NAMB IS OUR FRIEND
by Tim Patterson – BSCM Executive Director/Treasurer
FENTON, MI – In recent days, there have been those who, whether intentionally or not, have cast shadows of doubt upon the North American Mission Board and how its partnerships with state conventions function and are viewed. Some have portrayed NAMB and its leaders as extremely controlling, even going beyond the boundaries of their authority by forcing certain state conventions and their executive directors to obediently and silently do as they are told or suffer the consequences of lost funding or the loss of their job. My experience with the North American Mission Board and understanding of how our respective organizations are structured tell me that this is absolutely not true.
As the Executive Director of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan I have never been pressured to “do exactly what NAMB wants or suffer the consequences.”
Even though it is my pleasure to serve along side the North American Mission
Board to “punch holes in the darkness of Michigan”, I do not serve at their pleasure. I am employed by and responsible to the Baptist State Convention of Michigan and only they have the right to terminate my service. This is true for every state convention within our Baptist Zion. We freely and autonomously cooperate together to propagate the Gospel and to advance the Kingdom of God. To state or to believe otherwise is erroneous and without merit.
The North American Mission Board is a great friend of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Their support and encouragement is making it possible for our churches to fulfill the calling of the Great Commission. Everyday we see lives changed and communities impacted with the love of Jesus because NAMB chooses to generously give into our state and partner with us through a multiplicity of ministries. We have state staff and Church Planting Catalysts that NAMB fully funds and of which we have complete supervisory oversight. Without this funding, these and other places of ministry would remain vacant. Everywhere one looks within the State of Michigan, the generous hand of the North American Mission Board can be seen.
As I have stated and repeat without hesitation, the North American Mission Board is our friend. We have a friendship that has been nurtured and developed over the years and one that is built upon mutual respect and love. That friendship extends to the
North American Mission Board headquarters in Alpharetta, GA (Photo courtesy NAMB.net)
president of NAMB, Kevin Ezell. Friendship is a choice and we have chosen to be friends. Because we are friends, when a problem manifests itself, we communicate with each other in a way that reflects that respect and love. When differences of opinion arise or conflicts occur (and they will) then as friends, we will discuss them face-to-face and resolve them in a godly manner. In the process we will allow iron to sharpen iron. A few sparks may fly, but the results will be that we are both sharper for it and we will be much more prepared to make our point when another occasion presents itself.
I do not know what the future may hold but I do know that the friendships we nurture now will help us successfully navigate the waters of challenge and change tomorrow. Much of what we do and the things we accomplish in the Kingdoms work are the result of our friendships and partnerships. Friendships and partnerships not based merely upon business contracts or financial agreements but they are the result of meaningful relationships that recognize God’s Word as their foundation.
I am so glad that the Baptist State Convention of Michigan can count the North American Mission Board as one of its closest friends and that it is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)