It is rather poignant to read the Baptist Press story headlined, 99 leaving NAMB as part of downsizing.
The sadness isn't because of the absence of the ice sculptures once found at NAMB (my scrutiny of the photo above yeilds not a single fabulous ice sculpture) but because almost a hundred folks are on their way out the door for the final time.
It is reported that 81 of these took the early retirement incentives (a part of which is payment of half their health insurance cost until medicare age, if I recall correctly, a benefit which is very generous) and 18 others leave due to support staff reductions.
The new CEO, Kevin Ezell, came in weilding a sizable budget and personnel hatchet and wasted no time before he announced a 25% HQ personnel cut some months ago. Last Friday he said,
"I have the very strong conviction that NAMB has been trying to do too much in too many different arenas,"A sentiment shared by many, I suppose.
One suspects that GuideStone contributed as much to the large number of early retirees due to their announced change in annuity funding formulas.
NAMB says that the retirement packages are as generous as they could make them. I wish they would put a figure on it for the SBCers who pay the bills. I certainly don't begrudge the cost of transitioning longtime employees to another job but I would like to know how much it cost us to do this and the savings from the reduced size as well.
I'll make a rash conjecture that Ezell will not be able to get next year's Annie Armstrong offering up. Maybe in time. The new normal I hear from folks everywhere is a lower normal.
Although the Atlanta area SBC clergy market is sizable and the influx of a good number of people in that job market has to be felt. But one can look at it another way. Who better than NAMB people to get to the front lines in a church position and get baptisms and attendance up?
Pastor, are you thinking about moving from your church? Be prepared to have some high quality former NAMB folks as 'competition'. I guess the Lord can sort all that out.
Toss in Georgia Baptist Convention former employees, they have gone from 168 employees to 104 in two years, and that's a lot of folks for the SBC job market. Then there are the usual clergy who want to move, have to move, are forced to move.
The SBC times they are a-changing indeed.