Friday, January 26, 2007

ABC’s Reid Trulson: Do-the-Math Pragmatist or Out-of-the-Box Visionary?

Two moves by newly installed Executive Director of the Board of International Ministries of the ABCUSA bode well for continued relationship between the congregations of the former ABCPSW and the international missions arm of the ABCUSA. Dr. Reid Trulson has agreed to participate with an all-star cast of missionaries at a church in So. Cal. AND he has inked a partnership agreement with Transformation Ministries even more favorable than one negotiated under his predecessor’s tenure.

On Mark 17 and 18, the Judson Baptist Church in San Bernardino (CA) will host “The Call,” a missions conference featuring Reid Trulson, Walt White, Mike Mann, Matt and Lori Mann, Kristina Gutierrez, Dr. Bill Clemmer, and Ray and Adalia Schellinger. The presence of Trulson at such a missions event in the southwest and the presence of so many longstanding ABC missionaries speak volumes about the prospects for continued partnership.

Such hints of on-going collaboration are further strengthened by the generous agreement concluded between BIM and Transformation Ministries. Ultimately, it gave TM more than they had hopped for and certainly a much broader ground for future involvement than had been offered just a few months ago.

A remaining sticking point will be the appointment of TM candidates as BIM missionaries. But even this, however, can be overcome if TM affiliates with the Baptist World Alliance.

Observers on both the left and right will divide over hailing or hating these new moves. Is Trulson a “do-the-math” pragmatist who recognizes the historic role by the congregations of the former PSW in supporting BIM ? Or, is he an “out-of-the-box” visionary who sees the changing paradigms in missions funding and shrewdly elects to position his organization on the cutting edge of the future?

The jury will remain out on the question for a while longer. However, His Barking Dog cannot help but admire the style of the newly installed leader of BIM.

[His Barking Dog tries to avoid making too many comments on the ABC these days, not wanting to become like the yippers and yappers who left the SBC decades ago but still seem preoccupied with internal SBC politics. This move, however, relates to churches in my existing organization and their choice to relate to the ABC so comments, albeit from my own perspective ALONE, seem appropriate]


Dave Miller said...

Trulson will also be at the ABCLA Mission event March 2 & 3 at the old Temple Baptist site on Estrella along with Tony Campolo and another "all star cast" of ABC Missions people.

Dennis E. McFadden said...


I was aware of the gathering in ABCLA. But, that should be expected in a loyal ABC region. My surprise was that a TM congregation would be able to get Reid coming to them. Again, either he is a cyncial "do the math" pragmatist who realizes that it would be stupid to cut oneself off from such a rich source of mission giving as TM OR he is an "out of the box" visionary who is pioneering new paradigms for funding. I prefer to think the best of him and believe that this olive branch to TM presages future good things.