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October-November 2023

Forging Ahead


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From Generation to Generation

By Clint Morgan


I have helped write more strategies than I can count. (Although some probably shouldn’t be counted.) However, I have come to a major conclusion that has greatly curbed my appetite for spending great amounts of time and energy creating a strategy: a strategy is not worth the paper it is written on if those who are to carry it out are not committed to it.

At IM, we are fiercely committed to developing good strategies and seeing them realized. Good strategy yields:

  • Clear direction and efficiency. Well-developed strategies provide IM with a clear direction as an agency and ensures efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Resource allocation and productivity. Identifying priorities helps us know how to allocate our resources to maximize our impact and productivity.

  • Measurement and evaluation. Good strategies provide instruments to track progress, assess the effectiveness of the strategy, and make the necessary adjustments.

  • Adaptability and responsiveness. By regularly reviewing and updating our plans, we stay relevant and responsive in a dynamic international environment.

  • Excellence and honor. By consistently pursuing our goals and objectives with excellence, in process and performance, we bring honor to God.

Our strategy helps IM define our goals and objectives. We break down these goals and objectives into three core areas: reach, train, and give. One way we measure progress is through statistical reports. Though time and space will not permit a thorough look at each of these, I do want to share a few highlights.

REACH. God is blessing the efforts of our missionaries, national believers, and partners. Through our IM missionaries and partners, we are reaching people in 34 countries. Amazing!

We rejoice over the news of people coming to know Christ and following Him in baptism. The 2022 year-end reports from our fields showed:

  • 1,788 professions of faith.

  • 1,308 baptisms.

One of our goals is to see the number of Free Will Baptist believers outside of North America grow from 35,537 to 50,000. When we prayerfully set this goal, it seemed audacious. It took 85 years to witness 35,500 believers consistently worshiping God in our overseas churches. We felt courageous as we chose to increase that number by nearly 30%. But here we are, just over the halfway point to 2025, and we are almost to the 50,000 goal!

During 2022, Free Will Baptist churches outside North America had an average attendance each Sunday of 48,936. Just over 30% of all Free Will Baptists are now located outside North America. I believe this number will surpass 50% in the near future.

TRAIN. At IM, we are highly committed to discipling believers and training leaders.

Our 2020-2025 goal is to assist national churches in developing field leadership training, growing from eight programs to 12. (This includes Bible institutes and seminaries.)

Through our national churches’ commitment to leadership training, we have realized this goal and even surpassed it! A total of 14 organized training programs at institute or seminary level currently serve pastors, church leaders, and congregants.

At the present time, 380 national believers attend leadership training institutions, and another 1,765 believers participate in organized discipleship/training programs. Though these numbers are impressive, the enormous, ever-growing needs of our churches around the world far exceed the present leadership. We must never abandon our focus on training.

GIVE. In 2022, we saw an increase of more than 500 individual donors. We hope to see each of these individuals become long-term, faithful monthly supporters. The number of donors committed to fulfilling the Great Commission through IM should continue to grow as the number of missionaries increases.

Another significant financial goal is to see the World Missions Offering reach at least $1 million each year. The 2022 World Missions Offering increased $50,000, a big step in the right direction. (NOTE: Though the WMO offering date was August 27, 2023, each church and individual should feel free to choose another date if it is more convenient.)

Despite the many demands for your resources, you have clearly demonstrated your commitment to Christ and His Great Commission with a record-breaking $8.8 million given to IM during the 2022 fiscal year. This is absolutely incredible! We honor each of you who gave. It is likely, in 2023, Free Will Baptists will give more than $9 million to reach the lost. Please continue giving as God continues to call those who need your support.


Future Strategic Challenges

A good strategy doesn’t just provide goals and objectives and ways to measure success. Good strategy helps identify and confront challenges, too.

Though we rejoice over the many victories, we are aware strategic challenges lie ahead. These potential obstacles do not deter us from pressing forward. An African proverb exhorts, “Don’t let what you cannot do keep you from doing what you can.”

FUNDING. In the great mystery world of finances, we cannot predict the next shift or structural change. Is a cashless society a real potentiality? Will crypto currency become the most viable means of managing assets? How will the next generation pay their monthly bills? This greatly affects how they make regular contributions to their churches and missionaries. Until we get definitive answers to these questions, we will stay the course and continue practicing good stewardship principles through good and bad times.

We do not believe the current financial landscape calls for major changes at the present time. Nor do we see a scenario in the near future (5-10 years) in which IM, or some mission-focused branch of Free Will Baptists, does not exist. So, let’s stay the course together.

NEW FRONTIERS. Frontiers still exist for IM, and the rapidly evolving global landscape means new frontiers are developing. Therefore, a pressing need for new missionaries willing to pioneer these additional areas exists.

We asked God to open doors for us into restricted countries and even countries closed to the gospel. He has already cleared the way for us to help take the gospel to extremely resistant areas in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. We believe He will open new regions for us, and we must be ready and willing to go precisely where He leads.

PARTNERSHIPS. Partnerships are based upon the willful collaboration, cooperation, and commitment of two or more entities (people or organizations) who agree to pursue a particular plan and/or strategy together. These partners mutually commit to contribute and steward their available resources to realize collectively predetermined goals and objectives.

We surely cannot go about partnerships in a willy-nilly fashion. However, we must seriously consider the consequences of being unwilling to pursue partnerships. Some principles guide our determination regarding with whom to partner:

  • We believe developing partnerships is in line with our mission statement. We exist to labor with the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission.

  • We believe developing partnerships reflects our commitment to our core value of interdependence.

  • We believe it is mutually rewarding to develop partnerships with organizations and entities that share our passion and commitment to fulfill the Great Commission.

  • We believe developing partnerships accelerates the expansion of His Kingdom.


The Next Generations

One of IM’s strategic goals for the 2020-2025 period is to have 125 active IM missionaries by the end of December 2025. When we started on this five-year trajectory, we had 103 IM-approved missionaries. By April 2023, the IM board had approved an additional 12 missionaries. With resignations and change of status for the original 103, our total of active missionaries currently stands at 112.

We are well on our way to our goal and firmly believe we will reach and even surpass it.
IM anticipates new generations will bring innovation, excitement, freshness, and energy to our field and office teams. We are already experiencing this to some degree. However, we need to balance the exuberance of each generation’s ideas and vision with the experience and wisdom of those who have served with IM for many years. Collectively, we must build a shared vision and unshakeable commitment to taking the gospel to the least reached.

As a denomination, if we desire to pass the God-given vision of missions to the next generation, we must:

  • Faithfully proclaim absolute truths, biblical doctrine, and foundational life principles without compromise.

  • Preserve the authenticity and rich heritage of the denomination.

  • Willingly involve all generations in ministry opportunities of serving and leading.

To what new frontiers will God direct us? How many more missionaries will our Free Will Baptist churches prayerfully and financially support? Will our national churches continue to send workers into some of the most resistant countries? I really don’t know the answer to these questions.

But one thing I do know: He will call. We will send. And, a harvest of souls will bring honor and glory to God.


About the Author: Clint Morgan is the general director of IM, Inc. Learn more:


©2023 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists