Archive for February, 2012

Inspiring Mission CEO Retreat

Posted on February 27, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

When I was elected as president of the International Mission Board in 1993, Bobbye and I had been overseas for 23 years. We had been in leadership roles but knew nothing about administering a large, global missionary-sending organization. We had had no involvement in the denomination and suddenly found ourselves immersed in a fast-paced task of budgets, board oversight, formulating strategy and directing a staff of several hundred people.

I happened to meet Steve Shelton who had just stepped into the role of president of Wycliffe International, the largest para-church mission organization in the world, after serving many years in Brazil. In commiserating with one another over the challenges and the steep learning curve we were experiencing, we decided to …

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Entrapped by the Fear of Man

Posted on February 24, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted” (Proverbs 29:25).

There may be a few people who don’t give a flip about what people think, but most of us are inclined to need the approval of others. In fact, upholding an image in the eyes of people and guarding our reputation often becomes an obsession for many. We may not be driven by lack of confidence or a low self-image but just about everyone wants to be liked, or at least for others to think favorably about us.

Conflict and having to deal with disagreements is to be avoided at all costs. Criticism can be absolutely debilitating. Unfortunately, there is …

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Spirit-Anointed Leadership

Posted on February 22, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

After speaking at three events last week on leadership, I find the topic has somewhat saturated my thinking. Although far from being an expert on the subject, I have read, studied the topic and learned a lot about leadership from personal experiences. I can attest to the fact that, ironically, one often learns more from failures and negative experiences than from success. There are task-oriented leaders, people-oriented leaders and others lead from the power of a charismatic personality.

But there are some essential elements of leadership that come from God’s Spirit; this is true whether one is in a spiritual church-related or mission role or secular and community leadership. They are outlined in Isaiah 11:1-4. Although this is a Messianic …

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Surviving a Busy Week

Posted on February 20, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Last week began with a trip to St. Louis where we had the privilege of participating in a Global Impact Celebration at First Baptist Church Arnold, speaking in four services on Sunday. These events are truly a blessing as we have opportunities to continue to challenge and mobilize churches as we have been doing for years in our former life. FBC Arnold truly gets it! They are involved around the world, including multiple strategic partnerships in India, Senegal and Mexico and give a high priority to giving generously to missions all year.

One of the greatest joys of involvement in mission events is staying connected with our missionaries from around the world. There were a number of personnel serving …

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What’s for Dinner?

Posted on February 13, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Being at home between two travel weeks always poses the dilemma of what to eat. Are there still leftovers in the refrigerator, does our schedule make it more convenient to eat out, or do we plan menus and stock up at the grocery store. Actually, eating is usually a combination of those options. Having acquainted our followers with various landmarks and attractions of our hometown in Mississippi, this week we decided to ishare our local culinary options.

When I worked for the daily newspaper in college, I always envied the food editor and restaurant critic. Can you imagine getting paid to dine at all the prominent restaurants, sample the menu and tell others about it? Any pretense of dieting and …

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Restoring the Song

Posted on February 10, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

“Then Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the sacrifice began, the song of the Lord also began” (2 Chronicles 29:27).

Many people have lost the song in their hearts. You know the feeling–those days when things are going well, someone has paid you an unexpected compliment, the future looks bright and you feel incredibly blessed. There is a spring in your step, enthusiasm in your work and a song in your heart. In fact, the uplifting lyrics of a familiar praise song are flowing through your mind sub-consciously.

But there are other days when plans go awry, relationships are strained, you feel unappreciated and overwhelmed with responsibility. The last thing you feel like …

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ETHNECITY–Reaching Our World at Home

Posted on February 8, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

We don’t live in Mayberry any longer! My quiet, little suburban home town deep in the Bible belt has slowly and subtly been invaded by people from all over the world. They don’t speak with a slow Southern drawl and sometimes their broken English is hard to understand. The most popular eating establishments don’t serve grits and catfish; sushi and tamales have become the fast food cuisine of choice.

We now have six Mexican restaurants, three Japanese eateries and two Chinese mega-buffets in town. South Asians from India manage our motels and operate the food marts at gasoline stations. Almost 300 students from China are on our local college campus. All of them need to know Jesus. The world has …

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Inspiring Visit to CIU

Posted on February 6, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

It is always an inspiring and uplifting experience when we travel periodically to South Carolina for a board meeting at Columbia International University or to confer with staff and attend other significant events. Being individuals that are rather one-dimensional and focused on our mission calling, we have found CIU to be a quality educational institution focused uniquely on biblical inerrancy, world evangelization and victorious Christian living. A large proportion of its 17,000 graduates have gone out as missionaries with alumni currently serving in 150 countries around the world.

Under the leadership of Dr. Bill Jones, president, CIU has reflected growth, reaching its second highest enrollment in its 90-year history this year. Facilities have expanded and been improved, an intercollegiate athletic …

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The Spirit of Caleb

Posted on February 3, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

“But my servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it” (Numbers 14:24).

All of us have encountered the kinds of problems confronting the Children of Israel when they faced the challenge of taking possession of the promised land. Remember the report of the spies who had been sent in to scout out the land? It was, indeed, a prosperous land flowing with milk and honey, but they were overwhelmed by the task.

In Numbers 13:25-33 the spies shared their sense of intimidation by the large, fortified cities. They said they felt like grasshoppers up against people who …

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A Missed Field Goal

Posted on February 1, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

A missed field goal can be a jubilant occasion for one team and a heartbreak for another. The New York Giants made it into the Superbowl with a successful 3-pointer in overtime, while the New England Patriots made it when the Baltimore kicker missed a relatively short field goal in the final minute. The winners of an unusual number of college bowl games this year were determined by a field goal made or missed.

A missed field goal is agonizing to watch no matter which team you are for. The elation of the opposing team is understandable and justified, but even if I am for the winning team, the joy of that victory is diminished by sensitivity to the failed …

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