The New NAMB: Part 3 Is It Working? Our Church Planting Emphasis

April 22, 2017
Dr. Will McRaney
Founder, The Church
Strengthening Network

When it comes to Southern Baptist church planting, strategic matters cannot be addressed in soundbites or 140-character Tweets. One must first gain a wider and deeper understanding of the issues. I began my exploration in a PhD seminar on the History of SBC Evangelism in 1989 at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. I had the privilege of reviewing the dusty SBC Annuals and tracing SBC church planting from its earliest roots to determine its impact upon evangelism.

In 2010, Southern Baptists went “all-in” with church planting as our sole evangelism focus. This approach radically impacted NAMB, State Conventions, Associations, and practically everything and everyone engaged in SBC evangelism. 

This essay is the third part of a series entitled The New NAMB—Is It Working? Throughout this series, we are exposing the questions being asked by NAMB as weaker questions than the better questions we are asking. Today’s “better question” is this one: What are the numbers and types of church plants and what are the evangelistic results of these plants?

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The Perils of Entertaining Youth

April 21, 2017

By Paul Gould, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Christian Apologetics in the School of Theology
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared at Theological Matters and is used by permission.

As a parent of teens, I long for my kids to mature into faithful followers of Christ who put others before themselves, live for a greater purpose, and embody Christian virtues. I long for them to be surrounded by a community of Christ-following peers and mentors who spur, encourage and challenge them to be find their identity at the foot of the cross. Continue reading

The New NAMB: Part 2 Is It Working? Analyzing our Baptism Results

April 19, 2017
Dr. Will McRaney
Founder, The Church
Strengthening Network

At the 2016 SBC Annual Meeting, when Dr. Kevin Ezell presented a report from the North American Mission Board entitled It’s Working, he was referring to the implementation of NAMB’s new strategy over the past six years. However, his version of the storyline does not match the facts.

Is It Working? The answer to this question is a resounding “no” in light of the evangelistic results actually reported by SBC churches and church plants. While this is certainly not the kind of news anyone wishes to hear, the data nevertheless supports such a conclusion, which may explain why certain facts were either missing or misused in Dr. Ezell’s report. Baptisms per church have declined 18.7% during Ezell’s six-year tenure.

This essay is the second part of a series entitled The New NAMB—Is It Working? In the first part, the questions asked and answered by Dr. Ezell in his report were exposed as weaker questions than the better questions we are asking and answering in this series. Today’s “better question” is this one: How are Southern Baptists doing in evangelism as seen in baptism reports and in correlating comparisons under the New NAMB?

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