By Danny Sinquefield
Pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Bartlett
There have been many conversations through the years regarding a name change for the Southern Baptist Convention. It is often a topic that has a lot of feelings associated with it for various reasons.
Some love the tradition and the identity it brings as the largest protestant denomination in the world. Others are quick to point out that the geographic regionalization of the name presents difficulties in areas outside of the Deep South. It is a discussion that has a lot of emotions attached on both sides of the debate.
At the risk of becoming vilified by some in our SBC family, I want to offer just a few positives that may come from such a change. I’m only one voice — a local church pastor who happens to love the SBC and also lives in the southern region of our nation So, this is not a revolt or a rebellion. It is simply just a few thoughts to consider.
What if we changed our name to reflect our passion? Most Southern Baptists would agree that we are passionate about winning people to Jesus, seeing them grow in discipleship and being involved in the mission of reaching the whole world with the gospel.
During the most recent SBC annual meeting in Nashville, there was a lot of talk about being “Great Commission Baptists.” Okay, let’s consider that for a new name for our convention of churches.
The Great Commission is recorded in Matthew 28:18-20 — And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen (New King James Version).
Here are five positive themes that I see resulting from becoming known as “Great Commission Baptists”:
(1) It clarifies our identity around a biblical mandate.
(2) It simplifies our assignment around a missional focus.
(3) It unifies our network around ethnic diversity.
(4) It fortifies our commitment with kingdom authority.
(5) It amplifies our confidence with the promise of Jesus.
Just something to think and pray about. B&R — Sinquefield is pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Bartlett.