Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ma NAMB's unveils new strategy, new terminology

Kevin Ezell, as promised, unveiled his new strategy to NAMB trustees yesterday. As expected, they approved all of it.

Baptist Press report on it: NAMB trustees approve sweeping changes

Is it fair to ask if one aspect of the new strategy is more than a fresh coat of paint on the old barn. I'm speaking of the NAMB/State convention relationships, the so-called "Cooperative Agreements."

There was great anguish along with loud weeping and wailing from some state conventions when the Great Commission Task Force said that NAMB needed to control how they spend their budget and to get greater control they should phase out these Cooperative Agreements with state conventions.

These are being phased out but are being replaced by what Ezell describes as "integrated strategic partnership agreements" with states. This is Baptist Press' quote. I presume that Ezell said the words.

"Integrated strategic partnership agreements" certainly sounds sexier than "Cooperative Agreements." Is there a difference other than the title? I dunno. Ezell did say this about NAMB pouring money into the states under these agreements:

As NAMB funding to Southern states is reduced, Ezell said state leaders will be able to direct that money to specific unreached regions of their choosing. NAMB activity in the South will continue, Ezell said, noting, "We'd be very remiss if we did not continue to invest in the South and plant churches in those areas."
And will ordinary Southern Baptists, you know, the ones who pay all the bills through Cooperative Program and Annie Armstrong giving, be able to actually read one of these Integrated Strategic Partnership Agreements? If not, why not? It's our money.

And as expected, the trustees approved the five Baby NAMBs, regions that get their own layer of management - a Vice President, and attendant accoutrements.

Perhaps good things, good days, and productive ecclesiastical activity are about to begin at NAMB. I hope so. But Kevin Ezell, all of the NAMB executive level employees, and every single trustee should be required to regularly review a synopsis of NAMB's last five years of mistakes, meltdowns, and messes and be reminded how the organization let Southern Baptists down, wasted millions, and lost a lot of trust and credibility. Maybe this will motivate them to be diligent about the Lord's work, responsible in spending our money, and humble and grateful for the many millions that are entrusted to them.

I'm all for sounding the old standby clarion call of Southern Baptists: Let's Move On! Please, let's do. But let's not fail to learn from the recent past so that we do not repeat those expensive mistakes.


Jon L. Estes said...

I think it is very possible that you will see the church starts in the south work in partnership with the mega churches in the south. Those churches who have funds to do this sort of thing and give oversight. Those churches who want to be involved without giving directly through the CP. Those churches who will now be able to be noticed for CP giving. Those churches who we will probably not know how much of our CP dollars are going to them and will never know. SO the mega churches will not only be shown as heroes but heroes on our dollar.


William Thornton said...

I feel sure that NAMB will receive close scrutiny over any plan to make grants to churches, especially megachurches, for church planting. One of these days I suppose Ezell will get around to explaining the details on this or similar strategies.

Anonymous said...

I've bragged about Northwood before at and Tike's Best Friend. That is one large church that I would have full confidence in, to use our church planting money responsibly. I'm sure there are others out there as well. I look forward to any specifics that come out regarding his strategy to make the new and improved NAMB.