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April-May 2016


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20 By 2020

By Clint Morgan

Many of you are familiar with the work of Free Will Baptist International Missions (FWBIM). For those less familiar, let me explain what we do and why we do it, paint a few broad strokes of how we minister, and ultimately, share our major goals for the next five years.

First and foremost, Free Will Baptist International Missions exists to labor with the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission. Our mission statement drives everything we do. It has been the focal point of our efforts from the first missionary sent in 1935 to those sent in 2015. This mission statement is not limited by location, ethnicity, race, language, or any other criteria. The gospel is for all people.

We are focused! We do “labor with the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission,” and we are more passionate about it now than ever before.

Five major objectives flow from this passion and guide every missionary and every ministry. These objectives (non-measurable achievements) are:

  1. Bring a message of compassion and hope to people in need by helping to alleviate suffering through spiritual, social, economic, and physical change. We must demonstrate God’s love for all people through our actions.

  2. Build relationships, evangelize, and disciple in culturally sensitive ways. The gospel is shared with those with whom we build relationships. Those who embrace the gospel are discipled.

  3. Plant churches and equip believers among some of the most resistant and least reached peoples of the world. Our missionaries are ready and willing to go to the hard places to reach the unreached.

  4. Train leaders who train others. Without strong biblical leadership, works cannot grow and are not sustainable.

  5. Partner with maturing national churches and others who share our passion to fulfill the Great Commission. This is a defining point of laboring with the Body of Christ.

As we seek to do our part in fulfilling the Great Commission, the strategic objectives cited above guide us. In addition to these objectives, we also established strategic goals, or measurable accomplishments.

At International Missions, the leadership team prayerfully and carefully sets strategic goals. Each year, we meet off-site for several days to focus our time and energy on strategic talks. We affectionately call these days Labor Camp. Since we spend hours and hours discussing, analyzing, and establishing major goals and objectives for International Missions, the name fits.

September 21-23 was reserved for Labor Camp 2015. The leadership team spent each morning looking back at the Mission’s history and the influencing trends and actions along the way. This helped us take a realistic glance at the present and an anticipatory look at the future. Interestingly enough, we walked away from the three days sensing we had simply set the stage for laser-focused talks about our strategic goals—those measurable accomplishments.

Goals set too low do not stimulate enthusiasm nor produce growth. Unreasonably elevated goals can lead to discouragement and a sense of failure. The challenge was to set realistic, futuristic, and faith-based goals. The hurdle was finding the balance and emerging with goals that met this three-tier challenge.

After much prayer and discussion, we locked in on five major goals. The leadership team committed to seeing these specific goals accomplished in the next five years. We designated these the 20 by 2020 goals. Perhaps a brief explanation of these goals will help you engage with IM to see them accomplished.


1. Increase reserves to 20%.

It is commonly considered wise practice for non-profit organizations to have three to six months of cash reserves. Having 20% in reserves will mean:

  • We can honor donors’ designations without reservation.

  • We will be prepared for adverse potentialities (e.g. war, economic upheaval, loss of tax exemption status, currency fluctuations, extraordinary risks to field staff, etc.).

  • We will be prepared financially to bring our field personnel stateside if circumstances demand we do so.

The goal is to increase our cash reserves from the present goal of 10% of our approved operational budget to 20% by the year 2020.


2. Increase the number of monthly donors giving to IM by 20%

In this context, donors refers to those who give to IM on a regular basis. This is defined as churches or individuals who give at least eight out of 12 months to the Mission, and/or churches or individuals who give at least $1,200 a year to IM. In 2015:

  • 1,010 churches gave nothing to IM.

  • 609 churches gave $1,200 or more (averaging at least $100 a month).

  • 507 churches gave less than $1,200.

The goal is to increase the number of churches giving to IM from 1,116 to 1,339 by 2020.


3. Increase the number of cross-cultural missionaries (IM/partners) by 20%.

An increase in field personnel is necessary since IM is committed to leading the way for Free Will Baptists as we fulfill our role in reaching the unreached.

The goal is to increase the number of missionaries internationally by 20%, or from the current 74 to 89 by 2020.


4. Increase the numbers of believers (FWB/partners) internationally by 20%.

A stated objective of IM is to share a message of compassion and hope with the lost. Such an objective demands an unwavering, unified commitment to see unbelievers know of Christ and accept Him as their personal Savior.

The goal is to increase the number of believers internationally by 20%, or from 27,371 to 32,845 international believers by 2020.


5. Increase the number of churches (FWB/partners) internationally by 20%.

A major objective of IM is to plant churches. We expect and anticipate a steady increase in the number of church plants.

The goal is to increase the number of churches outside the continental U.S. from 867 to 1,040 by 2020.


Each of these goals is built upon the foundation of our mission statement and intertwined with our objectives. If Free Will Baptists do our part in fulfilling the Great Commission, it will take proper funding (goals 1-2), which will allow us to send more missionaries (goal 3). As missionaries are faithful in ministering and witnessing, the number of believers will increase (goal 4), and churches will emerge (goal 5).

Free Will Baptist International Missions is fully committed to our mission statement, five major objectives, and 20 by 2020 goals. However, we cannot effectively move forward without support, participation, and partnership from our fellow Free Will Baptists. The time has come for a renewed commitment by Free Will Baptists to “labor together with the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission.”

About the Writer: Clint Morgan has been general director of International Missions since 2011. Learn more:




©2016 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists