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NAMB task force dissolved; members to stay involved

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–A North American Mission Board task force commissioned by former NAMB President Geoff Hammond is being dissolved, but members have been asked to be available for input and involvement as NAMB leaders ask key questions about the effectiveness of the entity’s evangelism and church planting efforts.

Hammond announced the task force — originally called the North American Great Commission Task Force — in May, saying it would “study the actions and activities that will impact this continent for Christ in more effective ways.” When members of the task force met for the first working meeting July 28, they decided to change the name in order to avoid being confused with the Great Commission Task Force (also known as the GCR task force), which messengers to the 2009 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting approved in June.

Under a new name — the North American Missiological Task Force — the 30-member NAMB group discussed areas it would study and how it would go about reporting its progress publicly.

With Hammond’s Aug. 11 resignation, the NAMB task force is being dissolved, but NAMB’s current acting interim president, Richard Harris, and LifeWay Research director Ed Stetzer, who served as a co-facilitator of the task force, have asked members of the group to keep a future webinar meeting date open on their calendar so the group can have input into the direction of NAMB’s church planting and evangelism efforts.

“This is a critical time for NAMB,” Harris said. “It is essential for us to look at our church planting and evangelism areas and ask, ‘What is our current involvement? What is working? What is not?'”

With that in mind, Stetzer, in his role as LifeWay Research director, will work with NAMB staff to embark on a study of NAMB’s church planting and evangelism efforts.

“We will then share this information with NAMB’s current and future leadership, as well as the GCR task force,” Harris said.

Stetzer said he thinks the research will play a helpful role.

“Facts are our friends,” Stetzer said. “I’m glad to be working with NAMB to look at where we are so we all can think more clearly about where we need to be.”

Stetzer will meet with NAMB evangelism and church planting staff Tuesday, Aug. 18 to begin identifying specific areas to be studied.

“NAMB has done good work in many areas, but it is always good to take a fresh look at what we are doing and what can be done better,” he said.
Mike Ebert is publications and media relations coordinator for the North American Mission Board.

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