Wednesday, November 17, 2010

So, how is the NEW NAMB doing?

No, it hasn't been long but one can judge from new NAMB CEO Kevin Ezell's words so far:

NAMB staff reductions
Reductions at the Alpharetta HQ are 25% to start with, says Ezell. To get there Southern Baptists now get to pay for NAMB retirees as young as 54 with severance pay and “generous medical benefits” until they hit Medicare age at 65. Maybe the numbers work for NAMB and I commend the changes that shrink NAMB’s HQ personnel downward from the 275 who are employed there; however, most pastors take a look at this with the understanding that there are virtually none of us who will ever get an early retirement offer with generous medical benefits.

What is this costing us to pay for generous medical benefits for as long as 11 years?

I don’t criticize Ezell for reducing staff. I would like to know the cost.

Retooling NAMB
Pity the long time NAMB staff. They have endured the recent debacles and are now hearing from their new leader:
“little is being done to penetrate lostness”

“our [i.e. NAMB staff prior to Ezell] hearts are in the right place but not our results”

“NAMB has the primary task to assist churches, not to employ people”

“we’ve got to narrow the credibility gap [between NAMB and churches]”

“some church planting groups with less than a tenth of NAMB’s purchasing power are showing themselves to be more effective”
Sometimes the truth hurts. I wouldn’t argue with any of the above quotes but it has to be bad for employee morale to hear that they have been ineffective, lack credibility, and merely occpy jobs.

Getting Cooperative Program and Annie Armstrong revenues up
A “compelling vision” will encourage [churches] to give more.
That is easily measurable. We will see if his vision results in increased revenues.

Ezell will be “absolutely” strongly supportive of the CP and Annie Armstrong.
Good for him. He doesn’t have a choice. Those two revenue streams providing about $100 million of their $130+ million budget.

Future staffing
“not all NAMB staff will need to be fulltime and based in Alpharetta”

“We will use pastors and others who are doing a wonderful job where they are but can advise us”
NAMB to pay pastors as consultants? As long as NAMB is transparent about this, I’m open to the concept. If NAMB proves to be secretive about which “pastors and others” get fees and checks, this could hurt them.

I doubt any SBC leader will have greater scrutiny than Kevin Ezell at NAMB. He gets to run NAMB, our most problem-plagued entity, and that as an outsider who was not supportive of the agency as a pastor. I wish him well.


Anonymous said...

Word from those having to take early retirement is that there is no real severance or retirement benefit--just insurance availability--NAMB employees already pay for a portion of it. Most are looking for jobs--they cannot retire since they cannot draw retirement benefits. These people are in a tough spot--this is a difficult age to be job hunting.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the additional detail.