Question: Is IPM a Baptist Mission?
International Partnership Ministries does not have the word "Baptist" in its name. Does this mean that IPM is not Baptist?
The Baptist distinctives are very important to us—the autonomy of the local church; the priesthood of the believer; the pretribulational, premillennial return of Christ; the ordinances of believer’s baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper; etc. IPM is without apology Baptist in doctrine and practice. Although the word “Baptist” does not appear in our corporate name, our letterhead nevertheless identifies us as Baptist in doctrine and practice.
Does IPM plant Baptist churches?
Yes. All of IPM’s national ministries and partner missions in Asia, Africa, and Latin America are planting independent Baptist churches. All at the present time are Baptist in name (with the exception of a Messianic fellowship for Jewish people in Uruguay) as well as in doctrine. IPM does not have a written policy that these churches must be Baptist in name, but they certainly must be Baptist in doctrine and practice.
Is IPM interdenominational?
No. IPM is strongly opposed to the interdenominational trend that many mission boards have followed down through the years, seeking both personnel and finances from various kinds of denominational churches. IPM does not send representatives to any denominational churches. IPM seeks support only from independent churches.
What kinds of churches support the ministries of IPM?
The majority of local church support for IPM and its ministries come from independent Baptist churches. We also enjoy significant support from independent Bible churches which are Baptist in doctrine. IPM does not seek support from Bible churches which are Methodist or Presbyterian in background, doctrine, and position. When IPM representatives speak in Bible churches they make no apology for the fact that all of the overseas ministries of IPM are planting Baptist churches. The Bible churches IPM relates to have no problem with this. Many of these churches support primarily Baptist missions.
Are there some Baptist churches that will not support IPM?
There may be a few—but very few. But most who take this position have not taken the time to get to know us and know where we stand. Some Baptist churches will not support any mission which does not have the word “Baptist” in its corporate name. On the other hand, we do have many strong Baptist churches that are very pleased with our ministry and stand behind us 100 percent.
By the same token, there are fundamental Bible churches that will not support IPM because it is “too Baptist.” We have learned a long time ago that we can never please everyone. We recognize the autonomy and authority of the local church. Every church is free to decide whether or not it is comfortable with IPM and its position. We do not seek to ride the fence in an effort to please everyone. We are what we are. Let those who can agree with what we are doing become involved in this ministry; let those who are uncomfortable with what we are doing assist other mission works.