Author and pastor Trevin Wax will join the North American Mission Board (NAMB) as vice president of resources and research to launch a new initiative aimed at helping pastors and church-planting missionaries.
“Pastors are our No. 1 customer at NAMB, and we have an opportunity, with Trevin’s help, to pull together some of the best thinking about missions work, church planting and discipleship,” said NAMB president Kevin Ezell. “Many of North America’s leading church planters and missional leaders are Southern Baptists, and we’re going to work with them to better equip our pastors and churches to take the gospel everywhere for everyone.”
Effective Aug. 1, the new group headed by Wax will create free material centered on the needs of current and up-and-coming pastors and church planters. It will also equip churches and leaders by conducting original research and reporting on missions-related and church-leadership topics.
Wax has been at the helm of similar efforts to bring top-flight resources to evangelicals, most recently serving at Lifeway Christian Resources as the general editor of The Gospel Project. He also helped launch the Christian Standard Bible translation and directed the Bibles and Reference division of B&H Publishing Group.
“The cultural and religious landscape of North America is changing rapidly, and we must find ways to better equip churches and leaders with resources and insights that will aid us in understanding and reaching our communities with the gospel while remaining true to God’s Word and to our basic Christian beliefs as expressed in the Baptist Faith and Message 2000,” Wax said. “God has blessed the SBC with an incredibly diverse, gifted array of pastors, planters and leaders, and NAMB has every opportunity to pull them together in service to our common mission.”
To better serve pastors and missionaries, NAMB will build a reservoir of exceptional print and digital materials that equip them to plant and grow churches, raise up the next generation of missional leaders and continue to make disciples.
“I am excited to start a new project with NAMB, to build a team around the needs of pastors and planters and to serve up free resources in the areas of church planting, compassion ministry and evangelism that I pray church leaders will find indispensable to ministry,” Wax said. “I look forward to forging new paths for serving the church, consistent with NAMB’s mission, in developing effective content and resources for ministry.”
Wax, who was named by Christianity Today as one of 33 millennials leading the next generation of evangelicalism, will also sharpen NAMB’s and Send Network’s digital learning landscape, bringing the organization’s renowned coaching and training resources into the hands of many more pastors and future church leaders.
“Trevin is one of the best examples of why gospel depth and evangelistic width are not at odds,” said J.D. Greear, Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president and pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, N.C. “Under Trevin’s influence, I am convinced NAMB and Send Network will bring the best resources to pastors right where they’re at.”
According to Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, focusing on church-planting resources also aligns with the need of the coming decades.
“The road to reaching North America goes directly through church-planting territory,” Stetzer said. “As North America’s largest church-planting network, Send Network is perfectly positioned to bring the resources and thought leadership together to equip Southern Baptists, and Christians everywhere, in this important effort.”
The research and resource focus also aligns with NAMB’s trajectory since 2010. Since that time, Southern Baptists have started more than 8,200 churches across North America.
“We need to see at least 1,250 new SBC congregations every year, with at least 600 of those being church plants, just to keep up with population growth,” Ezell said. “Our biggest challenge for church planting is the need for more qualified church planters. We’re focused intently on equipping these churches – big churches, small churches, those in urban centers, suburbia and small towns alike – with the best resources to develop those planters.”
In this way, Ezell added, the SBC will help dispel the notion that church planting is just for large churches, and is actually possible for every church and every pastor, in every part of North America.
“NAMB, and Send Network in particular, is already an integral partner when it comes to the kinds of resources that edify and equip pastors and church-planting missionaries,” said Send Network President Dhati Lewis. “With Trevin’s help and this new group, we’re going to take that partnership with our pastors and church-planting missionaries to the next level.”
But the resources and research team’s work will not be limited to pastors and missionaries. NAMB’s website receives millions of hits per year for people searching for answers to important apologetics questions and topics. The new team Wax leads will tackle hard questions of faith and provide timely answers.
Wax, who earned a Ph.D. in theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a master of divinity at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, previously served as the co-host of a podcast that explored difficult and contested passages of scripture, and has authored eight books and contributed to numerous publications, including secular and Christian news outlets.
He began his ministry as a self-funded missionary to Romania. In that capacity and then as a pastor for nearly two decades, Wax also has the practical, ground-level experience to help guide this work.
“Looking back over my life, I see the Lord preparing a path that leads to this new opportunity – giving me opportunities to grow in love for His people, serve in churches in cross-cultural settings, and leading teams that serve a variety of churches,” Wax said.
“We’re going to listen carefully to the needs of our 47,000 churches and pastors. And then NAMB and Send Network will respond to those needs with the absolute best, free resources possible.”
Wax is married to Corina, and they have three children.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Scott Knuteson is a senior marketing and public relations strategist with NAMB.)