David Platt was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board (IMB) in August 2014. He is deeply devoted to Christ and His Word, and he is passionate about disciple-making. Prior to becoming IMB president, Platt pastored The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala. Platt has written several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me and Counter Culture. He is also the founder of Radical, a ministry devoted to disseminating disciple-making resources so the gospel might be made known to the ends of the earth.
Platt will deliver the convention sermon during this year’s Baptist State Convention of North Carolina annual meeting, which is scheduled Nov. 14-15 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.
The theme of this year’s meeting is “Impact: Compelling the Lost to Come to Life” based Luke 14:23. Platt will preach during the special “Impact” worship service, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tues., Nov. 15.
Platt recently took some time to answer some questions in advance of the annual meeting.
Q: Why is healthy disciple-making critical to our missions effectiveness and getting the gospel to those who have never heard it?_ÑŒ
A: In the Great Commission, Jesus commanded His followers to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20).
Consequently, disciple-making is critical to the accomplishment of the Great Commission.
Healthy disciples who are gathered together in churches for the purpose of evangelism, disciple-making and healthy church multiplication to the ends of the earth is God’s plan for the accomplishment of the Great Commission.
Therefore, we must be faithful to promote healthy disciple-making in churches across North Carolina with a view toward making disciples among the nations.
Q: Why is it important for local churches to engage in making disciples among unreached people groups both here and abroad?_ÑŒ
A: Local churches are to make disciples locally, in their context, but also with a view to all nations as explicitly stated in the Great Commission in Matthew’s Gospel.
Today, God is sovereignly scattering unreached peoples around the world. Many unreached peoples are now living in “reached” contexts and places where they now have access to the gospel.
This provides a unique opportunity for local churches to engage unreached peoples with the gospel in their neighborhoods and communities.
As local churches make disciples of unreached peoples locally, this will only increase and fuel their desire to be involved in disciple-making among the unreached around the world. In summary, disciple-making among the unreached at home fuels disciple-making among the unreached abroad and vice versa.
Q: What role does missions involvement both here and abroad play in cultivating healthy churches?_ÑŒ
A: Missions involvement is a necessary characteristic of health in any local church.
If a church is not intentionally working to make disciples of all nations with a view toward getting the gospel to people who have never heard it, then we are not obeying the command of Christ, and as a result, are not promoting health in the church. God’s design for every local church is to play a part in global mission, which necessarily involves making disciples right in our community and then doing the same wherever God may lead us far from our community.
Q: How can we as believers prioritize our lives and resources toward reaching the least reached, especially unreached people groups now living in North America?
A: As believers who are counted among the reached with the gospel, we must be very intentional when it comes to seeking out and engaging the unreached peoples around us. Our desire to reach the unreached with the gospel influences and impacts where we live, work, exercise, what sports leagues our kids play in, and how we spend our leisure and discretionary time.
Furthermore, our desire to share the good news with unreached peoples impacts how we steward and spend our financial resources.
We strive to live simply so that we can give sacrificially towards the spread of the gospel to the unreached in our communities and around the world.
Psalm 67:1-2 states that the people of God have been blessed “that your (God) way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.” God has blessed us with the gospel, with the scripture, and with resources so that we can be in turn be a blessing to the nations.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Watch a special video invitation from David Platt to join him at this year’s N.C. Baptist Annual Meeting at vimeo.com/ncbaptist.)