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Southern Religion

Seven unsolid BSCNC pillars

Why did the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina would include Eddie Hammett on a list of employees it let go in August?

He’s a prolific author, well-known church consultant and someone who draws crowds to breakout sessions about reaching young people while keeping older people.

The rational for throwing Hammett overboard lies deep within a speech made by BSCNC Executive Director-treasurer Milton Hollifield three months before the layoffs.

Hollifield told the BSCNC’s Board of Directors on May 20 that the organization had been streamlined based on a document called “Seven Pillars for Ministry,” which outlines Hollifield’s vision for the BSCNC. Hollifield told the directors then that he did not know if the BSCNC would be able to get by without downsizing.

“I shared that possibility with our staff this week. Painfully, I told them, I could not promise that we would be able to avoid eliminating positions,” he said. “If we do, however, it will be based upon what we consider to be mission critical in the direction of the work as documented in the 7 Pillars booklet.”

One would assume, therefore, that Hammett’s role was not considered “mission critical” under the “seven pillars.” They are:

  1. Practice fervent prayer.
  2. Strengthen existing churches.
  3. Promote evangelism and church growth.
  4. Plant new multiplication churches.
  5. Increase work with the international community.
  6. Escalate technology improvements and upgrade the web site.
  7. Reclaim the younger generation of church leaders.

Several of the areas don’t seem to fit Hammett’s strengths. Yet it is still true that Hammett helped strengthen N.C. Baptist churches and helped reclaim younger leaders.

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina understood that. That group hired Hammett about a month after he was let go by the BSCNC.

“Eddie brings to the table a unique awareness of the challenges and needs of congregational life in the 21st century,” said Larry Hovis, the CBFNC coordinator. “His background as a staff minister in local churches, coupled with his experience and expertise in coaching and consulting, will be an invaluable asset to what CBFNC is already doing in bringing Baptists together in North Carolina for Christ-centered ministry.”

BSCNC’s loss is clearly CBFNC’s big gain.

All of which leaves us with an nagging question: If they rationalize bad decisions, how can those pillars hold the BSCNC roof up?

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September 25, 2009 - Posted by | Churches, Economy, Religion | ,

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