During the November 2016 IMB trustee meeting, IMB President David Platt reports about Southern Baptists’ sustaining gifts through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering to send and support missionaries around the world. IMB photo by Roy Burroughs
BREAKING NEWS: IMB President Platt announces plan to resign, asks trustees to begin search for successor
RICHMOND, Va. (IMB) – International Mission Board (IMB) President David Platt has asked the mission agency’s trustees to begin searching for his successor.
Platt announced his decision to IMB field personnel and staff Feb. 12, in person and via email to those not in Richmond.
While requesting that the search for the IMB’s next president begin immediately, Platt will continue as president at IMB until a new president is elected. A presidential search committee will be comprised of IMB trustees selected by trustee chairman Rick Dunbar, a member of First Baptist Church Madison, Mississippi.
Platt told trustees, missionaries and staff that during his nearly four-year tenure at the IMB, he has been “burdened to continue preaching and leading in the local church,” which led to assuming a teaching pastor role at McLean Bible Church in Northern Virginia, alongside his leadership of the IMB.
“I am more passionate today than I have ever been about getting the gospel to the nations, and I want to spend what little time I have left on this earth with urgency toward that end,” he said. “This passion is what drove me to become IMB president, and I have sought to honor Him and you in this role over the last four years.”
Founded in prayerPlatt said his decision to begin the process seeking a successor for his current role is founded in concentrated prayer and fasting alongside counsel from various leaders across the Southern Baptist Convention over recent months.
“I have come to the realization that it is not viable long-term for me to lead as president of the IMB while serving as teaching pastor in a church,” Platt said. “This realization has been sobering, for I don’t believe I can choose between preaching and leading in the local church, and mobilizing and shepherding people in global missions. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that if I am going to serve in this way in the local church, then I need to serve in different ways for the cause of global missions.”
“I love this IMB family, and I want to encourage you continually with God’s Word, I want to mobilize limitless missionaries to join you, and I want to work with you overseas in any ways I can help you,” Platt said. “In short, I want to do anything I can to see missions succeed across and beyond IMB and the SBC for the glory of God.”
Senior IMB leaders, including Platt, have stated their commitment to the continuity of IMB’s work during the search. Platt said they will continue to implement the initiatives that leaders in Richmond and around the world have put in place aimed toward fulfilling the agency’s mission as the IMB. During Platt’s tenure, IMB has achieved a stable, healthy financial position; clarified its mission; and recalibrated internal systems and structures around that mission.
“We have set the stage for a limitless mission force that is focused on the missionary task with urgent motivation and strong biblical, theological, ecclesiological,
and missiological foundations,” Platt said. “We have sought to create collaborative processes in the IMB such that what we do doesn’t revolve around one
leader, but around all of us working together. Consequently, our vision for the future remains the same: we will continue partnering with churches to empower
limitless missionary teams who are evangelizing, discipling, planting and multiplying healthy churches, and training leaders among unreached peoples and
places for the glory of God.”
Clear vision for future
Specifically, Platt encouraged Southern Baptists’ 3,500-plus missionaries around the world to remain steadfast in their devotion to the missionary task in the place and the role where God has placed each of them, noting they “know better than anyone else: the nations need the gospel.” He implored the missionaries to not let this news distract them from getting the gospel to those who have never heard it.
Q: Why did David Platt ask trustees to search for a successor for him?
A: Through concentrated prayer and fasting alongside counsel from various leaders across the SBC over the course of the last couple of months, David Platt came to the realization that it is not viable long-term for him to lead as president of the IMB while serving as Teaching Pastor in a church. David strongly desires to mobilize and shepherd people in global missions while preaching and leading in the local church. Therefore, he concluded that if he is going to serve in this way in the local church, then he needs to serve in different ways for the cause of global missions.
Q: When did David Platt make this decision?
A: David Platt has been in constant communication with trustee leadership and senior leaders over recent weeks. He finalized his decision in a call with trustees and then an announcement to IMB personnel on February 12, 2018.
Q: Did David Platt resign as IMB President?
A: No. David Platt asked IMB trustees to begin searching for his successor as IMB President. Platt has no timeline for his departure, but he asked that the search begin immediately.
Q: How long will David remain at the IMB?
A: David will remain as President of the IMB until his successor is elected.
Q: Will David Platt’s announcement impede operations at the mission agency?
A: No. Under David Platt’s leadership, IMB will continue implementing the initiatives that leaders here and around the world have put in place aimed toward fulfilling the entity’s mission.
Q: Do other IMB senior leaders plan to remain at the entity?
A: Yes. While continually seeking to follow God’s leadership, other IMB senior leaders remain committed to and excited about the IMB’s work.
Q: What is the process for seeking a new IMB President?
A: The IMB trustee chairman will name a Presidential Search Committee comprised of selected trustees. This committee will determine the characteristics they seek in the next IMB President, and through a process of seeking recommendations and prayerfully interviewing potential candidates, will nominate a new leader for this critical role. The full board of trustees will then vote on that nominee.
Q: How long does the search process take to find a new IMB President?
A: The board of trustees presidential search committee, appointed by trustee chairman Rick Dunbar, will determine their process for seeking David Platt’s successor. For the past three presidential searches, the process took between six and 18 months.
Q: Who is on the presidential search committee?
A: The IMB presidential search committee is comprised of IMB trustees selected by trustee chairman Rick Dunbar. The committee will be named at the Feb. 28-March 1 board of trustees meeting.
Q: How can I recommend someone to be considered as a candidate for the IMB presidency?
A: The search committee will be receiving names for consideration at firstname.lastname@example.org.