My original post said “Platt resigned.” The IMB released claims he has not resigned but simply asked the IMB to begin a search for a new president. I think that is a distinction without a difference. But there are people who get hyper-picky and easily offended about stuff like this, so I am changing this. It’s silly. It’s a de facto resignation.
In one of the most poorly kept secrets in SBC history, David Platt’s intent to leave the International Mission Board has been announced today in a conference call with Trustees. Last fall he took the role of preaching pastor at McLean Bible Church, a recently affiliated SBC church. While it was not part of the announcement, it is believed he will take that church’s pastoral role full-time.
Platt will continue to serve until a new IMB President is selected. The full statement is available on the IMB website.
David Platt has served honorably and passionately at the IMB, but it has also been a tumultuous time. When he began his work, he realized that the IMB had overspent its income by 210 million dollars in 5 years. He addressed that problem head-on and courageously, bringing fiscal sanity back to the IMB. He was a passionate promoter of worldwide missions.
It is also true that his term as president has been a challenging one. He brought massive change to an institution that is not used to it and there was sometimes a disconnect between those in Richmond and those on the field. Platt sought to implement his vision of a new IMB, but his short tenure means we will never know if that vision was going to succeed. My conversations with missionaries led me to the impression that they generally respected Dr. Platt but were sometimes confused by the administrative changes coming their way.
No one ought to question Platt’s passion for world missions or the sincerity of his desire to take the gospel to the world. In the days ahead I am sure that there will be many who are more qualified than I am to analyze how effective his tenure was.
The IMB needs a new leader now, one who has both a passion for world missions and an understanding of Southern Baptist cooperative missions. I do not envy the trustees of the IMB in their difficult task of finding the next leader for our world mission effort.