Guest / Limited Access /

The economic downturn is pinching the budgets of mission organizations nationwide, although funding remains surprisingly stable for missionaries who raise their own support, according to experts in the field.

"I've heard nothing but bad news from every organization I've talked to," said Scott Moreau, professor of missions at Wheaton College. Over the past two decades, overall giving to missions has steadily increased, he said. "But I would not be surprised if giving were down this year."

The Christian and Missionary Alliance in March let go of 30 full-time missionaries and froze hiring at its national office. The International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention has suspended two short-term programs and is slowing down admission to its career programs.

"We're working with people but may not be able to appoint them as quickly as they are ready to go," said IMB spokesperson Wendy Norvelle in reference to the ministry's $300 million budget being down by almost 10 percent this year. "Many people have been told, 'No, we can't send you this year.'"

Primary funding for the IMB comes from offerings taken in Southern Baptist churches and a Christmas offering. Like other organizations that pool resources, the IMB is taking a harder hit than organizations in which missionaries depend on direct contributions from families and churches, according to Marv Newell, executive director of CrossGlobal Link, an association of internationally focused mission agencies.

"There is less enthusiasm to give that way," Newell said, noting that churches and families with limited resources are more likely to cut out a faceless organization than ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only The Reluctant Reformer
Calvin would have preferred the library carrel to the pulpit.
RecommendedIs It Too Late for Russell Moore to Say Sorry?
Is It Too Late for Russell Moore to Say Sorry?
Southern Baptist leader's critiques of Trump and his supporters are having an impact beyond the election.
Trending‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
Islamic extremism now has a rival, according to 2017 World Watch List.
Editor's PickWomen’s March Sets Out to Exclude 40 Percent of American Women
Women’s March Sets Out to Exclude 40 Percent of American Women
What pro-life feminists actually have in common with their pro-choice counterparts.
Christianity Today
Sending Slowdown
hide thisSeptember September

In the Magazine

September 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.