North American Mission Board President Kevin Ezell Tells Southern Baptists: ‘In Order To See Many Souls Saved and Baptized, We Must Have Millions of Gospel Conversations’

North American Mission Board (NAMB) President Kevin Ezell addresses NAMB trustees at their June 12 meeting in Phoenix. Without decreasing its emphasis on church planting or compassion ministry, Ezell said NAMB will “put every ounce of energy we possibly can to help our convention see the importance of having gospel conversations.” Photo by Hayley Catt

North American Mission Board president Kevin Ezell told the entity’s trustees that in order to see the kind of turnaround in baptisms that Southern Baptists desire, it will take millions of Southern Baptists having tens of millions of gospel conversations.

Without decreasing NAMB’s emphasis on church planting through its Send Network or compassion ministry through Send Relief, Ezell said NAMB will “put every ounce of energy we possibly can to help our convention see the importance of having gospel conversations.”

The message echoed the theme of NAMB’s Send Luncheon which trustees had just attended earlier that day (June 12), during which NAMB featured several prominent pastors speaking about how churches can mobilize their members for evangelism.

“We own our part of that responsibility,” Ezell said. “In fact, it’s our ministry assignment to stir the passion within the pastors to do that. Although we can’t make pastors do anything.”

Ezell noted, “We are grateful for where Send Network is and we are grateful for where Send Relief is. The reason we do Send Network and the reason we do Send Relief is so that people will come to faith in Jesus Christ. Everything we do is about sharing our faith and seeing people come to know Christ.”

On June 8, LifeWay Christian Resources released preliminary results from the 2016 Annual Church Profile (ACP) which indicated an increase in the number of Southern Baptist churches, but declines in membership and baptisms.

In other actions at their meeting, NAMB trustees:

— Heard a financial report indicating NAMB’s revenue for the year is running .33 percent above projected budget while expenses are 10.9 percent under budget.

— Passed a resolution approving the Fiscal Year 2018 operating budget of $125.4 million.

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SOURCE: Baptist Press – Mike Ebert

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