CMI–Worldwide. A new concept, a new era in creation ministry!

Published: 2 December 2008(GMT+10)
Photo from sxc.hu Worldwide

To all friends of CMI

Instead of our usual front page article, today we want to reproduce this item about an important happening which we foreshadowed a few weeks back in an email newsletter, and that has now happened.

It does not mention fundraising. Its purpose is to tell you about this exciting new development that has now been formally set in place, a few days ago—at the end of November 2008. It is the official formation of a new and formal international democratic federation of ministries called ‘CMI–Worldwide’. This new federation seeks to bind all CMI offices together into permanent cooperation towards the same common goal till the Lord returns—regardless of any future developments, or personalities coming and going.

When you support ‘CMI’ you can do so with a high level of assurance concerning things such as protection of assets within the CMI ‘family’, without the potential of any individual ministry ‘going off the rails’. You can also be assured that there are now global checks and balances and accountability, far exceeding the norm for our individual national offices, about how we achieve that common goal. All of this is part of this new formal framework for democratic cooperation among all the individual boards and leaders representing CMI–Worldwide.

Here are the details, briefly.

  • Each national office will retain full legal autonomy and will still be able to meet the unique requirements of conducting outreach in their respective countries. At the same time the framework will ensure maximum synchronicity and harmony in the way in which we all cooperate.
  • It will maximize the efficiency of our operations, thus getting more value from all supporters’ contributions by operating synergistically, without having to ‘reinvent the wheel’ in each country.
  • It minimizes the chances of oppression of smaller member ministries by larger ones, by way of an appropriately weighted democratic ‘voice’.
  • It minimizes the risk of some persuasive staff member or leader, for example, influencing their individual boards to drift away from the direction in which a ministry started. This includes having accountability levels and checks and balances beyond even individual boards. (A lot of this is similar to the conceptions of the founding fathers of the USA, with a federation of states and the separation of powers, that acknowledges the fallen nature of man and seeks to minimize the damage that this can do.) Some of this is to ensure not only adherence to the basic tenets of biblical creationism, but our general principle of being politically and denominationally non-aligned within the framework of our Statement of Faith.
  • It applies mechanisms to protect supporters in the event that a rogue board in one country might, in spite of the above, want to take the ministry off of its original direction. It recognizes that supporters who donate are not so much giving to individuals or organizations as to a cause, in this case young-earth creation outreach as constrained by our Statement of Faith. So if one ministry’s Board were totally determined to head in some compromise direction, for example, it would be far less likely to cause the sorts of painful splits that we have previously experienced and which are common in Christendom.
Photo by Rodolfo Clix, sxc.hu Networking

Though it sounds complicated, we have deliberately sought to avoid this all being an extra layer of red tape, but rather something which streamlines the efficiency of the whole operation.

There is an example already available of CMI’s desire to maximize accountability, minimize cronyism and in general get away from the factors of individual power and prominence that have plagued many ministry organizations. The Australian office, already in 2006, formally wrote into its constitution that its Board had to be, in turn, accountable to an even larger number of persons. This outer layer of membership are people who are scattered across the country, many of them volunteer helpers who have shown their desire to advance the creation message. They are not involved in the day to day governance, as Board members are, but are there as an ‘in case of fire break glass’ mechanism. Board members are not simply reelected by themselves—this outer layer of membership has the power to fire and replace the entire Board. (This is important, having already seen one instance of a Board being persuaded to behave in such a way that subsequently all four members resigned after being given legal advice that this was their best option.) This extra layer of accountability already exists in CMI-UK as well, and is being progressively implemented in each CMI sister ministry.

Your prayerful support for the ministry in your own country helps the ministry keep reaching out—worldwide!

The heads of CMI’s worldwide offices in 2008 at the inaugural meeting in Singapore. From front left and clockwise; Adrian Bates (New Zealand), Robert Zins (South Africa), Philip Bell (United Kingdom/Europe), Gary Bates (newly elected CEO of CMI­–Worldwide), Dr Carl Wieland (Australia), Richard Fangrad (Canada) and Jared Vallorani (USA).
Published: 2 December 2008