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church then has time to do even more for the Lord Jesus Christ. One very important truth that must be emphasized is that the role of BIMI is servant to the local church. In short, we are a “service agency” to the body of Christ. A group of approximately 30 local church pastors from all over the United States and Canada serve as the Board of Trustees for Baptist International Missions, Inc. These men meet twice a year to make decisions for BIMI, accept new missionary candidates and give guidance to me and the rest of our leadership team. I am thankful for the privileged position of servant to the local church. …the role of BIMI is servant to the local church… STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE in all we do cannot be overemphasized (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Our God deserves the very best we can give Him, and He should be honored and glorified in “whatsoever” we do (I Corinthians 10:31). Often in life, we face decisions resulting in outcomes that are either “good,” “better” or “best.” Personally, I am striving for those things which are indeed the very “best” that God has for me. BIMI's history has been a pursuit of excellence. It is imperative that our high standards for missionaries, our financial and personal accountability requirements, and our Biblical and ethical policies remain in place until Jesus comes again. The Lord has given us the command to “be…holy in all manner of conversation” (I Peter 1:15). The level of holiness to which we are called is not to be determined by the world. God set the standard for holiness when He said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). It is only when a lost world sees a holy and separated life that they see Jesus. Being like the world in order to win the world is the exact opposite of what God commands. Therefore, I am committed to striving for excellence—both personally and corporately. SPECIALIZING IN CHURCH PLANTING is not always the easiest course to follow; however, I believe it is the most Biblical. Planting churches is what Jesus had in mind when He said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20). Obviously, this does not mean we avoid such things as aviation, medical missions, construction, humanitarian aid, etc., since these things often play a very vital role in starting a church. It only means these types of ministries should be a means unto an end—church planting. The often quoted statement “the job of a missionary is to work himself out of a job” should be our focal point. The main goal of every BIMI missionary must be the establishment of fundamental, independent Baptist churches. As a mission board, we want to do everything possible to train and assist our missionaries in the task of starting churches around the world. When an indigenous and autonomous church …join me in thanking God for an is established, the result is “fruit” that will exceptional past and in trusting “remain” (John 15:16). I am grateful BIMI has specialized in church planting during God for an extraordinary future. the past 50 years, and I am excited to see what God will do in the years ahead as we continue that focus. Change itself is inevitable and it can be good and/or bad. The recent transition we have experienced has renewed our commitment to the unchanging Biblical principles upon which BIMI was founded. Therefore, we trust that God will use this change for our good and for His glory. As we begin our second half-century of ministry, please join me in thanking God for an exceptional past and in trusting God for an extraordinary future. BIMI WORLD – Number 2, 2010 5