuts were made. 

"IMB is committed to a future marked by faithful stewardship, operational excellence, wise evaluation, ongoing innovation and joyful devotion to making disciples and multiplying churches among the unreached," he said.

According to a previous Christianity Today article, Platt said the IMB had spent $210 million more than it received. After the cuts, the IMB will be able to operate at its current rate of spending. 

Platt said, "The stage is now set financially, organisationally and spiritually for IMB to work with Southern Baptist churches to create exponentially more opportunities for disciple-making and church-planting among unreached peoples around the world.” 

Publication date: March 1, 2016