The North American Mission Board may soon have permission to plant churches outside the United States and Canada if the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee approves an amendment to NAMB’s ministry statement next week (Feb. 16-17) in Nashville.
The amendment, which was approved by NAMB trustees in Feb. 2014, would allow the Alpharetta, Ga.-based entity to “provide specialized, defined and agreed upon assistance to the International Mission Board in assisting churches to plant churches for specific groups outside the United States and Canada.”
NAMB President Kevin Ezell said the mission agency requested the amendment so it will be able to plant churches overseas near U.S. military bases and provide funds for U.S. church planters to adopt and visit unreached people groups around the world.
“As the climate within the United States military becomes more hostile toward religious liberties, we want to be in a position to take proactive steps should large numbers of our military chaplains decide they can no longer serve the military in good conscience,” Ezell wrote in a Jan. 16 email to SBC entity heads and executives of Baptist state conventions.
“If that becomes the case, we would like the freedom to plant churches adjacent to military bases outside the United States with the specific purpose of serving the U.S. military population there. We believe this would be a good fit since NAMB is already the endorsing entity for Southern Baptist chaplains serving in the U.S. military,” Ezell wrote.
Additionally, Ezell said NAMB wants to urge North American church planters to adopt unreached people groups overseas, with NAMB funds provided for each “planter and a member of his church to make a trip overseas to visit that people group.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press