Give credit to Gerald Harris, editor of The Christian Index, for asking the pointed questions of Kevin Ezell, new NAMB CEO, in his interview with him. What happens at NAMB is important to Georgia Baptists, since NAMB has their massive HQ just outside of Atlanta and since NAMB has so many employees who attend Georgia Baptist churches.
I give credit also to Ezell for sitting for the interview and not flinching from the hard questions.
I don’t find the interview on the Index site just yet. I’ll link it later. My reading of his answers:
He didn’t give much to the CP and NAMB because they weren’t efficient in planting churches. Ezell hopes to change NAMB into something that folks can support.
Looks to me like the new plan will include taking CP and Annie money and giving it to churches to plant churches. While his answers didn’t exactly lay out a concrete plan along these lines, the implication was there. So, are we looking at taking the gifts of smaller churches and giving them to megachurches to do church planting? I’d like to know more.
On Annie Armstrong: “There’s no reason why that can’t be $100 million dollars if we provide a compelling vision and effective strategy.” Again, Ezell as a pastor saw AA as something not worth giving to. As NAMB CEO he thinks his vision and strategy will make it thrive.
On the Cooperative Program: It will improve when people see a compelling vision.
On NAMB HQ staff: “Our first target [for staff reduction] would be 25 percent.” He didn’t say it but clearly believes NAMB will be better off with one-fourth of the people in Alpharetta gone.
ON Acts 29 network: “I have no plans to partner with the Acts 29 Network.”
On Calvinists: “I am not a five point Calvinist…I am not afraid of five point Calvinists.”
I have some sympathy for NAMB personnel. The new CEO didn’t think NAMB was worth his support as a pastor and as CEO one of his first acts expresses his belief that the outfit will be better off with one-fourth of its employees gone. In an earlier statement he used an unwise metaphor to speak of change at NAMB: He was going to take NAMB from from making washing machines (dull, pedestrian, boring) to making cars (fast, exciting, sexy). At least in this interview he had no cringeworthy statements.
I give Kevin Ezell credit for speaking candidly. I give him credit for acknowledging his limitations and for saying that he doesn’t have all the answers. He appears genuine. He doesn’t appear to be infected with the bombast of some of our brethren. I’d like to see him succeed. He asks for time and I’m certainly willing to allow him that. SBCers know that NAMB needs some successes after the debacles of the recent past. Perhaps he can bring them.
He has my prayers.