NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- In a new video posted to Pray4SBC.com, Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright explains his perspective on the Great Commission Baptists name option to be presented at the SBC annual meeting in New Orleans.
"I hope this video today will be just another way of helping you have a greater understanding of how God led in this process," Wright said in the video recorded at the SBC Building in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 21, the day after the task force he appointed to study a name change delivered its report to the Executive Committee.
"If that regional name has been a hindrance, we were just studying how could that barrier be removed so that more people could come into the Kingdom of Christ."
-- Bryant Wright
Wright said the task force had seen God move in a unifying way in their midst as well as when they reported to the Executive Committee.
"All along it has been our hope that God would guide us in coming to a decision that would give a greater ability and opportunity for Southern Baptist Christians to reach that community where God has planted them," Wright said.
"And if that regional name has been a hindrance, we were just studying how could that barrier be removed so that more people could come into the Kingdom of Christ, come to faith in Christ by a ministry that really focuses on the Great Commission," he said.
Wright said he could think of no greater descriptor than Great Commission Baptists to tell who the convention is and what their mission is while maintaining the legal name of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The task force started out exploring a legal name change, he said, but they began to have a "great unity" that altering the legal name was not the best approach.
"Think about a couple of scenarios. First of all, our founding in 1845 was actually approved and the charter was given by the state legislature of the state of Georgia," Wright said. "Because of that, we have been grandfathered in when it comes to nonprofit regulations and what is asked for in nonprofit entities or organizations."
All sorts of legal challenges could stem from a legal name change, he said. Also, what has joined Southern Baptists together has been voluntary cooperation through the years.
"Say the Southern Baptist Convention in June in New Orleans and then a second year -- as it would be required to change the legal name, a second year -- say it was overwhelmingly approved by the Southern Baptist Convention," Wright said in the 12-minute video.
"Because of the autonomy of our entities, of our state conventions, of our local churches, you could have 10 states that decide to adopt that new legal name of the Southern Baptist Convention, whatever it may be. You could have 20-something states that decide they're going to stay Southern Baptist," he said.
"The potential for division, the potential for legal issues, the potential for problems with wills and gifts that have been designated to the Southern Baptist Convention, it just goes on and on and on. We just felt like that would not be healthy for the convention, nor would it be wise." Read More