A Word from Curt:
It’s a good word.
It’s the best word that describe David Platt, our new president and leader of the International Mission Board.
What’s even neater is that Platt has another trait that doesn’t always travel in lock step with passion.
Those that know him use those two often juxtaposed words to describe him.
Passionate and humble. It’s going to be fun watching how God uses David Platt in the coming days, weeks, and years.
2 Stories: Why I’m Thrilled about David Platt leading the IMB.
I say it without reservation: I believe God’s man has been selected as the president of our International Mission Board.
We are thrilled that David Platt will be leading the IMB’s vision “. . . of a multitude from every language, people, tribe, and nation knowing and worshipping our Lord Jesus.”
I am not a theologian.
I’m a storyteller. Here are two stories of why I’m excited about David Platt:
1. Two Couples in Tough Country Robert Lane, his wife Maridath and their partners, Selvin and Laurel Jeremiadoss, serve in an isolated part of South Sudan. These young IMB missionaries, with small children, have remained with their Dinka Rek people through the chaos and uncertainty that is present day South Sudan.
They’ve won the respect of their neighbors and are seeing Gospel fruit and church planting.
We had the privilege of being with them last week when they heard the news of David Platt’s election. They were beyond thrilled.
They became energized at the prospect of Platt leading the organization they’re pouring their lives into.
Our younger generation is already responding to David Platt as our leader.
My wife DeDe and I are nearly sixty and are SBC Lifers.
Baptist born, Baptist bred, and one day we’ll be Baptist dead.
We, and the churches we’ve been members of, have supported the IMB, Cooperative Program, and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
As International Service Corps workers in Africa, we see daily how Southern Baptists are invested in what God is doing here.
We feel both humbled and honored.
I’ve felt strongly that our next IMB leader needed to be younger. Someone who could build on the legacy and foundation of our past two presidents. A man who could communicate missions passion to our American churches.
I’ve believed strongly that David Platt was that man.
To see the energy and excitement of the Lanes and Jeremiadoss has confirmed that in my heart.
2. Long Before He Was Famous
All three of our sons and their families are committed to sharing the Gospel and the mission of our International Mission Board.
Last week, our oldest son, Clay, shared a story I use with his permission:
“Eleven years ago, our Louisiana Baptist Collegiate Ministry held its yearly evangelism meeting at New Orleans Seminary. Most of the speakers were involved in local ministries and many had ties to the Seminary.
The last speaker of the conference was someone I’d never heard of, but he preached the most powerful message I’ve heard on missions and evangelism. I can still quote his points, scripture references, and illustrations.
Most of all, I was captivated by his passion. I’ve never heard anyone speak of missions with such compelling passion.”
Of course, the speaker was David Platt.
This was long before Radical and the fame it brought Platt.
David Platt was passionate long before he became a household name. He served in the New Orleans area with the same humility and fervor that marks his ministry at Brook Hills and beyond.
I do not view Platt as a savior or magic-worker, I simply believe that his vision and passion will mobilize our younger generation to serve in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth.
As an older Southern Baptist, I’m thrilled. I firmly believe good days and years are ahead of us in International Missions.
It won’t be easy. The best things never are. But with God’s blessings and power, we will move forward.
Together, we can do it.
Curt Iles serves with the International Mission Board’s Chadan Cluster. He and his wife DeDe are Louisiana natives who serve in South Sudan and southern Chad. The author of eleven books, Iles blogs at www.creekbank.net