Category Archives for Evangelism

The New NAMB: Part 4 Is It Working? Essential Partnership Humpty Dumpty

April 25, 2017
Dr. Will McRaney
Founder, The Church
Strengthening Network

For decades, the Southern Baptist ecosystem of missions support has been the envy of other networks and denominations. However, it is in danger of crumbling down like the walls of Jericho. Sounds rumbling from the earth indicate this crumbling has already begun. The nationalization of our missions efforts with inappropriate tactics has violated and damaged trust, goodwill, and cooperation. We are dismantling the essential fibers of our SBC missions efforts. Like Humpty Dumpty, they will be hard to put back together again.

Current Southern Baptists inherited walls we did not build with our hands, but we have stewarded what was entrusted to us. Our walls were built by previous generations of faithful mission givers. While we inherited great resources, like kings of old, we cannot trust alone in the strength of our walls to remain, but must connect to God and walk humbly before the Creator and Sustainer of all. We must also as one body be rightly connected to our differing parts: local, state and national. As we face increasing hardships, our cooperation at all three levels is essential if we are going to strengthen our witness. A cord of three strands is stronger than a cord of only one strand. 

This essay is the fourth 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: Under the New NAMB, have essential partnerships and the spirit of cooperation been enhanced or damaged? 

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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