Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The rising stock of Kevin Ezell and our North American Mission Board

If you are the president of the North American Mission Board you go to work in a suburb of Atlanta named Alpharetta. Your office is about 20 minutes from the Georgia Baptist Building in another suburb of Atlanta, Duluth. Your employees are members of Georgia Baptist churches around Atlanta and you're smart enough to know that they rub shoulders with GBC employees.

You’re also savvy enough to understand that denominational employees, folks who work for you and whom you pass in the hallways in Alpharetta, aren’t afraid to talk about their work. You probably understand that if they are unhappy they will find an outlet to express it.

Not having been born yesterday and probably being seasoned to such things as a pastor, you are well aware that the Georgia Baptist paper, The Christian Index, has an office in the GBC HQ in Duluth and that the editor, Gerald Harris, has been friends with some of your employees for years. You presume that friends talk. You also know that Harris and The Index has given close scrutiny to goings on at NAMB and hasn’t hesitated to print the results of such scrutiny.

You probably understand the need for some old-fashioned schmoozing with Gerald.

Sorry, Plodder doesn’t have a schmooze report for Kevin Ezell and Gerald Harris but it carries weight with him when Gerald Harris says that
“Ezell’s stock is rising.”
Harris reaches vast numbers of SBCers, thousands, with The Christian Index. I reach, well, dozens and have been quite critical of NAMB over the past few years. They have deserved it. No SBC entity has deserved to be criticized more so than NAMB and they still have some work to do to regain my complete trust.

But from this distance, I join Harris in viewing Kevin Ezell’s stock as rising. HQ personnel have been cut, a good move, though painful. Baby NAMBs have been established, jury is out on those but this is what was expected. NAMB has acutely sharpened their focus on church planting, something that was needed. We will see how it goes.

But what I like best about Harris’ evaluation of Ezell is his description of him as being open and transparent. If we have a leader who is genuinely open and transparent, that will go a long way to restoring trust in our sadly dysfunctional agency.

My church is collecting an Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions, the thirtieth consecutive year that a church I pastor has done so. We may not exceed last year’s total – things are extremely tight – but I feel better about NAMB than I did this time last year.

I believe I will hang onto my stock in Kevin Ezell and NAMB and watch it’s value rise.


Tim Dahl said...


Do you have a link to the article in the Christian Index?



Anonymous said...

I can't. The Index makes you register. Perhaps BP will carry Harris' piece.

William Thornton said...
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