SEND North America Experience Tour at Southeastern
January 19, 2017
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) welcomed 1450 attendees for the SEND North America Experience Tour with David Platt and the Passion Band on Tuesday, March 17th.
The North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) organized the events as part of a cross-country tour challenging believers to live their lives in ways that count for the kingdom.
David Platt spoke in chapel Tuesday morning, sharing his testimony of being called to be the president of the International Mission Board (IMB). The IMB is the international mission-sending agency of the SBC. “It is breathtaking what God has entrusted to the IMB,” Platt said.
Platt was the lead pastor at the Church of Brook Hills for eight years before he began his new role with the IMB in August 2014.
Platt highlighted verses that God used to confirm his new role. He challenged the audience to be open to where God wants to use them to spread the gospel. “You go because God says to go,” he said. “Refuse to put any limitations on where God is calling you.”
He spoke about the need to reach the ends of the earth where the gospel has not yet been preached. “When you walk for five days and every person you meet has never heard the name of Jesus you realize this is not acceptable,” he said.
Platt’s desire is to see the local church become the center of the Great Commission and to exponentially multiply the number of missionaries on the field.
“If there’s any fear of putting a blank check on the table just remember who you’re giving the check to,” he said. “The goal is go…He is not going to let us go astray,” Platt said. “He wants his mission to be accomplished more than you do.”
Johnny Hunt, senior pastor of First Baptist Church Woodstock in Georgia, led an afternoon session on church revitalization. Hunt explored the pastor’s mission for God and encouraged listeners to strive for personal holiness.
Hunt believes that God cares the most about the heart of his followers. “You cannot lead people who you do not influence,” he said. “Be careful what you tell King Jesus you’re not going to do.”
The Gospel Project sponsored a dinner for pastors that focused on “The Church and the Mission of God” and featured a panel with Platt, Tony Merida, associate professor of preaching at SEBTS and founding pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C., and J.D. Greear, lead pastor of the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Matt Capps, brand manager for The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, moderated the panel.
Merida called pastors to “teach gospel identity” to their congregations and help them realize that “if you are a Christian you are a missionary. The only difference is location, not identity.”
Greear gave testimony to God’s faithfulness as his church sends leaders and gives resources to plant churches in other areas.
Platt noted that select passages in Acts spoke about two people being sent out, rather than a large group. “Don’t underestimate the Spirit of God in any context,” he said.
In the evening, Binkley Chapel was nearly full to capacity as the Passion Band led worship and Platt shared the “greatest news in all the world: death has been defeated.”
Platt estimated 4.5 billion people are apart from Christ and 2 billion of those people have never even heard the gospel. He urged others to “see the part you have to play in sharing this good news with people all over the planet.”
“We do not have time to coast through casual Christianity,” he said. “God’s design starts with ordinary people. Do not underestimate what God can do in and through your life.”
“God spreads his gospel through ordinary people who have extraordinary power preaching, praying, giving and suffering,” Platt said.
He reminded the audience that the reason God gives his Spirit to believers is for the purpose of speaking the gospel. Platt believes that sharing the truth of God’s word with others has the power to “bring people from eternal death to eternal life.”
“The apostles were not martyred because they were kind and smiled,” he said. “They were martyred for their testimony of the gospel.”
“Suffering and persecution are God-ordained means for the spread of the gospel,” he emphasized. “Our suffering might be inevitable, but our mission is unstoppable. Our suffering will be worth it.”
To watch Platt’s chapel message online, please click here.
To view photos from these events, please click here.