Hunt, Floyd address NAMB
    May 26 2010 by Mickey Noah, Baptist Press

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Delivering the devotional to trustees of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) at their May 19 meeting in Kansas City, Mo., Great Commission Resurgence Task Force (GCRTF) chairman Ronnie Floyd said he’s “never had a greater passion than I do today to see that North America and the world have a gospel witness for Jesus Christ.”

    “How long has it been since you’ve re-thought what you’re being asked to do on this board?” asked Floyd, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark. “Pause and get your heart around that. God has entrusted you with the privilege of sitting on this board and to operate as a team to develop a heart, passion and vision to reach North America with the gospel. I have a big spiritual word for that — ‘Wow!’”

    Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) President Johnny Hunt, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., also attended but did not speak at the meeting. He addressed NAMB trustees in an informal gathering the night before when he and Floyd discussed details of the recent GCRTF recommendations and took questions from trustees.

    NAMB trustees elected Tim Dowdy, pastor of Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, Ga., as the board’s new chairman. Dowdy has served for two years as the board’s first vice chairman. Elected first vice chairman: Doug Dieterly, an attorney who serves as executive pastor of Plymouth Baptist Church in Plymouth, Ind.; second vice chairman, Ric Camp, pastor of Sonrise Baptist Church in Mobile, Ala.

    Photo by Mickey Noah

    Tim Dowdy, center, newly elected chairman of the North American Mission Board’s trustees and pastor of Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, Ga., congratulates Ric Camp, left, new second vice chairman of the board and pastor of Sonrise Baptist Church, Mobile, Ala., and Indiana attorney Doug Dieterly, first vice chairman of the NAMB Board. Dieterly is a member of Plymouth (Ind.) Baptist Church.

    The search for a new NAMB president continues, Ted Traylor, chairman of the president search team and pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla., reported.

    “Although the announcement of a nominee is not imminent, the team is making progress,” Traylor said in comments after the meeting.

    While Traylor’s eight-year term as a NAMB trustee expires in mid-June, trustees voted in executive session to allow him to continue to chair the search team. The extension gives Traylor a vote on the search committee, but he will not have a vote when the entire board of trustees ultimately decides on a new president of NAMB.

    In addition to Traylor, other members of the NAMB president search team are trustees Tim Dowdy; Doug Dieterly; Larry Gipson, pastor of First Baptist Church, Oneonta, Ala.; Chuck Herring, senior pastor of Collierville (Tenn.) First Baptist Church; Lisa Knutsen, an elementary school teacher from Las Vegas; Mike Palmer, pastor of Salmon Valley Baptist Church and Lemhi River Cowboy Church, Salmon, Idaho; and ex-officio member Tim Patterson, outgoing NAMB trustee chairman and senior pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Fla.

    In his remarks to the trustees, interim NAMB President Richard Harris rhetorically asked whether NAMB’s staff and trustees will face the future with faith or fear.

    “NAMB’s future has been described by some — not me — as broken and which can’t be fixed,” Harris said. “I’ve heard others say NAMB is ineffective and insignificant — that NAMB has no future and has squandered its opportunities.

    “The day I think those things, I’ll walk out the door. If you believe NAMB is ineffective, insignificant or has squandered opportunities — whether you’re on the staff or a trustee — you ought to resign and go home. I think NAMB has a greater future that most of us can imagine,” Harris said.

    Harris said he agrees with the assessment of longtime SBC attorney Jim Guenther, who has stated that “As NAMB goes, so goes the SBC.”

    Harris said the mission board’s work and purpose has not changed: to lead the Southern Baptist Convention to evangelize and congregationalize North America in order to penetrate the continent’s vast lostness, encompassing some 258 million non-believers, or three of every four North Americans.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, staff and trustees, this is our watch,” Harris said. “We’re going to stand before God and give an account of the decisions we made, the faith we exercised and the directions we took. In my humble conviction, this may be the most crucial year in the history of NAMB, the staff and the trustees.

    “We need to stop looking in the rearview mirror and get our eyes on where the Lord is leading. We need to commit to a new cooperation and collaboration by those in this room. We need to bring forth creative ideas — pooling the ideas of the best missiological thinkers.

    “We need a new model of partnership among the national agencies, state conventions and associations — a partnership to build the Kingdom, not our kingdom. We need to work together to help churches partner and succeed in fulfilling the Great Commission. Most important, we need a fresh touch from above and to be empowered by the Holy Spirit.”

    Harris highlighted the positive results of several recent NAMB initiatives:
    • the commissioning of 88 new missionaries and chaplains on May 16 at Lenexa (Kan.) Baptist Church in Lenexa, Kan. the upcoming deployment of 437 semester missionaries and 745 summer missionaries.
    • coordination of the delivery of 155,000 Buckets of Hope in Haiti, with major support from state conventions, associations and local churches. As a result of Southern Baptist disaster relief volunteers and Haitian Baptists, more than 135,000 professions of faith have been recorded since the earthquake on Jan. 12; for every two DR workers, there have been two professions of faith. So far 135 new Baptist churches have been planted in Haiti since the earthquake.
    • success in the March 1-April 30 God’s Plan for Sharing (GPS) campaign, with 10,500 churches participating to distribute some 15 million “Find It Here” printed pieces.
    In his financial report to the trustees, NAMB’s vice president and chief financial officer, Carlos Ferrer, announced that through April 30, overall year-to-date revenues were down 2.8 percent. Cooperative Program revenue was down 5.15 percent. Ferrer said Annie Armstrong Easter Offering revenue normally doesn’t start coming in until June. This year’s Annie Armstrong Easter Offering goal is $70 million.

    In closing the meeting, newly elected chairman Tim Dowdy reminded trustees of NAMB’s primary task.

    “There are 258 million lost people in North America,” Dowdy said. “I went to bed last night thinking about that number. What if it was my best friend? What if it was my dad? What if it was my mom? Let’s go to the (annual Southern Baptist) Convention and do our work in the years to come not so interested in what we have to protect but what we have to proclaim. The gospel is indeed still Good News no matter what language you speak and that’s what we’re about at the North American Mission Board.”

    (EDITOR’S NOTE — Noah is a writer for the North American Mission Board.)
    5/26/2010 7:39:00 AM by Mickey Noah, Baptist Press | with 1 comments

Gene Scarborough
Let me take us back by my personal knowledge. My father was a field missionary as Chaplain to the Fulton County Juvenile Court. We lived in Atlanta and I was at the Spring Street headquarters often. I personally knew Corts Redford and Arthur Rutledge. Many of the various leaders of mission areas attended with me at Decatur First Baptist Church.

[b]Here are my observations from the "good days" of late 50-70's:[/b]

(1) It was a ministry and not a position paid exhorbitantly.
(2) It based its outlook on supporting the local missionary as they expressed needs.
(3) The building was totally practical---and not some remote elegant campus in Affluent Alpharetta.
(4) The location put headquarters in the real world of street people in Atlanta.
(5) The divisions were Administration / Language Missions / Chaplancy / Mission Centers / Publishing / Interdemonimational Relations and possibly a couple more.

The majority of the staff spend its greatest time physically in the field consulting with missionaries. Missionaries shared their successes and were copied by their peers.

[b]The basic questions were:[/b]

(1) How can we help people and win them to Christ?
(2) How can we encourage the local churches to minister and serve?
(3) How do we wisely use the funds provided for maximum impact on people without Christ?
(4) How can we partner with Associations and State Conventions in placing Missionaries?

Annually, at Ridgecrest, we all came together for inspiration and sharing. It was the highlight of my year as an MK and, later, as the Director of Juvenile Rahabilitation for the Wake County Court and Raleigh Baptist Association.

I fail to see how the needs of the homeland have changed.

[b]I [i]do see [/i]how remote and like CEO's in Corporate America the Alpharetta Staff has become.[/b]
5/28/2010 7:37:12 AM

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