SBC Name Change: A Little Yes and a Little No

UPDATE: A member of the task force explains their recommendation.  

The official recommendation coming from the task force assigned to study possibly changing the name of the denomination is to add a subtitle.  Instead of Southern Baptist a church may call itself Great Commission Baptist, or keep both nomenclatures.  Some people are deeply offended and object highly to simply changing the name of the denomination they know well, despite the SBC being somewhat of a global brand.  This compromise is meant to satisfy everyone, if there can be such a thing.

Read more here.

It goes beyond sentiment and history; changing the name outright would actually cost money and potentially be a legal nightmare.  When the city of Atlanta added an area code, hundreds of businesses complained about the cost of printing new business cards, replacing print ads and even loosing business because some customers could no longer find them.  The magnitude of changing the name of the SBC to anything else would be incredible.  The cost is real in terms of dollars and in terms of pain and suffering of all that would have to be done.  Many bloggers and church members are up at arms over simply adding a tag when what they’ve wanted for decades is a name change.  Dave Miller likes the idea, and spells out why here.

This could work out to be a step in the process.  Datsun successfully changed their image and the name of the company by simply adding the word Nissan.  Their pickup for example had Datsun across the tailgate in large letters, with Nissan in much smaller letters in the corner.  The next model year had Nissan featured prominently and Datsun moved off to the side.  After another year Datsun disappeared completely.  Datsun had improved the quality of the product, but the name was tarnished by their previous track record.  They eased into the new name, which became known for producing quality vehicles. Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC, much like Dairy Queen turned into DQ Grill & Chill.  Those changes are in name only, simply to keep up with the times.  Abercrumbie and Fitch has been around forever, but updated their look and attracted a new generation of customers.  Those familiar with Comcast (a cable provider) have been gradually introduced to X-finity.  I have no doubt that Comcast will soon disappear altogether, Datsun style.

For now, adding Great Commission Baptist to the existing title is the compromise.  But times change, and believe it or not, ever so slowly, Southern Baptists may as well.

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