There are approximately 8,853 Independent Fundamental Baptist mission boards in the United States. These organizations play a dual role of providing essential support and assistance to fundamentalist missionaries and giving sinecures to an army of vice presidents, and board representatives who would otherwise have to get actual jobs.
IFB mission boards actually support a wide range of missions-minded folks including the following:
Fundy missionaries actually serving on the foreign field: 406
Fundy missionaries serving in US cities that have “no gospel witness” (but more importantly do have a McDonalds): 5,284
Fundy wannabe missionaries who will spend eight years on ‘deputation’ and then take a job as a traveling salesman for a tract printing company: 14,836
Mission boards ostensibly create accountability for their missionaries while on the field, which is a rather tricky thing to do given the notion that each New Testament church is not answerable to anybody but God — including the one that the missionary just started five minutes ago. Very few people are as free to do whatever they want as a fundy missionary in his foreign church. Time would fail to tell the tales.
In addition to its other vital functions, the fundy mission board also serves as a way of identifying which ‘camp’ the missionary is in. This is very important since Hyles churches won’t support BJU missionaries and vice versa. To make sure that the missionary remains pure, the mission board does the work of setting standards on things like which English Bible translation their missionaries can use in countries that don’t even speak English and what color spouses their children can marry. Where would missionaries be without such guidance?
Go ye into all the world and raise money for missions. Somewhere, a vice president’s salary is depending on you.