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NAMB, IMB management staff hold meeting described as unprecedented

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–The presidents of the North American and International Mission boards signed an agreement expanding the fast-growing World Changers mission program during a Dec. 8-9 meeting, described as unprecedented, of the Southern Baptist Convention agencies’ management staff members.
“As far as we can determine, this is the first time the entire management staff of the two national mission agencies have ever met together to discuss mission vision, philosophy and direction,” said Robert E. “Bob” Reccord, NAMB president. “We are treading new ground to forge a closer relationship in order that we might lead Southern Baptists to reach North America and the world for Jesus Christ.”
International Mission Board President Jerry A. Rankin told the 70 mission managers gathered at NAMB’s offices in Alpharetta, Ga., that the two agencies can accomplish more together than apart. “I believe a synergy will develop resulting in the International Mission Board being one of the greatest assets the North American Mission Board has in fulfilling God’s will. And, I believe the North American Mission Board will be one of the greatest assets the International Mission Board has in fulfilling God’s will for us,” Rankin said.
The purpose of this first meeting, according to participants, was for NAMB to present its mission, vision and strategies to IMB’s management staff. A reciprocal meeting is being scheduled for next spring when NAMB staff will travel to IMB’s Richmond, Va., offices for a detailed briefing of their global strategies.
The agencies used the occasion to sign an agreement giving IMB responsibilities for conducting International World Changers projects in association with NAMB. World Changers is a pre-packaged mission trip opportunity provided by NAMB for churches in which volunteers rehabilitate substandard housing. Forty-six projects were conducted in 1998 involving more than 13,000 volunteers. Four of those projects were outside the United States — three in Mexico and one in the Dominican Republic.
Under the agreement, NAMB will continue to provide promotion, registration, training and consultation services for an increased number of international projects. The agreement also designates more than $70,000 in mission offerings given by 1998 World Changer participants for international projects.
International projects planned for the summer of 1999 include the Dominican Republic; Mexico; the West Indies; Jordan; and Macao, East Asia.
Following conclusion of the two-day meeting, Rankin reminded the mission leaders their agencies do not have to agree on everything to be effective partners. “The things driving both our agencies are the same. We can work even more closely together without infringing on each others’ unique responsibilities. And, we’re making tremendous progress in where we need to go together.”
“As we approach the 21st century,” Reccord said, “ministries of impact will be built on strong partnerships and strategic alliances. Both our mission boards want to be ministries of impact with Southern Baptists for the kingdom.”

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  • Martin King