Influential megachurch pastor and best-selling author David Platt voiced concerns about a trend within church culture that he suspects might be the “greatest hindrance to the advancement of the Gospel” today.
As Americans celebrate The National Day of Prayer Thursday, Platt spoke before a group of church leaders gathered for the Men’s and Women’s Prayer Breakfast Wednesday morning at The Willard Hotel located about a block from the White House in Washington, D.C.
The Radical author and former leader of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board explained that church and ministry leaders are too frequently “tempted” to accomplish their ministry goals through human abilities and ingenuity without the “presence of God.”
“I believe you and I are tempted in a strangely similar way all across our church culture,” said Platt, the teaching pastor at McLean Bible Church in Vienna, Virginia. “Think about it. You and I are tempted every day in our lives and in our churches to do the work of God apart from the power and the presence of God.”
“Let’s be honest with each other. We have created a whole host of means and methods to our ministry today that require little if no help at all from the Holy Spirit of God,” he continued. “We don’t have to fast and pray for the Church to go. We have marketing for that today.”
It’s “dangerously possible” for leaders to “carry on the machinery and activity of churches and ministries,” the 39-year-old pastor said. “All of it to be successful in the eyes of the world and we can never notice that the Holy Spirit is totally absent from it,” Platt worried.
“If we are not careful, we can deceive ourselves by mistaking the presence of physical bodies in a building for the existence of spiritual life in a church. I wonder if the greatest hindrance to the advancement of the Gospel in our day may be the attempt of the people to do the work of God apart from the power of the Spirit of God.”
He suggests that the greatest barrier to spreading the Gospel might not be the “self-indulgent immorality of our culture” but rather the “self-sufficient mentality in the Church evident in our prayerlessness.”
Earlier in his keynote message, Platt explained that he recently returned from a preaching trip in South Korea. He said it was a trip in which the Lord convicted him in a “fresh and deep way” after seeing how hours of intentional prayer, repentance and fasting played a major role in the spiritual awakening in the country.
Platt noted that around 1900, less than 1 percent of the Korean Peninsula was Christian. But in 2000, there were as many as 10 million Christians in South Korea. Today, the country is only second to the United States in the number of missionaries sent around the world.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith