The SBC Plodder cuts through the chatter and gets to the heart of things!
Our North American Mission Board has endured considerable criticism for supporting church plants that also have a relationship with some church planting network. We are regularly treated to considerable, breathless, blogging acrimony alleging all manner of things about NAMB and other church planting networks.
No matter that there have been few concrete examples offered of such things. But then facts usually don’t slow down bloggers from displaying a good dose of denominational indignation. NAMB has consistently stated that they only plant churches that conform to the Baptist Faith and Message Statement. No one I know has pointed to a single church that does not so conform.
Understanding the scrutiny of such things, NAMB trustees adopted some guidelines for their church plants and other networks.
NAMB’s document is below:
NAMB / Network Guidelines
The North American Mission Board encourages church plants to partner with their association, state convention, NAMB and the IMB. NAMB also affirms that some churches engage with other networks for mission and evangelism purposes in accordance with article 14 “Cooperation” of the Baptist Faith and Message.
NAMB does not affirm or partner with individual networks, but partners with Baptist Faith and Message affirming churches and planters.
In order to be good stewards of Southern Baptist resources and remain focused on our mission, the following guidelines must be upheld in order for a church plant to receive benefits from the Send North America church planting strategy. Church planting is a family activity, and we want to partner with those whose plans and commitments include
a commitment to the SBC family.
As such, we require that churches we support:
1. AFFIRM their doctrine, polity and practices are compatible with the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
2. PARTICIPATE as an SBC church, and have their denominational commitment reflected in their documents, web page, and shared with the congregation.
3. COMPLETE and remain faithful to all the Send North America strategy requirements and policies.
4. GIVE faithfully the agreed percentage through the Cooperative Program.
5. COMMIT to serve as a faithful SBC partner beyond receiving support in order to partner with the future strategy of Send North America in planting additional churches.
Serious, reasonable, and sensible Southern Baptists (I recall state convention presidents, DOM, along with your ordinary blogger types) have raised questions about NAMB church plants and church planting networks. There are questions to be asked and discussions to be had on the matter. NAMB trustees felt the need to respond put this policy in place.
It seems to me that discussions around Acts29 and NAMB revolve around casual presumptions and potential problems rather than real problems. I want NAMB to plant SBC churches. When I’ve raised the question about this with NAMB people, the response has been that they only plant churches that conform to the BFM.
I have yet to see anything to dispute this.