Dr. David Platt, the 35-year old pastor of Birmingham’s Church at Brook Hills and New York Times bestselling author, has been tapped to serve as the next president of the International Mission Board (IMB).
The IMB is the missionary-sending organization affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. It was initially established in 1845 as the Board of Foreign Missions, and now operates in nearly every country around the globe. It supports just under 5,000 missionaries in the field and has a yearly operating budget of $300 million, making it one of the largest missions organizations in the world.
The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions funds more than 50 percent of the work accomplished through IMB. Named for a courageous Southern Baptist missionary who served in China at the turn of the 20th century, this offering is used exclusively to help provide the day-to-day support for missionaries sent around the globe by their Southern Baptist churches through IMB.
Platt’s election represents somewhat of a departure from many past IMB presidents, who have historically served in the role later in life toward the end of their ministries.
But this is not the first time Platt has taken on a large role at a relatively young age.
At 26, he was hired as senior pastor at The Church at Brook Hills, becoming known as “the youngest megachurch leader in America.”
Platt is also the author of several books, including Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, which has sold over a million copies. His most recent book, Follow Me: A call to die. A call to live., released last year, also debuted on the New York Times bestseller list. His next book, Counter Culture: Radically Following Jesus with Conviction, Courage, and Compassion, was initially slated to be released in September, but will now likely end up being released sometime in the first quarter of next year.
When news of Platt’s election to head the IMB broke Wednesday morning, the Church at Brook Hills released the following statement:
As The Church at Brook Hills, everything we do is ultimately for the sake of God’s glory among all nations. While we are saddened that David Platt will no longer be our Senior Pastor, we wholeheartedly support his decision to serve as President of the International Mission Board (IMB). We know of no one with greater passion and zeal for seeing Christ preached where He has not yet been named.
For many years, the IMB has been one of our primary partners in sending members of our faith family to make disciples around the world, and we look forward to this relationship continuing under David’s leadership there. We are deeply grateful for the season God has allowed David to shepherd The Church at Brook Hills. We now gladly pray for the Platt family as they transition to a new assignment and begin the work of mobilizing thousands of churches to accomplish the Great Commission.
By God’s grace, Brook Hills will continue to be a vibrant disciple-making church. We trust God’s sovereign plans for our faith family and are confident He will continue to lead us in the months and years ahead.
UPDATE: The IMB released the following video message from Platt:
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