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NAMB, Executive Committee give restructure update

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–After six months, the North American
Mission Board is “on track toward generating over $6 million in operating efficiencies in its first full year of operations,” according to a joint statement by NAMB and the SBC’s Executive Committee.
“NAMB’s first six months are a story of hoped-for operating efficiencies becoming financial reality,” the statement given to Baptist Press said.
Officials from NAMB and the Executive Committee’s Budget Process Study Committee recently met and then issued the statement Feb. 3.
The restructuring of the SBC brought NAMB into existence, merging three former agencies — Home Mission Board, Radio and Television Commission and Brotherhood Commission. The group charged with implementing the restructuring of the SBC, the Implementation Task
Force, had forecast that NAMB would realize nearly $7 million in operating efficiencies each year in its first five years of operation as measured against the combined budgets of the merged agencies.
“While the one-time costs of restructuring have exceeded these operating efficiencies in this first year, this is normative and in line with major organizational restructuring across America,” the statement said. “In addition, $2 million has been redirected from what would have been the combined budgets of the three agencies … to the seminaries for leadership training and to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.”
NAMB officials said even in the midst of dramatic change and the associated transition costs, the agency “has and will be able to launch new initiatives in its first full year of operations that will move Southern Baptists to new highs in short-term mission involvement, missionary personnel, new church starts, evangelistic outreach to
campuses and trained church planters. Plans are also under way to assist the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists with a flagship church launch in Calgary and to conduct the largest Crossover event ever in Salt Lake City in June. A major evangelistic outreach to more than 100,000 African American college students in Daytona Beach, Fla., is
planned for April 1998.”
The new initiatives are made possible, in part, officials said, by the “operating efficiencies realized by NAMB’s creation.” They pointed to an across-the-board cost of living increase of up to 4 percent in 1998 for NAMB missionaries, based on the ability of partner states to
match the increase. No across the board increases were provided in 1997, they said.
Bob Reccord, NAMB president, praised all those involved, noting: “I stand amazed at the sacrifice and commitment of everyone involved in this major transition, whether they serve in the national offices in Alpharetta, in NAMB’s media and technology center in Fort Worth or on
the front line of the mission field across America. I also appreciate the prayers and support of all Southern Baptists and the Executive Committee for their critical role in this transition. NAMB remains committed, along with its many partners in ministry, to efficiently and effectively pursue the vision set for by Southern Baptists in the Covenant for a New Century.”
Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the Executive Committee, affirmed NAMB’s “leadership in their direction and actions.”
“Bob Reccord and his new staff have been diligent and cooperative in implementing a massive organization created for a far-reaching ministry without the luxury of lots of time,” Chapman said. “They have faith with Southern Baptists and positioned themselves to use God’s resources wisely in serving Southern Baptist churches into the 21st

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  • Herb Hollinger