Published July 11, 2013
NEW YORK — In a move of commitment and partnership, the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association (mynba.org)has voted to transition to full funding for its executive director. The move, approved at the association’s mid-year meeting, will take effect in 2014.
“We’ve been in discussions about this for a while,” said George Russ, North American Mission Board church planting catalyst and executive director for the association. Russ’ church planting catalyst position is currently funded through NAMB. The arrangement is common for many associations in places where Southern Baptists are few in number.
“There were two primary reasons for the change,” said Russ. “First, this is healthy for the association, a sign of mature growth. Second, the direction of NAMB’s Send North America strategy is to fund new churches.” Russ affirmed that the change is in no way adverse.
“The decision of MNYBA to fund its director and staff is not negative and was not made in protest or anger,” said Russ. “We will continue to invite NAMB to partner with us in church planting.”
Much of the MNYBA staff is primarily volunteer and self-funded. Russ said churches in the 51-year-old association, some 200 strong, would have to consider increasing their support for the higher budget.
“Some of our churches did not support the association financially last year,” said Russ. “I am meeting with churches to help them understand the new level of commitment this move will take.”
Russ will continue in his role as church planting catalyst through 2013, which will coincide with his 30th anniversary as a missionary through NAMB. The association will assume full responsibility for his compensation beginning in the new year.
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