To be fair it is easy to see how this myth has arisen. In fact it only constitutes as a myth as it relates to the current work of the GCRTF. Beyond that, as far as it being an item of intense discussion and interest, it is anything but a myth!
In the “Axioms message” I raised the question of some possible mergers (I was not specific) to increase efficiency and avoid duplication. Tim Patterson, chairman of NAMB’s board of trustees, spoke publicly to this issue. Perhaps no SBC entity has been the source of more confusion, conversation and criticism than NAMB over the past 15 years. There are many reasons for this. Some are probably justified and others most certainly are not. Still, no area of Southern Baptist life has generated more talk and more frustration than NAMB with its multitude of ministry assignments, inter-connected relationship with state conventions, and revolving door leadership at the highest level. So, what are we to make of all of this as it relates to myth #8 and the work of the GCRTF?
First, there are some very smart and godly people looking at the work of the IMB and NAMB both on and off the GCRTF. The fact is the TF has asked for and continues to ask for input as it relates to our mission boards. We welcome suggestions from anyone, including those reading this article.
Second, the TF has made no decisions about recommendations regarding the IMB and NAMB. We are still in the investigation and conversation stage. We still have much work to do, even if it has to be done in all too short a period of time.
Third, we do believe that the IMB and NAMB can work better with each other in the future given the rapid changes taking place around the world and in our nation, especially as it relates to the increasing mobilizations of people groups.
Fourth, I have no idea where the Convention will go in this particular area, but I pray that good godly people who have wisdom and insight in this particular area will lead us to a plan that will result in a great movement that will usher us into our greatest days ever as a convention of churches for reaching all nations with the gospel both at home and around the world. I have heard that “money follows vision.” I believe that is true. I also believe “action follows vision.” Southern Baptists desperately need a compelling vision that will inspire us and move us to give more and go more, to sacrifice more and serve more. We should do all of this not out of guilt, but out of gratitude for a great Savior and a glorious salvation.
If this involves minor adjustments that will bring this to pass then wonderful. However, if this requires major changes that are sweeping and comprehensive then it is my prayer God will give us the courage to make those changes. Again, the non-negoitable for me is that we get the gospel to the 1.6 billion who have never heard the name of Jesus and that we get the gospel to the massive population centers of North America that are underserved and underreached. How we get there does not matter to me. That we do get there does.