IMB’s Platt to volunteer as teaching pastor in VA church

IMB’s Platt to volunteer as teaching pastor in VA church

What started as a temporary position for International Mission Board (IMB) President David Platt may become a permanent role.

For the past eight months Platt has served as interim teaching pastor at McLean Bible Church in Northern Virginia. In August Platt told the IMB executive committee he felt called to accept the position on a permanent basis while continuing as IMB president.

During the Sept. 11–13 IMB trustee meeting at Ridgecrest Conference Center in Asheville, North Carolina, the executive committee reported it has agreed to study the proposal and evaluate Platt’s performance as IMB president until their February meeting.

The teaching pastor position will be nonpaid and not responsible for day-to-day leadership of the church, according to

Platt said the position would not change his schedule for IMB in any way because he came to IMB on the condition he could spend 65 percent of his weekends at home with his family in one local church. His IMB travel would take place during the week and 35 percent of his weekends.

IMB public relations manager Julie McGowan said, “Of the approximately 35 percent of weekends when Dr. Platt is traveling, his traveling includes a mixture of being overseas with IMB personnel and being stateside in Southern Baptist churches. In addition to these weekends, Dr. Platt travels extensively during the week across the country and convention in his role as IMB president.”

Alabama Baptist trustee Max Croft, associate pastor of Agape Baptist Church, Scottsboro, was part of the September meeting. A supporter of Platt’s leadership at IMB, Croft said Platt “is doing a great job.”

“At the same time I will insist, and I believe other board members will insist, that we take a very close look at his performance in the next few months,” Croft added. “I believe it will be very difficult for him to handle both roles over an extended period of time. I am willing to wait and see what happens.”

Alabama trustee Jay Wolf, pastor of First Baptist, Montgomery, said, “David is energized by the experience of preaching. It provides him a unique opportunity to mobilize a great church to mobilize a strategic area. This is a different paradigm, an experiment until February when the (IMB) executive committee will look at it again.”

Wolf was not at the September meeting but served on the search committee that selected Platt. “The committee agreed that he would be at home 65 percent of the time (about 35 weeks a year) where he could be with his family and significantly involved in a local church. We do not want him to sacrifice family on the altar of missions service.

“David is a gifted and wonderful leader,” Wolf added. “We have to be careful not to superimpose our limitations on David’s abilities. David has assembled a stellar team that will enable him to do something unique in this situation.” (TAB)