Tuesday, April 12, 2011

NAMB to cut missionaries in South by half

I'm a blog exhibitionist, always looking for blog titles that might get attention.

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Ezell emphasized that money -- "absolutely every dollar" -- withdrawn from the states as a result of the new strategic partnerships "will be invested in church planting.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.


Anonymous said...

A lot of that 20% goes to men and women who work directly out of the state offices. I know that is true for NC.

Of course, and not as a means of complaint, these folks mentioned above earn way more than any of the church planters, as church planters, do in our state. I am unaware of any full-time church planting missionaries here in NC.

So I wonder, will the cuts the states will end up making be from the field or the office?

I just met (a few weeks ago) with our district church planting people (2 of them) and NC will begin supporting the church planters on an event basis. The church planters will have to request any funds from the state and tie each of those funds to an event and then be held accountable for the event. If it (say a block party)don't work (not the results wanted), it will probably not be funded again.

I hate to see anyone lose their job but I do think we need better financial support for the NAMB front line church planters.


William Thornton said...

I get the sense that Ezell thinks the same as you do.

Anonymous said...

It is not just missionaries in the South who are getting axed. Substantial dollars from Cooperative agreements were cut in Illinois and will directly affect the new work areas in Northern Illinois. Check out the May 6th edition of the Illinois Baptist under the article Associational Adjustments. Support for the frontline missionaries in Northern Illinois will cease to exist after 2012. End results=small struggling churches,church plants and associations feeling abandoned by NAMB and their state convention. The churches will have to be served from the State convention office, NAMB office or not at all.