By Mike Ebert
ALPHARETTA (BP) — The North American Mission Board (NAMB) is implementing a series of budgetary freezes and cutbacks designed to keep missionaries on the field during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
NAMB president Kevin Ezell shared information Thursday, March 19 with staff and missionaries on a video conference call and in emails to state convention leaders and other mission partners.
“We hope these proactive steps will allow our missionaries to continue ministering throughout the crisis, however long it lasts,” Ezell said. “At this point we just don’t know how severe the financial impact will be on our churches, but we want to do everything we can to keep serving them and keep supporting our missionaries.”
The freeze covers all discretionary spending at NAMB’s Alpharetta building and for NAMB missionaries and staff serving throughout North America. NAMB resources will be focused exclusively on mission-critical ministry needs and supporting church planters and ministry personnel. In addition, NAMB events have been postponed until May 31.
“These are not ‘business as usual’ times and we will not be conducting business as usual,” Ezell said. “We are all praying that things will bounce back quickly, but we are not taking anything for granted.”
NAMB will stay focused on the church planting process by helping existing church plants stay strong and healthy in the current environment. In-person planter assessments are postponed until fall, but those wishing to plant a church can still register, apply and complete NAMB’s online pre-assessment tool.
“Now is the time to ensure the survivability and sustainability of the churches we have planted over the last few years,” Ezell said.
“I am incredibly grateful for the faithful giving of Southern Baptists throughout the years,” Ezell said. “That is what makes supporting our missionaries possible.”
Mike Ebert serves as executive director of public relations for the North American Mission Board.