The Briefing: Platt on the value of cooperation, missionary-sending agencies

Meredith Flynn —  September 2, 2014

THE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

New International Mission Board President David Platt said his head was “still kind of spinning” the morning after his Aug. 27 election by IMB trustees. “It’s good, though,” he told IMB global correspondent Erich Bridges. Their interview touched on mobilizing the next generation of missionaries, and the value of traditional Christian institutions in penetrating spiritual lostness.

“That’s the beauty in what God has created, even in the Southern Baptist Convention on a large scale – 40,000-plus churches working together, and the IMB keeping that coalition focused on reaching unreached peoples with the Gospel. The key is [building] strategies and structures and systems that help fuel a movement, that don’t inhibit the movement or cause churches to abdicate their responsibility in mission.”

Chicagoland pastors, planters share ministry challenges with SBC leaders
Frank Page
, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, was in Chicago last month for two “listening sessions” with leaders where the discussions touched on church size, diversity, church planting, and the challenges of urban ministry. Read the story from the Illinois Baptist here.

Seminary eyes new campus, new name
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary has signed a purchase agreement for its new campus in southern California, President Jeff Iorg announced in August. The school, currently located in Mill Valley near San Francisco, plans to relocate to the 153,000-sq.-foot building and adjoining property in Ontario, Ca., by June 2016.

Iorg also said the seminary will request that the Southern Baptist Convention approve a new name—Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention. “The new name connects to our heritage, frees us from geographic designations, allows for developing a more global identity, and acknowledges our Baptist distinctive.”

Pastors call Driscoll to step down
Nine pastors at Mars Hills Church have called for Pastor Mark Driscoll to step down from ministry for a year in the wake of charges of verbal abuse and ungodly leadership. A 4,000-word letter from the pastors was circulated two days before Driscoll announced he would take a six-week leave of absence while the charges were investigated, Christianity Today reported.

In reponse to the letter, which was leaked online, a newly formed Board of Elders for Mars Hill responded with their own message to Mars Hill members, asking them not to “react in fear or anxiety” or “pronounce judgment before the time.” Read more at

Barna studies Christians and public schools
New research from Barna found 95% of Protestant pastors believe Christians should be involved in helping public schools, and more than 8-in-10 church-going Christians agree. While 65% of people who regularly volunteer at public schools are church attenders, Barna said, there are some factors holding Christians back. 44% say they don’t have children in public school, 18% don’t think public schools want religious people to help, and 17% are unsure how to help.

Meredith Flynn


Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.