I’ll admit it. I was torqued off by Dr. Ezell’s words to his church that disdained bloggers who criticized him. I was not among those bloggers, but I still felt the unfairness of the criticism.
That thread was really active yesterday. But as the day wore on, the comments started to trend a little too negative for my comfort. There seems to be some real anger out there toward the SBC and its leaders and style. I understand that. I get a little frustrated at times.
But I do not think that simply venting our anger is productive. Let’s turn it positive (group hug, everyone).
What would you suggest to Kevin Ezell about how to make NAMB more effective?
Here’s my initial offerings:
1) Focus NAMB’s work where there isn’t a Southern Baptist Church on every street corner.
I’d like to do a little exercise here. Anyone south of the Mason-Dixon line live in a city of around 100,000? Sioux City is just under that. How many Southern Baptist churches does your city have? We have two churches, each of which averages less than 300 in attendance on Sunday morning. And we are a uniquely strong SBC city here in Iowa.
Its a different world in the Northeast, the Midwest, the Great Lakes, the Plains states, the Northwest and the far West. It seems to me that the NAMB focus ought to be outside the Deep South – where SBC churches abound.
2) Ezell and NAMB need to work to assure state conventions in New Work areas (and other areas as well) that they do not hold the state conventions in disdain and disregard.
State convention work in New Work states is dependent on NAMB funding to keep going. There is a general sense up here that NAMB wants to bypass cooperation with state conventions and fly solo in new-work states.
If Ezell and NAMB intend to work with the conventions in partnership and cooperation, they need to say so.
Are things going to change? Of course. They will and they probably should. But at least NAMB could assure state conventions that they are going to work in partnership with them.
3) I hope and pray that Dr. Ezell will be a new leader in convention openness. Where secrecy abounds, so does distrust.
Much of the negativity in yesterday’s comment stream focused on the tendency toward secrecy today. It is counter-productive and creates a climate of distrust.
Trust the people. Tell the people.
What do you think Kevin Ezell needs to do at NAMB? Let’s pretend he is going to read this and tell him what we think needs to happen.