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IMB selects Holste to lead global research initiatives

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–Southern Baptist missionary Scott Holste has been selected to lead the International Mission Board’s global mission research efforts.
The IMB’s global research department plays a strategic role by monitoring gospel advance among the world’s 12,862 ethnic people groups and working with other evangelical mission agencies to share information about worldwide response to the gospel.
Holste, 40, a Florida native who was appointed by the International Mission Board as a church planter to the Philippines in 1987, replaces John Gilbert, who resigned Oct. 20 to become executive pastor of Rush Creek Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas.
Holste and his wife, the former Jane Daugherty of Chickasha, Okla., later served as strategy coordinators for new work among a major unreached people group in Southeast Asia — 3 million people who had never had an opportunity to hear the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Since August 1997, Holste has worked as a missionary-in-residence in the IMB’s office of overseas operations, assisting David Garrison, the board’s associate vice president for strategy coordination and mobilization. In that role Holste helped train overseas leadership teams; oriented missionaries, staff and trustees to the IMB’s global missions strategy; and coordinated the work of the board’s Global Resource Team, which helps IMB leaders design and implement effective church-planting strategies.
The research department Holste will direct gathers and analyzes data on the status of world evangelization so mission leaders can make strategic decisions about where and how to focus mission efforts. The global research office has been reorganized to include the board’s evangelism and church growth section and a personnel search is under way to fill a new associate director’s position.
“In a real sense, global research is our window on the world,” Holste said. “Through the regular reporting of our 4,400-plus field personnel and the information gathered by other evangelical agencies and researchers, we see where God is at work, what he is doing and the means through which he is accomplishing his purposes among the peoples of the world.
“That provides our leadership with the information it needs to align resources and strategies with what God is already doing.”
Global research also helps IMB leaders evaluate how well the board is doing its job, he said.
“Global research helps us see how much progress we’ve made and what else needs to be done,” Holste said. “It helps us see how effective we’ve been, not only as Southern Baptists, but also as the larger body of Christ.”
Sharing information about global need for and response to the gospel with other evangelical mission agencies is one way the International Mission Board can help speed the process of sharing the gospel with the whole world, Holste said.
“The task of winning the world to Christ is larger than Southern Baptists or any denomination or agency, but it’s not too big for the whole body of Christ,” he said. “So we’re committed to networking with likeminded evangelicals in appropriate ways wherever we can around the world to accomplish that task.”