NAMB’s directs $1.2 million to GPS plan
    February 13 2009 by Staff and wire reports

    The North American Mission Board (NAMB) will spend up to $1.2 million in 2010 on a national evangelism strategy that came under fire last year for a lack of funding.

    NAMB will offer funds toward a strategic national media buy to implement the evangelism emphasis called God's Plan for Sharing (GPS), according to a Baptist Press report.

    In November, GPS was the focus of an analysis in the Georgia Christian Index. The article criticized NAMB for failing to adequately fund the effort when NAMB’s budget showed no line item for GPS promotion.

    The money next year will be spent on television, radio, newspapers and Internet. The efforts will be coordinated with state conventions to ensure the most effective approach is used in each region.

    NAMB will coordinate the buys through a single source, produce the media pieces and make them available for free to state convention partners that participate in GPS.

    A Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) official said the BSC has not had contact with NAMB regarding media buys in North Carolina. Meetings later will determine the best approach in the state and how GPS will play into the BSC’s overall evangelism strategy.

    Before the announced media buy, the BSC’s evangelism leader Don McCutcheon said GPS would likely be ancillary to the BSC’s evangelistic strategy.

    The Baptist Press report said that as state conventions commit to participating in GPS, NAMB will work closely with state convention leaders in those states to strategize the best media approach for that state. States able to contribute more funding to the effort will be encouraged to do so.

    BSC officials previously said there were no plans for the BSC to purchase media buys.

    NAMB already has begun producing media that will be used in the GPS campaign. In late 2008, NAMB commissioned a comprehensive survey discover the most effective media tools to use when sharing Christ with those not in the church and those who do not have a relationship with Christ. The survey was conducted by LifeWay Christian Resources.

    "So far our research shows us there is no approach more effective than an individual personally sharing Christ with a friend or family member," said Geoff Hammond, NAMB's president. "So we should never expect media to take the place of a one-on-one contact. But there are clearly things we can do to till the soil of a person's life so he or she will be more open when someone is there to plant a seed."

    Hammond introduced GPS at the 2008 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. NAMB's goal is to make GPS adaptable enough to adjust to local and regional specific needs and sensitivities, yet cohesive enough to give the denomination a single point around which to organize evangelism activities.

    Baptist associations in five states — Texas, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, California and Georgia — will begin piloting GPS materials this year in their areas. Information obtained in the pilots will shape final versions of initial GPS resources that will be available for 2010.

    2/13/2009 9:07:00 AM by Staff and wire reports | with 0 comments

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