David Platt, well-known author of such books as “Radical” and “Follow Me” and, Pastor of the Church at Brook Hills (a Southern Baptist congregation in Birmingham, AL), was elected by the Board of Trustees to be the new President of the International Mission Board. The IMB, arguably the SBC’s most important organization (both in terms of missionaries and Cooperative Program dollars), will, no doubt, be impacted by David Platt’s leadership and passion, particularly in reaching the nearly 2 billion unreached people in the world. Said Platt,
He has given me a deeper desire to spend more of my time and energy and resources in the short life He has given me to seeing Christ preached where He’s not been named. The concept of unreached peoples — of nearly 2 billion people who have never heard the Gospel — is just totally intolerable.”
Although I share some of the reservations about whether or not Platt’s election can unify our convention of churches as we reach our communities and world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we simply cannot allow our own political, philosophical, methodological, or theological narrow-mindedness to breed disunity. That would be exactly what the enemy would want. While Platt would not have been my first choice (not that anyone was asking), his election, barring some unforeseen disaster with the structure and/or mission of the International Mission Board, will not change our church’s commitment to reaching the nations in and through the Cooperative Program.
If David Platt is able, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the cooperative spirit of Southern Baptists, to accomplish the mission that God has given to him, then we will all be reinvigorated to share the Gospel with those in our own neighborhoods as well as those in the uttermost parts of the world. Although that should be second-nature to followers of Jesus Christ — particularly a missional people like Southern Baptists — our current church culture might see that as a radical idea. Maybe David Platt has a few more radical ideas up his sleeves as he takes the helm of the world’s largest mission-sending agency. And, that’s fine by this life-long Southern Baptist!