News of change continues to flow out of the Baptist building in Dallas. This week CFO David Nabors resigned. When I heard the news I was saddened because I have found David to be a good honest reliable man who found himself in a very difficult pinch. The press release about this move read as follows:
Daehnert said Nabors was not involved in any “illegal, unethical or immoral activity,” but acknowledged some leaders around the state lost “confidence” in his judgment in the use of funds. Expenditure of investment funds has been of particular concern.
“We needed a change as it relates to the coming of a new executive director and moving forward to greater hope and possibilities,” Daehnert said. “We want to look forward to reaching people for Christ in effective and fiscally-responsible ways.”
I am much better and more highly trained at interpreting scripture than I am reading between the lines of a press release, but it appears the message coming out of Dallas boils down to this: Nabors did not do anything “illegal, unethical, or immoral”, but his financial decisions and judgments have been questionable. It was particularly noted concerns about the expenditure of investment funds.
Before we throw too much blame on Nabors, we need to take a hard look in the mirror. I would suggest there is plenty of responsibility to go around. Why did we have to even touch the investment funds? You know the answer, we lost hundreds of churches in our struggle against fundamentalism, and many of our churches have diverted their funds to other worthwhile causes.
Nabors may have written or released the checks, but he did not create the “white elephant” in the living room we did. Our inability to find ways to stay focused on Kingdom values and relationships created this “no win” situation for anyone holding the purse strings. Granted, Roger Hall probably would have raised a red flag during the Valleygate scandal, but Nabors did not make the decisions to release the funds he simply followed his instructions and the wishes of those on the front lines.
We can get a new CFO, but until we face the “white elephant” in the living room, we are simply looking for another scapegoat. I believe Nabors stepped aside for the good of our convention and to give Dr. Everett an opportunity to surround himself with a team of leaders commissioned to restore our trust. The task will be daunting but not impossible. I believe Dr. Everett is off to a good start by calling us back to our mission of taking Jesus to our friends and neighbors across the state.
I deeply appreciate David Nabors’ willingness to step aside at this time. I pray the Lord will open a new door of opportunity for him and his family in the days ahead. Now it is up to all of us to make the most of this opportunity and to move forward together for the sake of the Kingdom.