3. He is a bold leader who is not afraid to make bold moves.
Our denomination is facing great challenges in every entity and every area of ministry. The entity that is often seen as facing the greatest challenges is NAMB. A leader who can face and overcome these challenges will need great courage. The recognition is that a new leader needs to be able to come in and lead NAMB to a brighter future. Leading to this brighter future will require difficult decisions to be made. Kevin Ezell has a track record of making difficult decisions. He has the track record of leading a group in need of change into a brighter future. He can focus NAMB on what it needs to be focused on. He can make the tough decisions to stop doing some good things that will allow NAMB to do the best/most strategic things (like Church Planting).
4. He is a catalyzer who can work with many different groups within the SBC.
The SBC is a giant aircraft carrier with diverse styles and streams. NAMB needs a leader who can work well with all of them. Kevin Ezell demonstrated this skill remarkably this summer as President of the Pastor’s Conference. He brought in preachers from many different perspectives but with a common zeal for the Gospel to engage the very wide and diverse makeup of the SBC.
Ezell has experience working with and encouraging all of the different groups that make up the SBC. He can work with churches of all different shapes, sizes, and methods to do church planting. Kevin knows “small”, “medium”, and “mega” churches. He often speaks of his first pastorate, where he was voted in 7-0, as formative in his life. The way he ministers now was shaped by the experiences he had then. He can work with national agencies and state agencies. This kind of leadership is needed.
5. He values Mission more than simply doing things the way we’ve always done them.
Kevin’s track record in this is clear. He led Highview into a new multi-campus strategy despite criticism, opposition, and warnings that it wouldn’t “work.” He did this not to build an empire for his own glory, but because he and Highview love lost people and want to reach as many people as possible for the glory of God.
He also led Highview to start giving missions dollars in a way that the church felt was most strategic, which at times meant a different giving strategy than the way the church had always done it. Highview began to give the bulk of its CP through the state of Indiana (Highview is #1 CP giver in Indiana) because it is a pioneer area in need of many more congregations. Kevin is right for the role at NAMB because he values the mission of God more than he values being seen by others as a “denominational loyalist,” more than he values maintaining the status quo, and more than he values bureaucracy.
NAMB is in desperate need of leadership that values mission more than the status quo. It has that leadership in Kevin Ezell. I love Kevin Ezell. He has ministered to my family for over a decade. I will miss him, but I am excited for him, will pray for him, and will support him in any way I can. I pray you will do the same! Let’s trust God together that the greatest days of Southern Baptist church planting are right in front of us!