A Change

Published on 12/09/22

Dear Fellow Workers,

A Change!

I wanted to let you know that Deb and my designation within BMM will change on January 1. We will move from active missionary status to retired Emeritus status (reserved for missionaries who have served at least 20 years with BMM). This means our responsibilities within BMM will change. However, our personal stewardship of making disciples of all nations by ministering the gospel to the nations locally will not change. In fact, as we survey the opportunities in Williamsburg, across Iowa, the United Sates, and even globally, we must acknowledge that many doors of effective global ministry are available. It is only a matter of identifying the open doors God desires us to walk through.

Why the Change?

You may be asking, Why the change? As Emeritus missionaries we are retired from some responsibilities to the mission, and yet can receive donations for our ministry through the mission. When our BMM administrator, Steve Anderson, was explaining this, he stopped mid-sentence and said, “This fits you doesn’t it.” It does indeed!—less administrative responsibilities allow more focus on penetrating the worlds of the not yet Christian, and that, in a nutshell is the reason for the change of status.

What about Global Crossroads Ministry?

We will no longer lead the BMM division of Global Crossroads Ministry. The change is necessary to enable us to more be more effective at making disciples of all nations. Because of geopolitical, constituency, and personal reasons, progress in the Boston and Beyond/Global Crossroads Ministry has been very slow. Firstly, geopolitically, the world is becoming a more difficult place for the kind of networking needed for the Global Crossroads Ministry. Secondly, except for our sacrificial supporters, we have not been successful at networking the Global Crossroads vision within our constituency. Thirdly, it may be that Deb and I are more suited for a different kind of global ministry—a more behind the scenes, hidden, quiet, small, personal ministry to the global community. This is the part of our ministry stewardship which has continued to flourish, and this is the kind of ministry that is needed in the current global climate.

A Clarification:

We still absolutely believe it is critically important for Great Commission Christians to think strategically about making disciples of all nations. There remain key locations, cities, refugee centers, clusters of global citizens, places where thoughtful Christians should learn to minister the gospel. This is what Deb, and I will continue to do, if the Lord tarries and health permitting, until our 90th birthdays. We are not quitting, we are retooling. Even as we slow physically, we hope to accelerate missionally.

Summary:

The Emeritus status will enable Deb and me to serve in the ways we are most effective. God has always blessed our efforts when we ministered apart, forming our team in the place of ministry, having all our attention and efforts focused outward to the not-yet-believing world. The more we have committed to networking with a larger group of established Christian workers, the less effective we have become. As BMM Emeritus missionaries, we will still have our beloved Baptist Mid-Mission colleagues/friends, we will still have our sending church, The International Baptist Church in Cambridge, MA, and we will still have our calling, making disciples of all nations by ministering to the global community locally.

What about our Support Needs?

I joyfully report that we continue to depend upon our team of prayer and financial supporters. Most of our Christian lives, Deb and I have lived away from the larger Christian community. We have lived away from fellowships of believers. We have endeavored to form new communities of Christians and to export these communities, globally. However, a community we have always desperately needed is our prayer and financial ‘supporting warriors’ community—our band of brothers. We still do need you. We will need you until the Lord comes, or until we go to Him, or until we turn 90:-)

We love you,

Bill and Deb