Monday, September 13, 2010

Will NAMB trustees stonewall SBCers or answer honest questions?

NAMB is our dysfunctional, $130+ million dollar agency. One can only lament the lost opportunities, the wasted millions, and the past debacles of our penultimate SBC outfit. Perhaps we are on the cusp of something different. I hope so. I pray so.

But most of us recognize a couple of things about our denomination:

Southern Baptists are pretty good at blithely sweeping the ugly past aside, declaring it over and done with, and with impressive bluff and bluster blindly moving ahead without addressing any serious issues. It looks to me like this is what NAMB trustees have done, twice now.

Southern Baptists are also absolutely sans parallel in their faith in shining knights on white horses - 'Get the right guy and our problems are over.' Is this where NAMB is today?

I agree with Norman Jameson about Kevin Ezell, NAMB trustees' candidate to lead the agency who says, "I don’t know Ezell, but everyone I know who does know him believes him to be a godly, wise, visionary man, eminently qualified for the NAMB post."

That said, could we at least answer some honest questions about our CEO nominee:

1. What, exactly, was his church's Great Commission Giving percentage?

The Great Commission Task Force said we should give this statistic so that we could 'celebrate' it. Perhaps some SBCers are waiting to break out the party stuff and just need the figure. Let's see it for Ezell's church. So far, we've seen his generic missions giving, $1 million plus. What amount and percentage of that went to SBC entities and would be counted as Great Commission Giving?

2. What does he plan to say to SBC churches about giving to NAMB through their two major funding streams, the Cooperative Program and Annie Armstrong?

3. Do we have a two-tiered system for denominational support - a top tier from which we get our leaders, churches so large they do direct missions and very little denominational missions and a lower tier who of smaller churches who aren't large enough or knowledgeable enough to do direct missions and should be encouraged to give to denominational causes?

4. NAMB manifestly wasn't something his church demonstrated much support for. Why not? What will he change so that churches like his could wholeheartedly support it?

There is nothing wrong with asking honest questions. NAMB trustees and Kevin Ezell should welcome them and should give honest answers.


Norm said...

William: NAMB trustees and Kevin Ezell should ... give honest answers.

Norm: If forthcoming, truthful, information is such that reasonable people would agree it supports his nomination, you will have your desired/hoped for honest response; you will also have it should such information not be forthcoming (or if it is heavily qualified). With the former, the message is that ‘we wish to appoint a qualified individual,’ however with the latter, the message is that ‘we wish to appoint one that will maintain the power and benefits of the dominant coalition.’ Either way, William, you get an honest answer.

Writer said...

I don't have a dog in this hunt, but I will predict that Ezell will be elected without any difficulty whatsoever. At this point, it would be too embarrassing for the board if they do not elect him. My 2 cents.


Anonymous said...

I disagree that anyone afraid of being embarrassed. I think this is a calculated risk and that he will be elected and the correct assumption already made that people have grown too tired and apathetic to say anything. We have NO strong leaders in the SBC anymore at this rate is what it might say, and the SBC is being run by bullies. Unfortunately, that is becoming the perception. Unless that perception changes, NAMB is in risk of closing shop (which could be the goal) and the SBC will become societal (or at least vastly different), once again, as Rankin and others have indicated is preferable. Ezell will still have a job somewhere, I'm sure of it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what is GCG% might be, but the LO State Exec points out that they gave %2.23 of undesignated receipts through the Cooperative Program.

I saw it here:


Norm said...

Ezell: "I was not considered to be president of the North American Mission Board without you ... They considered me and they have asked me to be nominated to do that because of you. They looked at Highview Baptist Church and all that you have done, and therefore considered me because I was the pastor here. So in a sense you are being nominated, and I happen to be the pastor, so it's me."

Ezell: “... [those] critical of myself ... are bloggers who live with their mother and wear a housecoat during the day.”

ABP: Tim Dowdy, NAMB trustee chairman, said ... members of the search committee were drawn to Ezell "because it is clear that he has a heart for SBC missions ....”

Norm: William, I believe you have your honest answer, not that such will matter one wit in SBC circles. What will be the name of the next task force?

foxofbama said...

I want to congratulate William Thornton, sincerely, on his growing influence in the ranks of the SBC blogging world.
His blog has been picked up and spotlighted at SBCvoices and many of you who may be unaware may want to follow how it plays there as you continue to discourse here.
Also check the Quran exchange with Thornton and others at faith and practice

Dave Miller said...

I hate to disappoint you, William. But the fact that I linked to your article from SBC Voices will probably not raise your influence in the blogging world near as much as Fox seems to think.

Tony Gates said...

Thanks for sharing your agencie's is nice sharing , you should not disappoint with these matters.
lead answer