Kevin Ezell has begun to share his new vision for NAMB and Baptist Press is reporting it. He is planning to divide NAMB into 5 regions, each of which will have a VP who will report directly to him. He has named the VPs for the Midwest and Canadian regions.
Here is the map of the regions that NAMB has published in BP:
He claims that each of the regional supervisors will work with the state convention executives in partnership. There has been a persistent fear (long before Ezell took the helm) that NAMB has been wanting to move away from partnerships and wants to work directly with churches independently of the state conventions. Right now, that does not seem to be the case. Ezell seems to be consistently expressing his desire to work in partnership with the states.
It was that fear that was at the root of a lot of GCR opposition in the New Work states. At this time, Ezell seems to be indicating his intention to continue to work in partnership. Hope that follows through.
Of course, the thing that I have read that makes some of us nervous is the idea that he will focus on population centers for NAMB work. He says that his strategy, “prioritizes the largest areas of lostness.” That strikes some fear in rural areas and in the smaller states with smaller cities. We will have to wait nervously to see how that plays out.
Here is the full text of Ezell’s letter:
I will be presenting several items to our Board of Trustees when I meet with them February 9 and I wanted to share some of those details ahead of time.
— Strategy and Approach
I believe NAMB’s strategy needs to revolve around church planting that is focused on penetrating lostness in North America. We will mobilize churches to become part of this church planting effort. Then we will equip them for the task and help them get it done.
This national strategy will be implemented regionally, working in close partnership with state Southern Baptist conventions in a way that prioritizes the largest areas of lostness. I am proposing that these five regions—Northeast, South, Midwest, West and Canada—each have their own leader who will report directly to me.
— New Personnel
I have been asking God and others to lead me to those who would be best equipped to provide leadership for these regions. I am happy to say that I will present two of those to our trustees in February.
— VP — Midwest Region — Steve Davis
I am proposing that Steve Davis, who has provided great leadership at the Indiana Baptist State Convention since 2003 and has pastored for three decades, should lead our efforts in the Midwest Region. I could not be happier at the prospect of having Steve in this vital role.
— VP — Canadian Region — Jeff Christopherson
Jeff Christopherson has been one of our church planting missionaries and is at the forefront of those efforts in Canada. He has proven his great leadership and mobilizing abilities. I will present him to lead the Canadian Region.
These are the only two regional vice presidents we will be presenting to our trustees at this time, but I will present two other vice president candidates at our meeting.
— Organizational Structure
As I have said over the past months, once we determine our strategy, we will need to re-align our organization in a way that will let us best carry out that strategy. I will present that re-structuring to our trustees at February’s meeting. There are not any staffing reductions associated with this re-alignment.
I want to thank all of those who have been praying for me and the North American Mission Board during these days of transition. These are exciting times, but also critical days as we forge ahead with what I believe can be a new era of effectiveness for Southern Baptists.
Kevin Ezell, President, North American Mission Board, SBC
January 28, 2011
Here’s hoping the “new era of effectiveness” for NAMB is more than a slogan.