By Keila Diaz
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP) — The Florida Baptist State Board of Missions announced and voted March 28 to expand the partnership between the Florida Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board through a new SEND Network – Florida, effectively expanding the SEND South Florida emphasis across the entire state.
“This is a game-changer for church planting in all of Florida,” said Tommy Green, the Florida convention’s executive director-treasurer, of the distinctive partnership with NAMB among Baptist state conventions in the South.
Tommy Green of the Florida Baptist Convention and, via video conferencing, Kevin Ezell of the North American Mission Board announce an expanded church planting partnership — SEND Network – Florida — March 28. Florida Baptist Convention photo
“NAMB is about planting churches everywhere for everyone,” said Kevin Ezell, the mission board’s president, speaking with the mission board via video conferencing. “I am grateful for the strategic partnership we have with Tommy Green and Florida Baptists. We share the same objective of developing strong church planters and churches that will have an evangelistic presence in their communities.
“Our partnership in church planting through Send Network maximizes efficiency and removes unneeded overlap,” Ezell said. “We can now work seamlessly together toward the same goal.”
Through the partnership, every endorsed church planter will go through Send Network assessment, orientation and training. Funding will be based on a funding grid developed by the Florida convention.
The State Board of Missions’ Administrative Committee noted in a statement, “Through this new and expanded system of supporting church planting, the resources of the North American Mission Board will be available to Florida Baptist churches as they seek to plant new churches anywhere in the state of Florida.” Resources include NAMB’s assessment process, coaching, planter care and financial resources.
“The Florida Baptist Convention through its church planting allocation in our Cooperative Program budget and resources in the Maguire State Mission Offering will come together with the resources of the North American Mission Board to support church planting in this unprecedented way,” the statement continued.
This new expanded partnership will constitute a 50/50 split between NAMB and the Florida convention for planter support for any sending church in the state. This allows expanded systems of support for the endorsed church planter through their sending churches.
SEND Network – Florida will commit to provide planter support for four years through the sending church and it addresses varying levels of support required for bivocational, co-vocational and full-time planters. Information for Sending Churches interested in entering into this process can be found at www.namb.net/church-planting.
Church planting funds from the Florida convention’s Cooperative Program budget as well as 100 percent of the Maguire State Mission Offering will be directed through the new SEND Network – Florida.
Keila Diaz is the Florida Baptist Convention’s digital communication assistant.