Last year’s NAMB news was about emptying their Alpharetta, GA headquarters of considerable numbers of personnel to free up money for the job of church planting.
This year’s NAMB news may be in the sharper focus on church planting of personnel outside HQ. Back in June, Baptist Press reported (a reprint of a Christian Index story) on NAMB head Kevin Ezell’s plant to make job assignment changes for the considerable number of associational missionaries that NAMB funds:
About 250 directors of missions fully funded by NAMB will have their ministry assignments changed to "church planter catalyst." Ezell said the areas of the nation where most of them serve -- in heavily unchurched new work areas -- are where new churches are needed the most.
Use for an example of that assignment change what NAMB is doing with the Baptist Convention of New York. The Christian Index reported last week that the BCNY has seven associational missionaries who are fully or partly funded by NAMB. These people have been reassigned as church planting catalysts who have a goal of starting four churches per year in their associations.
In the past six years (2004-2010) the number of churches reported by the BCNY has increased by a total of thirty. If goals are met there will be about that many started in 2012 alone. That’s progress, and pressure.
Two things that might be said here. First, one of the problems identified by Ezell and the new NAMB was described as “soft” numbers in NAMB’s reporting of new congregations. One supposes that these new churches in New York will not be “soft” just to meet the goals. Second, what is to be done if goals are unmet?
Concerning the latter, here is what BP reported in June:
In most cases missionaries serving in director of missions positions will be allowed a year of transition, beginning in January 2012, to see if the new job description is a good fit. If not, they can retire or decide to find other ministry opportunities.NAMB to AMs: 'You've got one year.'
I wouldn’t want the pressure, unless I was called to the task and confident in the Lord working to get churches started in the BCNY.
Well, a focus on church planting was the intent of the Great Commission Resurgence report. It was what Kevin Ezell said he would do. Here's the reality on the ground in the BCNY. Presumably, NAMB intends to do the same for the other 243 associational missionaries that they fund.
Want a pressure cooker job? There might be some available soon.