Well, actually, I've never had a conversation with him but he has spoken often enough since his nomination and election as the new CEO of NAMB to have answered some of the questions I wrote down on September 2nd.
1. NAMB, the SBC’s poster child for dysfunction, has come close to losing my trust completely. What will you do in the first 100 days to assure Southern Baptists like me who funnel the $134 million to Alpharetta that NAMB is now on the right track and worthy of our trust?
Well, he has taken steps to pare down NAMB personnel by 25% and this as a “first step.” In a semi-cringeworthy statement he has implied that NAMB does a lot of things but few (maybe none other than disaster relief) things well and that he will refocus NAMB on planting churches.
Sounds good to me.
2. Trustees are to be blamed for both the Reccord debacle (they said on their hands while he wasted millions, branded himself, and mistreated employees) and the Hammond disaster. What will you do to address trustee failures?
Hasn’t said much here and I don’t suppose he can. We will see how he handles things the first time there’s a conflict. I get the sense that he has enough allies to manage trustee critics.
3. Will you be among the few high-profile SBC entity leaders who refuse to be secretive and closed to rank-and-file Southern Baptists who pay the bills? Or, will you be open and transparent and begin by disclosing your compensation package, employment contract, and any severance provisions?
No comment, though it would be a great move for him to do this. Imagine the stature he would gain if he called Baptist Press and said, "Here is my compensation package and employment contract. I want people who pay the bills to know that I will be completely transparent and that they have a right to know where their money is going."
4. How will you assure the average Southern Baptist pastor and church, the average grind-it-out church where the pastor looks out over 100 or less faces every Sunday when he preaches, that your megachurch background will not ignore their gifts, support, or methodology?
He has said that he wants to “connect with churches of all sizes.” OK. Fine. Let’s see.
5. Will you stand up to vested interests and decline to squander our Annie Armstrong millions on a thousand projects in states with abundant numbers of SBC churches in favor of more needed projects elsewhere?
His actions as pastor and statements thus far say answer “yes” to this, that he will stand up to such interests. Good. Do it early and often.
6. Will you refuse to be a cheap cheerleader for the status quo?
Status quo seems to have been left behind. Good.
7. You don’t have a record of great Cooperative Program support. How will you address the lack of credibility that comes from that record while, at the same time, encouraging churches to increase CP support?
I just got around to listening to his podcast of September 21 B21. In it he says that his church didn’t give to Annie because they partnered with NAMB to plant churches. I don’t know why he did not say this early and often to his critics. I don’t have a problem with a low AA offering if a church has the resources to go to NAMB and say, “What do you want done and where and how and we will do it.” I assume that this partnership had some degree of formality and wasn’t just his church spending money and saying that they were doing what NAMB would have done with it had they sent it through the AA offering.
As for the CP, he doesn’t really have a good answer other than his church didn’t like the way the Kentucky Baptist Convention spent the money. On this he is left with little to say other than that he hopes to change NAMB into something that churches are more interested in supporting.