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Guest post by Rick Wood of Mission Frontiers
Is God trying to get our attention?
I have never seen anything like it. Pastor David Platt of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama released his book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream in May of this year. It already has 370,000 copies in print and is in its 18th printing. It has spread largely by word of mouth across the country. A neighbor came up to my wife recently and spontaneously asked, “Have you seen this great new book called Radical?” It has been as high as #18 on Amazon and has even caught the attention of columnist David Brooks of the New York Times. (See his column of September 6.)
Popularity is not usually an important thing to measure, but when a book with such great biblical content starts to catch on, we have to ask, “Is God doing something new in our day to awaken his Church?â€â€œIs He calling His people to radical discipleship for the sake of God’s glory in all the earth?” I believe He is, and that the Church is in desperate need of the biblical message that David Platt presents in Radical.
David’s message has the potential to change the way we do both church and mission. It calls us to reorder our priorities to what God cares about. With a clarity and passion that is rare, David boldly lays out a vision of the Church’s mission in this world that is wholly biblical and God-centered. David writes,
David calls the Church to a sacrificial commitment to reaching all of the un-reached peoples so that God’s glory is made known in all the earth. This needs to be the guiding vision and purpose for every church. Without it we are set adrift on the endless rolling sea of a self-centered gospel where the believer-only destination on the horizon is his own blessing.
In addition to Radical, Floyd McClung has released his new book Follow: A Simple and Profound Call to Live Like Jesus. Both of these books are calling the church to “radical discipleship.” On top of this, the latest edition of Operation World, which helped lead David Platt to his mission vision, is now available.
Doing Church as Jesus Intended
How do we determine whether a church is successful or not? Is it the size of the church service on Sunday morning? Is it the size of the church budget or the number of activities for kids, young adults, women, etc.? There are many criteria that we could use, but the real question is whether we are doing what Jesus has called us to do. The only standard that counts is His. If we are not do- ing what Jesus has called us to do, then it does not matter how many people we can get into a building on any given day of the week.
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