Thursday, December 9, 2010

Complaints about NAMB changes...

...hardly a surprise.

If our North American Mission Board was, as many labeled it, dysfunctional, then surely there is an expectation that serious changes are needed to restore it to health. Kevin Ezell the new CEO, is wasting no time making changes.

Not everyone is happy, hardly something that is a surprise.

The concept of cutting NAMB Alpharetta HQ personnel by one-fourth was quickly introduced and is being implemented.

Not everyone is happy, again, hardly a surprise.

One trustee has resigned citing the personnel cuts. Seems that three of the people who took early retirement, and it hasn’t been stated that any of these were forced, are members of his church.

I have complained about NAMB for years, particularly their repeated embarrassments with leadership. I don’t recall anyone saying that their people were not good folks who did conscientious work.

The Great Commission Task Force, ratified by the convention, made it plain that major changes should be made at NAMB and here we are presented with some of them.

Hardly a surprise.

Ezell is like the new head football coach. Let him get his team, his program together and see if they can have some success. I haven’t heard anyone complaining that NAMB’s problem was that they didn’t allocate enough personnel or resources to their headquarters.

I suppose there is a lot more than most of us know but I’m willing to give him room and time to make it work.


Anonymous said...

Leadership has been NAMB's problem. The people who sat under that leadership should not be punished for doing so. They had no choice and have endured hell. Now a new president comes in and cleans house and let me tell you the cuts were not where they were needed. He cut the people who were the leaders. That's the sign of an insecure leader. We are not headed in the right direction as a convention. Churches are no longer relevant and our answer is to plant churches in other regions of the US while our own region is bleeding. This makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

You may be right. I don't know. I thought it would have been a good transition for trustees to keep Richard Harris as permanent CEO until he reaches retirement age.

I don't buy your last two sentences. Why can't the Georgia Baptist Convention with thousands of churches handle church planting in our state and let NAMB put resources in less churched areas? The GBC can live without the $800k or so Annie money that is kicked back and has said that they would.


Anonymous said...

My brother states: " people who sat under the leadership were cut", but then says: 'he cut the people who were the leaders"

i have been involved in corporate restructering in the automotive industry. "the leaders" were the ones held accountable, not just the CEO. Most of us in the working world would not call "Early Retirement" with a pension and other benefits being "Let Go". These fine men won't miss a beat as they will be swallowed up by either State, association, or churches.

Some of them will actually feel better 60 days down the road as God replaces NAMB with a fruitful minisry. God is in control!

Pastor Al Brodbent said...

Is it possible to put politics aside? As I followed the election process of Dr. Ezell I read the critics postings, especially the two State Exectutive Directors, and came to this conclusion.

They both praised Dr. Ezell's leadership, ethics, example, and many other positive attirbutes expected in a leader. The only complaint they had was his church wasn't giving enough money to the co-operative program, even though his church supported many SBC efforts directly and thier mission committment was above most churches.

There are times when all of us ought to look at the "Value to God's Kingdom" a ministry is accomplishing. When we are unable to change it then maybe we should look at re-allocating funds to a ministry that is more effective and more responsible for thier spending.

Today, with technology the way it is, a business can be run more efficently with less people than it could 25 years ago.

I beleive that Dr. Ezell is annointed for this position and when the dust settles, those taking early retirement will be blessed with great opportunities, and those that are leaving, that don't qualify for early retirement, as they stay in the will of God will have other opportunities greater than what they have now.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand who is making these decisions. Obviously Ezell can't be since he hasn't been there long enough to know what to do. No, 54's and under aren't "forced" but if they don't leave the threat is that they will be cut anyway without insurance. Many aren't prepared to retire and can't live on what was offered.

I'm sure R. Harris will get consulting money from NAMB--but remember he was on Reccord's search committee and had to know stuff that was going on that trustees did not in that debacle. He is a great politician and will land on his feet.

Lots of resumes out there from those cut--with the economy most church staffs are contracting, not expanding--may take a while for these folks from NAMB to find jobs. At over 54, that makes it all the more difficult.

Sure people can reallocate funds to more effective ministries, but remember NAMB has a steady flow of CP $. They have a lot of money that may lessen as CP goes down--but that will take a long time. They don't have to show effectiveness to keep receiving money.

How can you set politics aside when the politics runs things?--if you aren't political and play the game, you will be shuffled aside. I know its hard to see if you are outside it but it is alive and well.

William Thornton said...

You say, "They [NAMB] don't have to show effectiveness to keep receiving money."

It has been worse than that. They can be dysfunctional and still have the revenue streams flowing. One hopes Ezell can do more that dress up the annual report.

And, with the Georgia Baptist Convention dowinsizing (168 to 104 employees in the past two years) yhe Atlanta area is crawling with former denominational employees.

Anonymous said...

Once again, the SBC PR machine is rolling. Today's BP story, written by "staff", explains that 1/3 of NAMBs staff is leaving by Dec 31. Do the math. In a Christian Index report on 12/10/10, the number of NAMB staff was placed at 250. The number adds up to 40% gone. Why can't we just deal with truth in SBC life. Lots of things need to change at NAMB, but don't downplay the huge impact that these moves are having on nearly 100 families, most of whom love in north Atlanta.

William Thornton said...

Do you think, anon, that the GuideStone change in annuity funding plust the NAMB incentives made it more attractive for some NAMB people to retire? It sounds like the incentives NAMB offered were more successful than they expected.

I would agree that the stress of retirement, early retirement is not insignificant.

Anonymous said...

The GuideStone change was a part, yet the biggest issue was the insurance incentive of adding 10 years to a staff member who had at least 5 years eligible service. For some that "retired" they had no choice since their positions were eliminated The whole Associational Strategy team is gone and the whole church relations/Acts 1:8 team is gone except one and she is moving to the communications team headed up by Mike Ebert, a new Vice President. For most that "retired" feel forced out.