NAMB is our dysfunctional, $130+ million dollar agency. One can only lament the lost opportunities, the wasted millions, and the past debacles of our penultimate SBC outfit. Perhaps we are on the cusp of something different. I hope so. I pray so.
But most of us recognize a couple of things about our denomination:
Southern Baptists are pretty good at blithely sweeping the ugly past aside, declaring it over and done with, and with impressive bluff and bluster blindly moving ahead without addressing any serious issues. It looks to me like this is what NAMB trustees have done, twice now.
Southern Baptists are also absolutely sans parallel in their faith in shining knights on white horses - 'Get the right guy and our problems are over.' Is this where NAMB is today?
I agree with Norman Jameson about Kevin Ezell, NAMB trustees' candidate to lead the agency who says, "I don’t know Ezell, but everyone I know who does know him believes him to be a godly, wise, visionary man, eminently qualified for the NAMB post."
That said, could we at least answer some honest questions about our CEO nominee:
1. What, exactly, was his church's Great Commission Giving percentage?
The Great Commission Task Force said we should give this statistic so that we could 'celebrate' it. Perhaps some SBCers are waiting to break out the party stuff and just need the figure. Let's see it for Ezell's church. So far, we've seen his generic missions giving, $1 million plus. What amount and percentage of that went to SBC entities and would be counted as Great Commission Giving?
2. What does he plan to say to SBC churches about giving to NAMB through their two major funding streams, the Cooperative Program and Annie Armstrong?
3. Do we have a two-tiered system for denominational support - a top tier from which we get our leaders, churches so large they do direct missions and very little denominational missions and a lower tier who of smaller churches who aren't large enough or knowledgeable enough to do direct missions and should be encouraged to give to denominational causes?
4. NAMB manifestly wasn't something his church demonstrated much support for. Why not? What will he change so that churches like his could wholeheartedly support it?
There is nothing wrong with asking honest questions. NAMB trustees and Kevin Ezell should welcome them and should give honest answers.