The Briefing: IMB’s Platt sends open letter to SBC family

Lisa Misner —  September 8, 2015

The BriefingTHE BRIEFING | International Mission Board President David Platt released an open letter to Southern Baptists Friday (Sept. 4), related to the organization’s financial plan announced Aug. 27.

In the letter, Platt addressed several concerns and criticisms raised related to the plan, specifically the announcement that IMB will reduce its missionaries and staff by 600-800 people over the next six months.

Platt also called on Southern Baptists to “pray that God will provide grace, wisdom, strength, and unity across the IMB family as we navigate the various challenges” in the coming months

Billy Graham’s grandson files for divorce, accepts new position at church

Tullian Tchividjian, the grandson of Billy Graham, filed for divorce Aug. 22 in Broward County, Fla. Under Florida law, one party must establish that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” in order for the union to be dissolved. He resigned as senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale earlier this summer after admitting an extramarital affair. The couple had been working to move past an earlier extramarital affair by his wife, Kim. They married in 1994 and have three children.

On Sept. 4 Willow Creek Presbyterian Church in Winter Springs, Florida, (unrelated to Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, IL) announced it had hired Tchividjian as its congregation’s director of ministry development.

Despite stresses, survey finds few pastors give up on ministry

Though pastors are stressed about money and overwhelming ministry demands, only one percent abandon the pulpit each year, LifeWay Research has found.

In a first-of-its-kind study, LifeWay Research surveyed 1,500 pastors of evangelical and historically black churches and found an estimated 13 percent of senior pastors in 2005 had left the pastorate ten years later for reasons other than death or retirement.

The survey also found: 84% say they’re on call 24 hours a day, 80% expect conflict in their church, and 53% are often concerned about their family’s financial security. Find out more about the survey.

GuideStone video highlights market volatility

GuideStone Financial Resources has produced a video outlining the nation’s current market volatility and responses that long-term investors should consider, including remaining calm in the face of daily news, keeping a long-term focus on investments and maintaining diversification in age- and risk-appropriate investments.

David S. Spika, CFA, global investment strategist for GuideStone Capital Management, LLC, narrates the video. Spika has been called on in recent days to discuss market volatility in a variety of news outlets, including cable business channel CNBC and industry news source InvestmentNews.

“We believe that what is happening now is simply a needed short-term correction and not the beginning of a bear market,” said Spika. Watch the video.

Sources: Baptist Press, Christianity Today, LifeWay Research

Lisa Misner


Lisa is IBSA Social Media/Public Policy Manager. A Missouri native, she earned a Master of Arts in Communications from the University of Illinois. Her writing has received awards from the Baptist Communicators Association and the Evangelical Press Association.