IMB chairman: Lottie Moon response evidence of ‘sleeping giant’

TYLER?In light of the overwhelming generosity of Southern Baptists through record-setting contributions to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, IMB trustee chairman Thomas Hatley of Arkansas said, “We awakened a giant. When the need for more to be done in our finances was personalized to the churches by demonstrating to them the number of people who could not be appointed because of a lack of funds, they responded with generosity.”

Hatley said the resources of Southern Baptist are greater than they realize, setting a goal of “balancing the need for the called to respond and the need for the called to be sent.”

“Until we have more money than missionaries we are not again balanced,” Hatley said. “To this end I am launching my own study of the relationship between those who are willing to go and the level of resources needed to send them to the field and keep them there. I want to know how much it is going to take, above what we are already doing, to send all those who are willing to go.”

Hatley predicted Southern Baptist churches would respond when they see the need. “Part of our job is to define, personalize and communicate that need.”

The new trustee chairman also called for exposing myths posed by some. “For example, doctrinal clarity will not slow us down. It is a key element in what will propel us,” he stated. “Deliberative strategy will not create hesitation, but will streamline ministry and offer years of better ministry.”

By incorporating discipleship principles into the church planting movements, Hatley said the advancing edge of growth will be slowed, “but it will prevent the world and the devil from diverting it.”

Hatley concluded, “Hell has a plan for this board. We will only take a moment to glare at it with disdain as we lift our eyes unto the hills from whence comes our help.” He prayed, “Lord, we are here at your request and we stand poised for your commands. Please pick out for us a battle so large that to fight it and win it will cause the populations of heaven, hell and the earth to say, ‘only God could have done that with those people.’ “

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