In my last post, I focused on the change that is still needed at the IMB. However, I do not want in my dissatisfaction with the personnel policies -- which is a MAJOR issue in my opinion -- to ignore the very positive change this restructuring represents.
This new change at the IMB is positive for two reasons, both of which have been addressed well by other bloggers. I will offer a brief comment, then refer you to these two blog posts.
From a missiological perspective, the new structure simply makes sense. The policy both frees missionaries to use the methods and strategies that most effectively win the people whom they are trying to reach and completes the shift in focus from a regional to a cultural one. For a more detailed response from a missiological perspective, see the recent blog post from missiolgist, David Sills.
From a SBC politics standpoint, the change seems to indicate a willingness to hear from and support the administration at the IMB including its president, Jerry Rankin. Also, the wording of the core values, on its surface, gives a glimmer of hope that the pendulum may be swinging back to a more cooperative conservatism. In my opinion, the sure sign that this change is a reality and not just words will be the reversal of the personnel policies (but you can read my other post for that). The now somewhat infamous Wade Burleson, the point man of the IMB trustee controversy, has posted his positive take on the recent trustee meeting. While I think that Pastor Burleson has not always chosen his words wisely in the past, his current post is well worth reading.
In anycase, my assessment of the recent change is this:
New Mission, Vision, Core Values --> GOOD!!!
New Strategies that stem from them --> GOOD!!!
New attitude of cooperation --> Promising
Reversal of the personnel policies --> still waiting...but hopeful