||Dr. Will McRaney
Founder, The Church
Southern Baptists invest and entrust $375 million annually to national and international causes, both through Cooperative Program channels and directly through our two primary mission offerings, the Lottie Moon Offering for international missions and the Annie Armstrong Offering for North American missions. Since NAMB leaders alone steward over $400 million in assets and a $120 million annual budget, the office of the President of NAMB carries enormous trust and should possess the utmost integrity.
It stands to reason that an examination of the stewarding of the staggering financial resources entrusted to NAMB would not only be acceptable, but would be welcomed. Most assuredly, the generous gifts are resourcing missionaries and helping to advance the gospel. Yet, a closer look is merited just as in a family budget, as a matter of accountability to determine if the resources are helping to accomplish the objectives and values of Southern Baptist givers. These givers, many of them on a fixed income in our 30,000 bedrock churches of 200 or less, have every expectation that those in charge of setting direction and providing oversight are using their resources wisely. These same bedrock churches give 41% of all CP dollars.
I am not suggesting personal or corporate misuse of resources for personal financial gain. However, the facts reveal that SBC resources have been parlayed and misused to secure favors for Dr. Ezell and organizational compliance or silence for NAMB. The facts reveal that Dr. Ezell used SBC entrusted financial resources to threaten a state convention staff, mission and their Executive Director. The facts reveal that NAMB has reprioritized funds to church planting at the expense of national and state evangelism staff while baptisms are declining at alarming rates.
This essay is the fifth 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: Have the financial and human resources entrusted to NAMB been wisely and appropriately stewarded?