As a Southern Baptist pastor that believes in and supports the Trustee system, I fully support the new President at NAMB. Dr. Ezell is the man the Trustees affirmed, reportedly by a 76% vote, to be the next President of that entity. According to one report NAMB has a budget that consists of 17% for Church Planting. My question is simple. Out of a $70 million budget, where is $12 million being used in church planting? In NC we have set aside $4 million in our budget for church planting. What part of NAMB’s $12 million is being used in cooperative agreements? What part of that $12 million is being used in administrative costs?
Now the hard part begins for Dr. Ezell. He will need to tie up loose ends in Kentucky and then he will be on his way to Alpharetta, Georgia. Some question his ability to build the divide that is apparent between him and some state Executive Directors. Will he simply dismiss those that have raised concerns or will he try to mend broken bridges? Dr. Paige Patterson has issued a statement in favor of Dr. Ezell as a model of character and integrity. So it seems that the entity heads are in favor of this latest addition to the Presidential Council. It seems Southern Baptist are rallying around this newest entity president.
I have always been one that has spoken in favor of our trustee system. I will not abandon that conviction. The trustees have spoken and I will follow. I will not stop questioning when there are legitimate questions that need to be asked. I will certainly voice my concerns and not be afraid to do so. I will not sale the call of God on my life to be a pastor for a denominational position because of political expediency either. I will stand up and call on our denomination to do better. I will stand up and call for our leaders to model the CP as central to their missions giving. I will call on trustees of both missions organizations to be models for us in giving to the Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon offerings. I will call on the nominating committee to look specifically at those giving items when placing names before us. I will call on those leading Southern Baptist to affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, without caveats. This I will do because that is who we are as Southern Baptist, we trust God and tell the people.
And when the votes are cast and Southern Baptist have spoken. I will call on all Southern Baptist to rally around our leaders and move forward taking the Gospel to the world. Anything less will not be cooperative and certainly will not be what Southern Baptist have historically stood for.