Today, the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention announced that Birmingham pastor David Platt–who spoke powerfully on gospel-driven singleness for CBMW at our 2014 Nat’l Conference– is its new President. This is nothing less than tremendous news.
Platt is the author of Radical and related books and has essentially inherited the mantle of John Piper as the Christian leader who has given thousands of younger evangelicals a grand vision of God and a big vision of the Christian life. His messages on global missions have electrified not only his local church but many others besides. I can think of no young leader who will be poised to do more to rally young Southern Baptists to go and if necessary die for the gospel so that unreached people may be saved.
God must bless the IMB’s work. God, and no man, must marshal the church to a fresh wave of missionary engagement. But David Platt has the humility, experience, and passion necessary to faithfully serve the Lord in this regard. The IMB needs greater funding to send out more missionaries; it’s become plain that the churches of the SBC need to freshly invest in the task, even as Southern Baptists have done in sacrificial terms over and over again. I believe that with Platt at the helm, this will happen. I think we’ll see an outpouring of support, and I can’t wait for it.
I think we’ll also see many young Christians who don’t have a denominational home flocking to the SBC in coming days. Over time, the convention is retooling. Younger leaders are stepping up and being appointed to key positions. I cannot overstate how encouraging this is as a young Southern Baptist. The commitment of the older generation to raising up the younger generation is setting a marvelous precedent. The light may be dying in the West and the world, but I believe that the SBC’s future is bright and gospel-saturated.
I am excited beyond words for what this appointment means for the IMB and the SBC. May God use it to see many, many more people–lost just as I once was–saved by his glorious gospel.