I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Kevin Ezell has been nominated for NAMB president. To me, seeing someone who has evidenced a commitment to church planting is essential. Kevin does not just like church planting, he has been involved in helping church planters for years. I talk about that some on my personal blog at EdStetzer.com.
Kevin Ezell is the perfect man to create a new NAMB for the next generation. He is a proven leader of leaders, a relentless bridge-builder, and a fearless innovator. His ministry is characterized by decisive leadership, an openness to fresh perspectives, and a winsome humility. Ezell has capitalized on his proximity to Southern Seminary by creating an engine for training aggressive, missional pastors and leaders. His “family tree” of ministry stretches around the world, and literally hundreds of pastors, missionaries, and other church leaders call him a personal mentor. Somehow, Kevin has the ability to simultaneously be a maverick and a denominational statesman (exactly what NAMB needs). Bottom line for me: the man loves Christ, serves people, and knows how to build effective coalitions to get things done.
While I was in Europe a few months ago, Aaron Coe and I talked about Kevin–unaware of this forthcoming nomination. Aaron is church planter and pastor of Gallery Church in New York City, has already written a post on his blog celebrating Kevin’s nomination. He also shared some additional words with me:
Kevin and his crew at Highview served as our sending church when we planted Gallery. First, they encouraged their people to pray for us and be involved. From the beginning they sent people to come on short-term mission trips. One spring break they sent over 100 youth from their middle and high school ministry. They also encouraged people in the church to make the move to help us get started. A doctor in the church and his family heeded that call and are still in NYC today. Kevin personally recruited a network of churches to round out our partnership support. He paid for seven churches to come up on a vision trip and three of those churches ended up partnering with us. He also led the people of Highview to give more money to our plant than they had previously given before (over 150K). He really encouraged the church sacrifice on our behalf. On more than one occasion Kevin personally came to NYC to encourage our work and encourage me as the leader. He appointed his associate, Dr. Jimmy Scroggins, to be our church planting coach. Jimmy was involved in helping us through the first couple of years. Personally coaching me in preaching, leadership, etc.
Lastly, and I don’t say this lightly, if it were not for Kevin and the people of Highview, there would be no Gallery Church in NYC and my ministry in this city would have ended a long time ago. They have supported and encouraged me and my team every step of the way. They have made it possible for us to have a long term ministry here.
I will be praying for the NAMB trustees as they consider Kevin as president of NAMB.