Ezell must overcome a mismatch of experience and personality to NAMB restoration
Arkansas Baptist News Editor Charlie Warren welcomes Kevin Ezell aboard as president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s troubled, sprawling North American Mission Board. After two successive failed administrations and a discussion of merging it with the foreign-missions-focused International Mission Board, the NAMB is on the ropes.
All Ezell lacks for the job of restoration is appropriate experience and diplomatic skills.
[Emil] Turner, executive director of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, commented prior to Ezell’s election, “It seems surprising to me that the search committee would recommend someone whose level of support for the North American Mission Board through the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering could not sustain the work of NAMB were it to be duplicated widely across the convention…. I would hope that the new president of NAMB could be an example of commitment to the Cooperative Program as called for by the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force and to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.”
Ezell’s flippant, sarcastic response about concerns raised by David Hankins, Louisiana Baptists’ executive, and Turner fails the diplomacy test.
Complicating matters for Ezell, the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force recommendations, approved by messengers to the SBC annual meeting in June, ripped apart the cooperative agreements NAMB has with state conventions without suggesting an alternative means for NAMB to cooperate with state conventions in the future. Ezell will have to figure out how those cooperative relationships will be redefined.
Good luck with that, and may the GCR cadre [force?] be with you, it seems.
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