Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday plods...all about NAMB

NAMB is the big newsmaker this week. Here's a day's worth of random plods about them.

One of the major problems at NAMB for the past many years is bad employee morale. Now we have a NAMB trustee saying that Kevin Ezell's election as new CEO will not be so good for NAMB employees. That oughta help.

New CEO commits to moving NAMB to the place where 50% of their funds go into church planting. Well and good. I await the formula for getting there.

NAMB trustees want our money but they don't want us to observe them as they make major decisions. Is it possible that the latter makes the former more difficult?

Donor "A" gives to church "B" who sends it to state convention "C" who sends it to denominational office "D" who sends it to agency "E" who sends it to state convention "F" who spends it on ministry "G." It stands to reason that the deeper in the alphabet the less connected the donor and recipient is.

NAMB looks at the alphabet and intends to reduce the above by two letters, the state conventions, twice, "C" and "F".

State conventions have looked at the alphabet and can reduce it by three letters, denominational office "D", agency "E", and the redundant state convention "F".

Which has a better chance of success?

Big losers this week? State conventions, again. The two presidents who asked serious questions about the CEO nominee were ignored. The new NAMB CEO pointedly said he wasn't interested in sending his church's money to his state convention. The GCRTF and our new SBC president are both, uh, lukewarm or worse about state conventions at their present funding levels....but churches still send the great majority of their giving to the states. So, who's in the driver's seat?

Mark the calendar for our new leader's first meeting with state executives. Ought to be interesting.

Plodder is still interested in what Ezell will say to the churches about sending NAMB money through the Cooperative Program and Annie Armstrong offering. Trustees defended his record by saying that he was "just doing what he saw to be most effective," that is, to eschew cooperative giving. OK, I'm all ears.


foxofbama said...

As I've said before I don't see a way forward for the SBC in any agency if the SBC and its various blogging apologists continue to glory in being uninformed about the recent History that got it to this place. Massaging SBC History and Whitewashing are the order of the day at many places, not necessarily here at the Plodder.
Norman Jameson of the NC Bib Recorder has a strong lament up today at ABP. Will be interesting to see what SBC blogs who fake honesty, integrity and oppenness on their sleeve are up for an honest discussion.
Part of the roundup from another site this week has been a strong but civil discussion by ADrian Rogers son David, and others, at on the Acitivity of Richard Land and the ERLC

Norm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Norm said...

William: “… churches … send the great majority of their giving to the states. So, who's in the driver's seat?”

Norm: I would rephrase the question as: “Churches have money to send, so who’s in the driver’s seat?”

The A to B to C to D back to C then E and divide by 7 after R takes it cut and so on is, as others suggested, convoluted. Simplify. For example:

A church (as an outcome of its deliberative processes), say, gives directly “x” (big) to Denomination SBC (which determines funding for home and foreign needs), directly “x+1” (bigger) to State SBC (which determines funding for state needs), and directly “x+2” (biggest) to local ministries (which determines funding for local needs). As funds move from the local to the denominational level, more churches are contributing to the fund, thus the amounts given from the church may be weighted greater for local needs, which will not starve state and denominational ministries, assuming churches wish to fund state and denominational ministries.

Assuming people wish to work from a community of believers instead of as individuals absent such or with no regard for such, then the power is with churches, not state or denominational offices. The Cooperative Program is a cooperative, decentralized bottom-up financing program parallel to a bottom-up cooperative, decentralized populated governance structure; but in time those given from the bottom to the top for the purposes of organizing programs and processes to benefit the bottom asserted a top-down governance structure and limited organizational perspective in which comments like “churches … send the great majority of their giving to the states. So, who's in the driver's seat?” seems a bit natural to assert. That is, the non-church administrative arms of the whole SBC experience asserted their priority, without much protest or such that has any meaningful significance, which is quite remarkable given historical SBC emphasis of congregational governance and value for interdependent, cooperative effort. But, some say ‘historic SBC’ is now only a subject for historians. Let’s hope they are wrong.

Blake said...

I predict a lame duck NAMB CEO. SBC will never move forward until we cease to be about the S.

Sfox said...

Howell Scott FromLaw2GraceBlog has good opinion piece on the EZell Matter and CP and small Baptist churches.
Scott is an articulate Conservative SBC pastor in New Mexico

David Montoya said...

I don't believe it is the state convention that are the ultimate losers, losers yes, but that is another topic. I believe those who ultimately lose are the churches who keep supporting these monolithic bureaucracies.

Just my opinion.

Jon L. Estes said...

"Trustees defended his record by saying that he was "just doing what he saw to be most effective,""

I think I'll take this approach with my church and when I get that letter that our gifts have dropped (yes they send these out), I'll send back a reply that we are doing what we see to be most effective and tell to graciously thank the new president for the leadership to make such decisions.

Jon Estes