April 24, 2006My resignation letter spells out the reasons for my departure as plainly as I can state them. I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to lead the finest group of missionaries in the world and to work with an incredibly talented staff. I am also grateful for those who have stood beside me in recent days and reminded me of some of the amazing things we've seen in the last nine years.
At the same time, I am heartbroken that so many items contained in newspaper stories are either inaccurate or have been reported without the benefit of context. I wanted to take this opportunity to try and shed some light on just a few of those issues:
Some have reported that NAMB, under my leadership, tried to inflate its missionary count in order to reach a Bold Mission Thrust goal of 5,000 missionaries by the year 2000. In fact, NAMB did not change the way it counts missionaries or any criteria for inclusion as a missionary prior to the year 2000. The SBC Bold Mission Thrust goal was achieved using the same criteria that had been in place since NAMB's beginning in 1997 and, prior to that, under NAMB's predecessor agency, the Home Mission Board. Just last year, in 2005, NAMB did change some of the criteria for Mission Service Corps missionaries to make their service requirements more consistent with the other categories. This was in no way related to any attempt to "inflate" the missionary count or reach some predetermined goal.
Steve Sanford, president of InovaOne, was an acquaintance and member of the church I pastored in Norfolk, VA. When Steve relocated to Atlanta several years after I came to NAMB, he contacted me and I learned of his expertise in digital, Internet and media communications. ...1
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