By Mike Ebert
“For us to spur on what I hope will be an evangelistic emphasis for our convention, it is very important for us to come up with a pathway for churches to follow,” said Ezell, NAMB president.BALTIMORE – Kevin Ezell told trustees of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) he hopes a new tool designed to help Christians start gospel conversations will help Southern Baptists be more evangelistic.
Ezell invited Jimmy Scroggins, lead pastor at First Baptist Church West Palm Beach, to share the tool with trustees. Scroggins and his church developed the tool to share Christ with people regardless of their background.
“We wanted to come up with a way to talk to people who are far from God and don’t have a biblical, Christian background,” Scroggins told trustees. “Even people who don’t believe in God know that they have problems. What we figured out is that we’ve got to be able to talk to people from a variety of cultural backgrounds and take conversations about problems and turn them into conversations about Jesus.”
Ezell said Scroggins and his church are charging nothing for NAMB to use and distribute the tool. An app and print version of the 3 Circles: Life Conversation Guide are available free of charge.
“He’s been an ambassador and an advocate for the North American Mission Board when that wasn’t necessarily a cool thing to do,” Ezell said. “He’s taken many bullets for us during our transition and for that I am grateful.”
“I love you guys,” Roesel said. “My passion is North America. And I am so thankful to have a great president like we have.”
Trustees heard reports from each region of the United States and Canada about how NAMB’s Send North America strategy is progressing as they met prior to the Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.
NAMB Chief Financial Officer Carlos Ferrer reported that year-to-date revenue at NAMB stands at $64 million with expenses at $76 million. This imbalance is temporary and typical for this time of year since income from the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® usually does not peak until mid-summer.
“None of this ministry could happen if it wasn’t for God’s great provision and Southern Baptists’ great generosity,” Ferrer told trustees.
Trustee actions included:
- Approval of a fiscal 2014-2015 operating budget of $121.5 million.
- Election of new officers. The board elected Chuck Herring, senior pastor, Collierville First Baptist Church, Collierville, Tenn., as chairman. Herring had just completed two years of service as second vice chair of the board. As vice chairman, trustees elected attorney Mark Dyer, a member of Parkway Hills Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. As second vice chair trustees elected Stephen “Spike” Hogan, lead pastor of Chets Creek Church, Jacksonville, Fla. Officers are elected to one-year terms and may serve two terms in the same role if re-elected.
- Recognition of departing Trustees. NAMB trustees celebrated the years of service of several whose terms are concluding. Those recognized were Rickey E. (Ric) Camp of Trussville, Ala., who served as vice chairman of the board for two years; Wesley R. Eader Sr. of Kalama, Wash.; Raymond L. Edge of Bastrop, Texas; Charlotte R. Gurney of Hooksett, N.H.; David R. Kehrer of Pflugerville, Texas; William S. (Scott) Moody of Silsbee, Texas; Ryan Palmer of Baltimore, Md. and David Self, of Houston, Texas. Corey L. McGee of Nikiski, Alaska, resigned before his term concluded.
Ezell gave special recognition to Douglass Dieterly who concluded two years of service as chairman of NAMB’s Board of Trustees.
“We have been blessed for the last two years to have a chairman who has led us faithfully. It has been an incredible blessing in my life,” Ezell said of Dieterly.
Dieterly told his fellow trustees, “There are not words to express how meaningful it has been in my life to be a part of the great work that the North American Mission Board is doing.” Dieterly will continue serving as a trustee until June 2015.
“We are very excited about the days ahead,” Ezell said in closing the meeting. “We are focused on evangelism. Church planting is evangelism–that’s at least what the apostle Paul thought. We just want to equip people to have the conversation. We’ve got to have more people making the conversation.”
Mike Ebert writes for the North American Mission Board.