David Platt new International Mission Board president

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David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby William Thornton » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:17 pm

...as of today, so elected by IMB trustees.

Baptist Press had two stories up but they have disappeared. Here's ABP's:

http://www.abpnews.com/ministry/organizations/item/29141-david-platt-elected-imb-president

Platt: pastor, Calvinist, PhD, no overseas mission experience (save for short term trips), token church Cooperative Program support, very strong Lottie Moon and direct IMB support, highly esteemed by younger SBs, generational change (his predecessor is 70, he is 35).

Most would say his selection is not unexpected but far from a safe choice.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:07 pm

Don't know anything about him. Guess that proves how far out of the SBC loop I am.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby William Thornton » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:09 pm

I support the choice.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby Joseph Patrick » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:41 pm

From Joseph Patrick...aka Gerry Milligan

William, I originally posted this under the title "Schizophrenia" which is how I am viewing the election of David Platt.

The election of David Platt has caused some questions to mind...First, I have no doubt that he is a Man of God and an effective pastor. Those are givens. But when First Baker Cauthen and then Keith Parks retired there was a great deal of concern among active missionaries that whomever took over be "one of them." That practice was not completely accomplished with Tom Elliff, but he had been a missionary "briefly" according to many active missionaries.

Now, with the election of David Platt, I await what missionaries on the field are saying. For me, (and I am long gone from the field) I hope that he will revitalize what seems to be stagnant (no matter what the INFLATED figures say on the "Fast Facts" section of the IMB website.)

Since I posted this I have read Bart Barber's three blogs concerning this election and Paige Patterson's blog. It does not look as if he would be a unanimous choice in the Ft. Worth area.

Someone help me out, do I get the impression that a Calvanist has been elected to lead a world-wide effort to evangelize the world?

Grace and Peace Joseph Patrick (aka Gerry Milligan)
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby Sandy » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:22 pm

The bottom line in the SBC, before and after the conservative resurgence, is that the executive positions at the denominational agencies and institutions, especially the higher level, high dollar salaried executive positions, go to people who have the best developed network of influence. David Platt is one of the "up and coming" individuals who laid the groundwork for this with his book and video business. It's kind of like it is in church, where a half hour of golden voiced preaching gets you a unanimous vote of call. If you're on the mission field, it is out of sight, out of mind, and you don't have the means or ability to lobby the trustees. Cauthen and Parks had large networks of pastors and influential institutional leaders to push their cause. Most missionaries on the field today don't have that, unless they happen to come from one of the prominent congregations and their pastor uses his influence.

That being said, this is an administrative post, and the real management work goes on at a lower level, where there are plenty of former missionaries involved. The head of the agency doesn't necessarily need a high level of mission service to do the promotional and representation that is required of his position. Basically, it still requires the skill of preaching.

I've seen zero evidence to substantiate the charge that the statistics cited by the mission board are not accurate. I have several friends and former classmates who serve on the international mission field under the IMB in several places around the world, and what they say supports the information that the IMB puts out.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby Jerry_B » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:03 pm

I guess we'll see. Wrangling an organization this size, this spread out has gotten the best of many, many enthusiastic and passionate pastors moving from local church work to denominational work. Will he be patient enough to slog through the red tape or will his enthusiasm get the best of him?

Also, his para church ministry Radical (radical.net) is going to continue, at least according to the video message he posted this evening. How is that going to work? Is the current Radical the future of IMB?

As I said, I guess we'll see.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby Joseph Patrick » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:18 am

From Joseph Patrick...aka Gerry Milligan

Sandy, you said, "I have several friends and former classmates who serve on the international mission field under the IMB in several places around the world, and what they say supports the information that the IMB puts out."

I know that we have had this discussion before, but I still do not see nor do I hear from the field where 4800 missionaries led 138,000 souls to the Lord last year. In fact, something like that would probably earn foot high headlines at Baptist press.

As Jerry B said, we shall wait and see.

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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby Sandy » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:38 am

Well, you wouldn't expect a mega church pastor to give up his cash cow, now, would you? It's difficult to self-promote if you're not in the book and video business.

I'm guessing this is a stepping-stone position. I'm guessing he's getting into position to move into Lifeway when Rainer retires, or across the street at the executive office when Frank Page retires.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby William Thornton » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:43 am

My mod friends would ordinarily be pleased to hear that their old nemesis, Paige Patterson, wrote that Platt was not his choice. According to mod/libs a tiny cabal controls all in the SBC.

Here's what's coming in the SBC for IMB:

Emphasis on alternative funding mechanisms. Platt's church gave only a token offering to the Cooperative Program and a huge amount to Lottie Moon and another huge amount direct to IMB for special projects. The church also gave a sizable amount directly to the SBC Executive Committee for distribution according to the CP allocation formula. Essentially, these practices are designed to cut out the state convention which in Platt's state, Alabama, like all state conventions keeps most of every CP dollar.

IMB gets only about 30% of their budget from the CP these days. To expand the field personnel numbers around the world necessitates some alternative funding sources.

I don't think Platt's calvinistic beliefs will generate any changes in the work and policies of the IMB. He is not a rabid Calvinist.

State Convention executives and employees will begin to speak more of the death of the CP, since they are dependent on it for survival. The seminaries, NAMB, IMB all have alternative funding streams.

The IMB has a trustee board of almost 100 people and, since it is the plum trustee assignment, these are people who are better connected in their states and in SBC life that others. That this group took a risk in calling such a young, SBC radical says something about what they think is important at this stage, smooth, slow denominational sailing or risk with the chance of far greater reward. They chose the latter route. There were many, many safe choices.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby Sandy » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:52 am

Joseph Patrick wrote:I know that we have had this discussion before, but I still do not see nor do I hear from the field where 4800 missionaries led 138,000 souls to the Lord last year. In fact, something like that would probably earn foot high headlines at Baptist press.


Do you get individual reports from all 4,800 missionaries on the field? I only hear from a few, who are friends of mine, but from what they tell me, if you add it up collectively, across the spectrum of countries where SBC missionaries work, 138,000 really isn't all that big of a number. One of my friends, in Brazil, has been there through two 4 year terms, and in that time, in their area of the country, the number of churches has doubled, and many of their new church plants are over 500 in attendance, in a very short period of time. It's not just 4,800 missionaries doing the work.

Platt is perhaps one of the best connected younger pastors in the SBC, where who you know is the major factor in landing the high salary, high visibility denominational jobs. In these executive positions, it is no longer necessary to be qualified by the kind of work the agency does, such as being an educator in order to lead a seminary, or a missionary to lead a mission board. The real administrative work will be done by subordinates anyway. The main factor is to which high profile, influential leader have you hitched your wagon, or which prominent Southern Baptist mega church in the inner circle did you come from.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby Joseph Patrick » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:12 pm

From Joseph Patrick...aka Gerry Milligan

Sandy said, "Do you get individual reports from all 4,800 missionaries on the field? I only hear from a few, who are friends of mine, but from what they tell me, if you add it up collectively, across the spectrum of countries where SBC missionaries work, 138,000 really isn't all that big of a number. One of my friends, in Brazil, has been there through two 4 year terms, and in that time, in their area of the country, the number of churches has doubled, and many of their new church plants are over 500 in attendance, in a very short period of time. It's not just 4,800 missionaries doing the work."

Sandy, I receive electronic updates from many colleagues who are still IMB missionaries, also I receive updates from the Arabian Peninsula Partnership, Middle East Partnership, MICN and C&MA missionaries and OM missionaries. Generally the reports are requesting prayer for believers. Recently the number one request from a team of Frontiers missionaries was to find one person of peace.

I know that there are some being saved via IMB personnel, but when you have 4842 missionaries you must consider that at any one time one fourth (about 1200) are on home leave. Also, there are several hundred in administrative positions who are not engaged with evangelism. To me, these are "Chamber of Commerce" figures which would not stand up to close scrutiny if looking at DIRECT imb involvement. But will admit that I am wrong with definitive evidence.

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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby William Thornton » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:32 pm

I'm calling Sandy slightly out-of-touch on Platt. You sound about 5 years behind the SBC curve on this. :lol:

Look to my blog (I may repost here) for how this should be viewed.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby Sandy » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:19 pm

William Thornton wrote:Emphasis on alternative funding mechanisms. Platt's church gave only a token offering to the Cooperative Program and a huge amount to Lottie Moon and another huge amount direct to IMB for special projects. The church also gave a sizable amount directly to the SBC Executive Committee for distribution according to the CP allocation formula. Essentially, these practices are designed to cut out the state convention which his state, Alabama, like all state conventions keeps most of every CP dollar.


Maybe it is time for some out of the box thinking with regard to the Cooperative Program. The leaders of the conservative resurgence came from mega churches that gave token amounts through the CP funding formula, and designated the rest of their contribution the way they wanted it, but the dollar amounts were still not large. Now, along comes Platt, whose congregation is actually committed to some real money based on their size. Of course, the question is whether other large congregations are willing to commit that kind of money to a missions program that they don't directly control, or whether they are willing to invest in a denominational based missions program, rather than their own short term missions. The CP was, after all, designed around cooperative missions for small churches that couldn't support their own independent missionaries, but even at that, cooperation is much more effective, and efficient, than lone ranger, go it on your own short term projects.

Really, what's happening in the SBC is a shift from CP money going to feed the state convention bureaucracy, to money being kept in the mega churches to feed their own bureaucracy, and service the debt on buildings that are monuments to their current pastor, and are used once or twice a week.

Maybe Platt's example can be followed, and will change that.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby William Thornton » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:18 pm

Sandy wrote:Really, what's happening in the SBC is a shift from CP money going to feed the state convention bureaucracy, to money being kept in the mega churches to feed their own bureaucracy, and service the debt on buildings that are monuments to their current pastor, and are used once or twice a week.

Maybe Platt's example can be followed, and will change that.


Partly right. The shift is from the CP, which is mostly state convention spending, to more in direct funding mostly to the two mission boards. The trend of churches spending money on their own plant, staff, and programs is several decades long. No change on that.

CP is still a mammoth funding stream but the SBC exec committee now receives more designated $ than in CP $. Of the major CP players, state conventions, IMB, NAMB, and the seminaries as a group, only the state conventions have no attractive funding alternative. IMB and NAMB have attractive and appealing missions. Seminaries have a support base in alumni and can raise tuition. This is why IMB is exploring alternative funding schemes.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby Timothy Bonney » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:57 pm

I"m curious as to why Southern Baptists want to fund the national mission boards but not the ministry of the state conventions? When I was still in the ABC/USA we had churches that were doing just the opposite. They were wanting to fund the regional organizations and not the national bodies.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby William Thornton » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:53 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:I"m curious as to why Southern Baptists want to fund the national mission boards but not the ministry of the state conventions? When I was still in the ABC/USA we had churches that were doing just the opposite. They were wanting to fund the regional organizations and not the national bodies.


There has been a growing view that the state conventions, which keep 60+% of each CP dollar, are not the best destination for increasingly scarce church offering plate funds. The states had a record of adding staff and building expensive centralized HQ buildings. Churches are concluding that these are not the best use of their dollars. The "national boards" as you put it have more specific missions (seminaries, North American and International missions) which are more easily identifiable and supported by church members than the staff and ministries of the states.

When you hear SBCers speak of "bloated bureaucracies" it is almost certain that they mean state convention structures.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby Sandy » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:59 am

Timothy Bonney wrote:I"m curious as to why Southern Baptists want to fund the national mission boards but not the ministry of the state conventions? When I was still in the ABC/USA we had churches that were doing just the opposite. They were wanting to fund the regional organizations and not the national bodies.


There are different perceptions in different places, I'm sure, but the "bloated bureaucracy" sometimes does things that give credence to that perception. Seems like a lot of state conventions want to build new buildings and relocate. A lot of the jobs are "consultant" positions that provide training or information for church volunteers, like Sunday School teachers, and are in less demand now than they were a couple of decades back. I understand that the BGCT is selling its building, built in the 80's I believe, to their neighbor, Baylor Health System, and is scattering the executive offices to different locations, taking advantage of lower rents, and reducing travel costs.

From the few friends I have who are members of ABC-USA churches, I've gathered there's not a lot of loyalty or commitment to the national body. On occasion, we spend the weekend up in the mountains around Buckhannon, West Virginia, and attend a rural Baptist church there that is ABC-USA, but contributes only to the state body, seeing the national body as far too liberal. It seems that is characteristic of the American Baptist churches across that state. Likewise, the Baptist church in the small town where I live is ABC-USA, though it was almost a year after moving here before I knew that, though the pastor has done chapel for me half a dozen times and I know him pretty well. They have nothing to do with the national body, citing it's "liberalism" as the reason.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby Ed Pettibone » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:06 am

Sandy wrote:
Timothy Bonney wrote:I"m curious as to why Southern Baptists want to fund the national mission boards but not the ministry of the state conventions? When I was still in the ABC/USA we had churches that were doing just the opposite. They were wanting to fund the regional organizations and not the national bodies.


There are different perceptions in different places, I'm sure, but the "bloated bureaucracy" sometimes does things that give credence to that perception. Seems like a lot of state conventions want to build new buildings and relocate. A lot of the jobs are "consultant" positions that provide training or information for church volunteers, like Sunday School teachers, and are in less demand now than they were a couple of decades back. I understand that the BGCT is selling its building, built in the 80's I believe, to their neighbor, Baylor Health System, and is scattering the executive offices to different locations, taking advantage of lower rents, and reducing travel costs.

From the few friends I have who are members of ABC-USA churches, I've gathered there's not a lot of loyalty or commitment to the national body. On occasion, we spend the weekend up in the mountains around Buckhannon, West Virginia, and attend a rural Baptist church there that is ABC-USA, but contributes only to the state body, seeing the national body as far too liberal. It seems that is characteristic of the American Baptist churches across that state. Likewise, the Baptist church in the small town where I live is ABC-USA, though it was almost a year after moving here before I knew that, though the pastor has done chapel for me half a dozen times and I know him pretty well. They have nothing to do with the national body, citing it's "liberalism" as the reason.


Ed: Sandy, as an ABCer who has been active in two ABC-USA regions and who has attended each of the last 5 national biennials and two national Missions conferences, plus having served on the NYS Board of Missions from two associations for a total of 7 years I believe your perception of loyalties within ABC-USA is somewhat warped by you proximity to our most conservative region (WV) which is in the South, where many Individuals and churches are heavily influenced by their SBC friends, neighbors and relatives. We have traveled through through WV many times and have enjoyed the scenery and hospitality in public accommodations but due to the timing of our travels we have not visited in their churches. However while in still in Florida we did host a couple students from Alderson Broaddus College An ABC-USA school Located in Philippi WV. They attained University status in 2013. When their choir performed at our then, CBF/SBC FBC of Fort Myers. And Trudy did interview with two WV churches before we came to Burnthills. Note the spelling of Broaddus is not a misspelling. The school was not named for James Brodus of SBTS and Broadman hymnal fame.

Despite their differences over the homosexual issue which some mistakenly blamed on the ABC-National leadership WV American Baptist rejected an ultraconservative attempt earlier in this century to remove their region from ABC-USA. Their conservatives bigger bone of Contention with the National office is women in Ministry, precisely ordination of women. The ABC national office does very strongly support Women in ministry and we have had a couple women as President. In the early days of BL.com one of our most informative participants was an ABC woman from WV.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby Timothy Bonney » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:34 am

West Virginia was one of the few ABC regions I had marked on my ABPS profile that I would not go. I figured I might as well have stayed in the SBC as go to the West Virginia region. At times I'm not sure what keeps the region in the ABC as conservative as it is.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby William Thornton » Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:49 pm

Jason, if you want to contribute, say something.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby Jon Estes » Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:20 am

Platt was a great pick, maybe the best choice for leadership out of the younger crop of SBCers to choose from.

He is real... not political... evangelistic... on top of the heartbeat of the younger generation of the next group of SBC leaders.

Of course that next generation is going to have to be welcomed with more than lip service and a few token spots.

IMB President is not a token position and to choose Platt took a spiritual choice not seen to often in the last decade.

Good for the IMB Trustees.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby David Flick » Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:36 am

Jon Estes wrote:Platt was a great pick, maybe the best choice for leadership out of the younger crop of SBCers to choose from.

He is real... not political... evangelistic... on top of the heartbeat of the younger generation of the next group of SBC leaders.

    Jon, I'm no longer a Southern Baptist, rather I'm an American Baptist (ABCUSA). I have no desire to debate the issue, but based on my experience & observations as a SBC pastor for 38+ years, I'm convinced that it's virtually impossible for a Southern Baptist leader in high places to be apolitical. No SBC leader I've ever known in my life was apolitical. In fact, I'm pretty well convinced that's true for most denominations, if not all denominations...
Of course that next generation is going to have to be welcomed with more than lip service and a few token spots.

IMB President is not a token position and to choose Platt took a spiritual choice not seen to often in the last decade.

Good for the IMB Trustees.
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Re: David Platt new International Mission Board president

Postby William Thornton » Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:30 am

David, our generation of SBCers were focused on denominational politics as a means of institutional control and power. Our kid's generation, those that have an interest in SBC stuff, is more focused on end results than the machinery that leads to such. Platt, for example, has been prominent in SBC stuff but almost totally apolitical. His church partners with the IMB to do global missions but has given meager financial support to the CP which undergirds the state convention and panoply of SBC entities.

These guys are different and don't look at SBC stuff through the CR lens like all of us here.
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