David Platt admits that his own congregation is “wrestling” with the way they look at what the Gospel demands of them. “We certainly have a long way to go, but this is a journey worth taking for the sake of God’s people accomplishing God’s purpose for God’s glory,” Platt, senior pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, AL, says.
He shares his hopes and misgivings for ministry in Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream(Multnomah Books/Random House, 2010). Church Executive asked him a few questions, and he responded with some provocative answers:
More is being said recently by pastors that we have converts but not disciples, that too many Christians are nominal in their faith, that they love the label of being Christian but don’t want to live out the life of being a Christian. Does any of this resonate with your concerns?
Sure. The commands of Christ that we deem “radical” are in reality normal for any follower of his.
What does it mean to be radical about our faith and replace it with what is comfortable?
We have a tendency to design our Christian lives and our churches around what appeals to personal comfort and preference when the Gospel actually beckons us to die to these things. Our lives and our churches are never intended to be designed for more pleasure and ease in this world, but for the sake of treasure in eternity.
Given that, how then should it play out in our crowds, buildings, and budgets?
We stop designing church to appeal to our comforts, spending our millions of dollars on buildings that can house crowds and support programs designed around ourselves. This is not Christianity. We have come up with strange methods for following a Savior who didn’t even have a roof over his head. We need to explore different ways to multiply the Gospel more effectively and efficiently, in ways that aren’t depending on large budgets, staffs, and buildings.