The announcement from Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright of a presidential task force to study the prospect of changing the convention's name sparked a lively debate during the SBC Executive Committee meeting Sept. 19 here.
Can a leopard change its spots? Can a zebra change its stripes? Task force members will need to weigh the chances of a possible backfire if the Convention changes its name but if member churches a.) do not embrace the new identity or b.) simply fail to change their approach to ministry.
Three-quarters of pastors with denominational affiliation believe it is vital to be part of a denomination, but a majority also believe that the importance of identifying with a denomination will diminish over the next 10 years.
More than 25,000 background checks conducted by churches or organizations on prospective workers in the past three years have turned up more than 1,600 felony offenses, with the number of organizations conducting background checks having risen 27 percent in the past year, according to LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
On September 17-18 Grayson's Chestnut Grove Baptist Church honored Tommy Jordon for serving the church as pastor for 30 years. The church planned a lavish banquet on Saturday evening featuring a "preacher roast" followed on Sunday morning by a special worship service.
SBC President Bryant Wright, who serves as pastor of Marietta's Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, announced to the SBC Executive Committee on Sept. 19 that he was appointing a task force to study the prospect of changing the Convention's name.
The Open Door By J. Robert White, Executive Director GBC Published October 6, 2011
Tom Belew, who is with the Healthy Church Group at the California Southern Baptist Convention, recently made a presentation to California Baptist leadership titled, "The New Old: Reaching and Mobilizing the Boomers."