If you didn’t know, the Southern Baptists have decided to rename their Convention. Henceforth, they shall be known as “Great Commission Baptists.”
Was it their intention to make their name even more obscure and harder to say? Or was it that they wanted a four letter acronym (GCBC) rather than a three letter one (SBC)?
I ask this only partially in jest. Sure, the Southern bit in their old name was a little misleading because the SBC has congregations all over the world and is doing a lot of church planting in the Northeast through their home missions group, North American Missions Board. But to go to a hard to say and not very clear name doesn’t seem to accomplish much.
Are they saying that other Baptists don’t revere the Great Commission? I don’t think so. But this kind of brand name implies that. I think of the various and assorted Charismatic congregations I have seen adopt names with appositive clarifiers like: Church of the Holy Spirit, Apostolic; or my personal favorite, The Assembly of Yahweh, in Yeshua. (These are congregations I have indeed seen. I am not making them up.)
I just don’t understand the logic of adopting a name that includes such an insider statement. Sure, Southern was an inaccurate geographic identified but how will renaming yourself with a Christian term that no one you are trying for reach is going to understand help you check decline or help you rebrand your convention?
I just don’t understand.
When the Conservative Baptist International (the fraternal missions board of the Conservative Baptists of America) renamed themselves as World Venture, it made sense. They were a global agency working together. The name clearly identifies who they are but has a certain hook to it.
If I may be honest, Great Commission Baptists sounds like a name invented by college professors and then edited by a community of people who think you are being relevant if you appeal to other believers’ sense of theological propriety. It is boring and dull.
That’s just my honest opinion.