By now you have seen the NAMB posts exclaiming that 100% of what you give goes to the field. But how accurate is that statement?
The answer is that we don’t know, and neither does the North American Mission Board. Here are two reasons why:
The only way NAMB could say that 100% of your Annie Armstrong Easter Offerings went directly to the field is if they kept that money in a separate account and spent directly from that account for the mission field. as it stands right now, your offering gets dumped into the same account with all of the other money NAMB receives, which can be used for conference room flat screen tvs or bathroom toilet paper. So when you see a NAMB leader say that 100% of your Annie Armstrong Easter Offerings go to the mission field, it’s not really 100% because he does not know that for sure…
NAMB not only has the required six month ($60,000,000) operational contingency fund in cash reserves in the bank, they have an additional $178,750,000 in reserves that are also for specific operational activities, such as buying residential properties which is done through the Church Planting Budget (Which we will cover in Part 2).
We are called to be good stewards of the money the Lord has given us. We need to be seriously asking ourselves if we are giving to the North American Mission Board out of ritual or because they are the best for handling our money for the Kingdom.
But won’t NOT giving to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering hurt church planters?
Again, no. Firstly, the AAEO is not the only way you can give to church planters and missions in North America. Secondly, NAMB has over 24 months of their operating budget in reserves and they have no plans of expanding their spending in missions significantly. However, they have managed to expand their cash reserves by $178,035,056 and reduce their total operating budget (which includes church planting and evangelism) by almost $17,000,000 since 2010.
We encourage everyone to still give this Easter. However, if you really want your money to make an impact, we encourage you to give directly to those who need it. If you know of a Southern Baptist church or or organization that needs money this year, or if there was an inspiring story you saw NAMB post about a family or church, consider reaching out to them and giving directly to them.
Until NAMB opens their books and becomes financially transparent we don’t know if your money going to a missionary or going to pay what could potentially be almost $850,000 in property taxes EVERY YEAR for residential properties… but we will cover that much more in PART 2.
All of these numbers have come directly from the SBC annual reports and can be verified there, or you can view here. We challenge the North American Mission Board to open their books to prove us wrong.
NAMB states that 100% of the funds it receives from donations through Annie Armstrong goes to the field. We know that to not be the case, so we decided to edit their chart to more accurately reflect the reality of how Annie Armstrong funds have been used under the direction of NAMB’s President, Dr. Kevin Ezell.
*At the publishing of this article in 2018, NAMB had told SBC Members that NAMB houses were only for Send Cities. They have now officially expanded it. However the homes referenced in the chart above were purchased prior to that announcement by NAMB.