NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Roy Fish has talked extensively with employees at the North American Mission Board, and as the entity’s interim president he voiced his impressions Sept. 19 to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee.
“I tell you I am tremendously impressed by what I find,” Fish said during the EC’s meeting in Nashville, Tenn. “I find a people who are focused. Our agency has been assigned a task by the Southern Baptist Convention, and I find that the people who work at NAMB are tremendously cognizant of what that task is, and they’re deeply committed to the fulfillment of it.”
Fish, distinguished professor of evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, said employees at NAMB’s Atlanta-area offices are “unquestionably focused” on sharing the Gospel with people across North America and on beginning new churches, averaging 33 a week last year.
“You look at it sometimes and it almost appears to be impossible,” Fish said of the challenges. “But I’ve discovered that the commitment at the board is up to the task, and I find that we are going about our work with a passion that I don’t know that I’ve ever seen in a group of people that work in a denominational agency before.”
A spirit of optimism also is evident at NAMB, Fish continued.
“I know we face a task that is extremely formidable, but we believe that the God who assigns us the task is bigger than the task itself,” he said.
What has impressed him most in his brief time leading NAMB, Fish said, is that employees are aware that “even the best human effort cannot accomplish what ought to be accomplished. There’s a dependence on the Holy Spirit and a look to Him as the provider of that which we need in our weaknesses, giving us His strength.
“We think we’ve been assigned a task which on paper appears to be almost impossible, but we believe that which is apparently impossible can be achieved by the promised presence of the supernatural,” Fish said.
NAMB employees are particularly creative and innovative, Fish recounted, and they’re “not afraid to color outside of the lines.”
“They’re willing to run some risks,” he said. “I assure you that with changes all around us we have no intention of tampering with the ageless message of Jesus Christ. The message does not change. But we’re aware of the fact that we’re living in a new century. We’re aware of the fact that we’re witnessing to the people of this age and not their great-grandfathers.”
Despite the changes going on at NAMB following the resignation of a president earlier this year, Fish said the board is anchored.
“No, not anchored as far as being idle in the port, but we are anchored to Jesus Christ,” Fish said. “We are anchored to an inerrant Bible. We want you to know too that we are geared to the 21st century of which we’re a part.”