I can see how, if you are a NAMB funded missionary, or a joint NAMB-State Convention funded missionary, this might be a rather difficult time for you. As the new NAMB unfolds, we learn a little more month-by-month. Now we learn that NAMB will drop half of their funding for missionaries who are jointly funded with state conventions in the South.
A few exerpts from NAMB CEO Kevin Ezell’s interview with Florida Baptist Witness editor James Smith:
Ezell said NAMB and the states would continue to have "jointly funded missionaries in every state. We're not going to totally reduce all those…State conventions in the South, which he said currently receive about 20 percent of NAMB's funding through cooperative agreements, will "probably end up being somewhere around 10 [percent]" as part of the reprioritization of church planting funding in regions outside the South."So, state conventions in the South will have to pick up funding for about half of these. Which half? Whom? Ezell said that the states will decide that.
Ezell emphasized that money -- "absolutely every dollar" -- withdrawn from the states as a result of the new strategic partnerships "will be invested in church planting. Every cent."
Sounds like a good change to me.
On the Annie Armstrong offering and Cooperative Program funding:
"Whether you were for GCR or against GCR. If you like me, don't like me. It's not about me; it's not about GCR. It's about missionaries.... Whatever you do, we need to support our missionaries. We can work the rest of this stuff out. But we don't want to do it at the expense of our missionaries," he said.I would point out to our NAMB CEO that this is about what NAMB has been saying in the past, during and after their famous debacles. At some point, SBCers who pay the bills by giving to NAMB through the CP and AAEO have no option other than to withhold support. When we see that NAMB is going to be run properly, our money not be squandered, and decisions not embarrass us, we will support it wholeheartedly.
Neither NAMB nor the International Mission Board, the seminaries or any SBC entity is entitled to unwavering financial support from the churches because not to do so would penalize our missionaries. Trustees and administrators need to see that their decisions are the ones that penalize missionaries, not churches so fed up with agency meltdowns that they give less.
I'm an outsider in all this but what I read about changes at NAMB are good.