Platt on Disciple Making
Some people may know David Platt as "the radical guy" because of his book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. I have only read a sample given me at the last Desiring God conference I went to, but that was almost two years ago now and at the time I did think what he discussed was radical. It was convicting, and I've always meant to go back and read the rest but have yet to get there.
As I've continued to read his articles and watch some videos, I've seen that what he's getting at isn't really all that radical at all. Here's how I think of it: The degree to which I believe intentional disciple-making is radical is the degree to which I don't understand the nature of the Church.
In the video above, Platt gives 12 exhortations to the Church as he works through Luke's Gospel and his follow-up work in Acts. Here are the 12 exhortations taken from Scripture:
- Let's call people to total abandonment for the glory of Christ.
- Let's call people to humble dependence on the grace of Christ.
- Let's call people to urgent obedience to the mission of Christ.
- Let's call people to confident trust in the authority of Christ.
- Let's send out ordinary disciples in the church to do extraordinary things in the Kingdom.
- Let's embrace suffering as a God-ordained means of the accomplishment of the Great Commission.
- Let's penetrate lostness through externally focused, intentionally faithful proclamation of the gospel.
- Let's go aggressively after spiritual need in the world while we give sacrificially to physical need in the world.
- Let's love the glory of God more than we love our own lives.
- Fast and pray in desperate dependence upon the Holy Spirit.
- Let's trust that intentionally making disciples inevitably leads to multiplying churches.
- Let's leave a legacy of disciples made and churches multiplied around the world for the fame of God's name.
This would be a great thing to share in your group one evening, it's an hour of passionate pleas for intentional lifestyles of disciple-making.
He shares the story of two brothers in India, one a school superintendent and the other a chicken farmer, who took the gospel to remote villages three years ago. They approached the people living there "in the name of Jesus" and saw converts almost immediately. In three years, 350 different churches in 350 different villages have been planted. This isn't how it goes in all parts of the world, but using imagery from Luke 5, he shows how if we faithfully/dependently/prayerfully put our nets down, they will be filled. It's not about us and our abilities, but the Holy Spirit working in and through us, all to the glory of God.
As this happens, multiplication will happen and Platt calls us to a legacy of multiplying churches where disciples are made and strengthened.
Missional Community leaders need to set the pace, showing that "money and possessions and sex and sports and success are not worthy of their worship." Jesus is, and we seek to see his worship increase. How can we stand by as our family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. worship things other than Jesus which will only lead to death and destruction? We may consider ourselves ordinary guys, but Platt shows Scripturally how God used ordinary, everyday men to lead people to Christ and true worship of Him.
I hope this convicts you as it does me right now, but also brings a dependence upon the Spirit and confidence in Jesus' all-encompassing authority (Matt. 28:18).