A controversial fundamentalist Christian missionary organization called “Jews for Jesus” (JFJ) is in the red, reports Christianity Today.

The annual budget for the group, reported at $15 million, included a 10% deficit of $3 million.

14 workers were given “pink slips” and laid off, which represents a staff reduction of more than 5%.

The group claimed that this was due to a particular costly program that apparently bombed.

However, it may instead reflect a larger trend regarding this type of missionary work generally.

Despite its name, JFJ depends upon the support of the evangelical Christian community for its funding. This largely consists of Baptists, Pentecostals and independent bible churches.

But it seems like that interest is waning and JFJ may be past its prime.

The organization was the brainchild of Martin Rosen, an ordained Baptist minister who once worked for the American Board of Missions to the Jews.

Rosen wanted his own operation, so in the early 70s he came up with a catchy name that is now trademarked, which initially drew substantial attention.

But that was thirty years ago and Rosen has since retired.

Hundreds of workers have come and gone at JFJ and some allege that the organization was abusive and authoritarian.

Rosen’s successor at JFJ admits, “A number …left dissatisfied or hurt…We made plenty of mistakes along the way…we allowed sinful attitudes like pride to infect our lives and our behaviors. He adds, Our founder…has acknowledged that.”

But apologies aside, it may be that the core concepts, which once generated interest in the organization decades ago, are no longer that attractive.

A growing number of evangelicals seem to feel that more thoughtful and less provocative proselytizing is preferable.

It also remains an open question just how effective JFJ ever really was.

Despite the millions spent annually on its crusade, it appears that very few Jews actually converted to fundamentalist Christianity as a direct result of JFJ efforts.

As churches tighten their budgets due to difficult economic conditions and scrutinize how best to allocate resources, JFJ may continue to shrink.

After thirty years of what can be seen as essentially “hit and run evangelism” and an exodus of “hurt” staff, JFJ apparently is running out of gas.


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