In case you missed the explosion on Twitter and Facebook yesterday, David Platt is the new President of the International Mission Board. Perhaps you’re not a Southern Baptist or know who Platt is and are unsure why this is important. If that’s true, then this is the post for you.
What is the International Mission Board (IMB)?
The International Mission Board is one of the main reasons the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) exists. The denomination was originally formed in 1845 for the very purpose of better funding missionaries in the United States and around the world. The IMB was the natural outgrowth of that purpose. The IMB currently have over 4,800 personnel serving over 900 people groups. It is supported though the cooperative giving and special Christmas offering of Southern Baptist churches.
Who Is David Platt?
David Platt is the pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama. When he came, he was called the youngest pastor of a megachurch. Previously, he taught at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and served at Edgewater Baptist Church. The driving passion of Platt’s life and ministry has been making disciples of Jesus Christ among all peoples for the glory of God. This is seen throughout the content of his teaching as well as his willingness to go to other countries (even ones considered “closed”) and teach believers what it means to follow Christ. He has also become increasingly popular as a speaker at conferences and SBC events. From my experience, I think Platt’s popularity follows from his combination of passion for the gospel and clear theological convictions.
Platt is perhaps best known for his books Radical, Radical Together, and Follow Me. But he’s also written commentaries on Matthew, Galatians, 1 Timothy, and James. In recent years, Platt has taught at a global simulcast from Brook Hills called Secret Church–an event designed to raises awareness for the persecuted church and produce resources for them. You can find sermons and other resources at Radical.net (a ministry similar to Platt what Desiring God is to John Piper).
Why David Platt as the IMB President Is a Great Thing
David Platt is the real deal. The IMB is about global disciple-making and church planting and Platt has been leading the away in these pursuits on the local church level during his time at Brook Hills. Tim Brister has probably best summed up why Platt is a good choice for the job. He points to his humble character, rounded competency as a Christian leader, ability to serve as a catalyst for disciple-making, and personal commitment to the Great Commission. Others like Russell Moore and J.D. Greear have expressed their excitement at Platt’s appointment and they all point to one of those four elements as the source of their confidence in Platt.
Some Important Resources
If you’re interested in more from Platt, here is a selection of resources to get you started.