Hot Topics in the Southern Baptist Convention
LifeWay Research recently unveiled statistics on hot topics in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and where SBC pastors stand on these issues. Since I pastor an SBC church, the results interested me. One piece of the study I found fascinating involved a name change:
Among Southern Baptist pastors, 7 percent strongly agreed – and another 20 percent somewhat agreed – with the statement, “Having the name ‘Southern’ in the ‘Southern Baptist Convention’ is a hindrance to the work of SBC churches.” Forty-one percent strongly disagreed with the statement while 27 percent somewhat disagreed and 5 percent “don’t know.”
To further clarify opinions on the denomination’s name, Southern Baptist pastors were also asked their level of agreement with the statement, “Having the name ‘Southern’ in the ‘Southern Baptist Convention’ is a hindrance to the work of SBC churches outside of the South.” As the focus shifted to Southern Baptist congregations outside the convention’s historic strongholds, 16 percent of Southern Baptist pastors strongly agreed and 26 percent somewhat agreed, while 29 percent strongly disagreed and 21 percent somewhat disagreed. The remaining 9 percent “don’t know.”
You can read an article containing all of the hot topics here.
What do you think about a name change? Does it make a statement about a greater area of focus? Or does it represent a compromise of identity?