Experienced Southern Baptist missionaries are in the midst of a soul-searching period of transition as they prayerfully consider the options presented to them in the Voluntary Retirement Incentive plan. Three options are worth consideration. Two are immediately obvious, while the third is the primary subject of this post.
Option A is to accept the Voluntary Retirement Incentive and come home to the United States. Thankfully, a number of churches and ministries are assisting the missionaries who are coming home with this difficult transition in their lives.
Option B is to decline the Voluntary Retirement Incentive and continue serving on the field as an IMB missionary. When this option is chosen, the financial support for our missionaries will continue through the usual SBC channels.
Option C is to accept the Voluntary Retirement Incentive while remaining on the field in an effort to continue reaching the nations. Why would a missionary retire only to keep working? First, they may feel the need to “take one for the team” with a sense that this is what they are being asked to do. Second, the VRI deal presents the optimal retirement package to provide financial security for their families. Third, in addition to the considerations above, they may continue to feel the tugging of God’s Holy Spirit upon their hearts to keep reaching the nations.
The decision to accept this early retirement brings with it an undeniable financial reversal. However, it stands to reason that if these missionaries could identify some other source of private financial support, they would be able to continue their mission. It is this income that we seek to raise through the Holding Lottie’s Rope Network.
This network also makes sense from the perspective of the local church wishing to maximize their missions giving. What other missions network can offer you an experienced missionary who already knows the language, culture and contacts of a particular mission field, the kind of information that would take a rookie missionary years to discover?
Our network neither receives nor disburses funds. We simply exist to connect retired SBC missionaries with sponsoring SBC churches. The identities of the churches and missionaries participating will remain confidential. We will not publish a list of the churches or the missionaries that we privately match.
Because every missionary has a different situation, financial needs vary. Likewise, some of our churches will be in a position to offer greater support than others. Some may be able to give a few hundred dollars; others, a few thousand. Our goal is to match each missionary with at least one church. All funds will be donated directly from the churches to the missionaries.
Our veteran SBC missionaries have given their lives to reach the nations. Frankly, some of these missionaries are not quite ready to come home. Our SBC churches have been holding the rope for them for years. Frankly, some of these churches are not quite ready to stop. If your SBC church is interested in saving a Southern Baptist missionary, or if you are a retired Southern Baptist missionary remaining on the field, please check out the link below. We have been partnering for years to reach the nations for Christ. Perhaps God is not finished with us yet.
UPDATE: Within the past week, nine SBC missionaries representing five mission settings have registered on Holding Lottie’s Rope. These SBC missionaries are retiring from the IMB but remaining on the field reaching the nations. They represent four different countries on two different continents. At least two churches are in the process of raising support. Ideally, we would like to match at least one church with each mission in order to provide some level of financial support. Some churches may be able to give a few hundred dollars while others may be able to give a few thousand. Any amount will be appreciated.