Prediction: Bryant Wright Will Be The One To Rebrand the SBC

I had the opportunity to share some thoughts about the SBC name change task force over at my friend Mark’s blog today. The post is about the task force that the current Southern Baptist Convention president Bryant Wright established to study a name change for the SBC.

I predict Bryant Wright will make this happen because of the timing, the current climate of the SBC, and the people that are a part of the task force. In the article, I share several reasons why I believe Wright will succeed in rebranding the SBC even when others have been trying to do it for half a century.

I also share my top five reasons why I think it’s important that Southern Baptists rebrand. For example,

Reason to Rebrand #1 Half of all Southern Baptists live in 5 Southern states. That won’t change until ‘Southern’ is no longer part of our name. Our name cultivates an “us vs. them” mentality that immediately puts up walls in other areas.

To read the whole post head on over to Mark’s blog.

What do you think about a potential name change? Is it necessary? Will Southern Baptists lose anything by rebranding after 166 years of history? Even if you’re not a Southern Baptist, I’d love to get your thoughts.

Nathan is the pastor of City Life Church in Ridgewood, NY. He and his family are committed to making and multiplying disciples in the most diverse county in the US. Read more about Nathan here. Visit the City Life Church website here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Matt P

    I start by admitting I know nothing about this SBC conversation, so my comments are only as an outside observer based on the little I learn from reading your post on mark’s blog… but you said “even if you’re not an SB, welcome your thots…”, so just 2 quick ones for what they’re worth:
    1. I love reason #4 – choosing a name that reflects mission, not region. In a post-Christian context, denominations have their importance historically, but when my dentist (hmm… coincidence?) asked me this morning what I do, her next question was, “What denomination?” I happily obliged the info, but it’s a frustrating question to answer because I feel like 1) if she is a Christian, that only probably raises certain cultural signifiers (“Ohhh… *that* kind of church”) and 2) if she isn’t, it doesn’t tell her anything about my commitment to Jesus and helping people know Him and consider His claims more. And fact of the matter is, after her 2nd question, she didn’t ask anything else. I was left feeling like, “But wait — there’s so much more I’d love to talk to you about!” (In between “mmmph’s”, as you said it :).) So anyway – just give that example to say I love the idea of a mission-oriented name, not just for the name’s sake but for its strategic impact in future conversations with non-believers.
    2) My first thought on reading your post was, “Sure – change the name. I just hope the change gets communicated to all different demographics/parties/etc. in a healthy and constructive way.” Reading your thoughts about Crusade *and* about older leaders in the SBC just reminds me of the need for strong and loving communication to always go hand-in-hand with a big change like this. Obviously nothing’s foolproof and someone will always be mad or hurt, but it’s at least worth the effort.

    • Thanks Matt. I appreciate the outside perspective on stuff like this. It’s important to make a decision that will set up the denomination for a successful ministry but, as you remind us, to do so in a loving way. Thanks for the perspective!