Is McLean Bible in the Process of Joining the Southern Baptist Convention?

An internal email that was sent out from the SBC of Virginia to all SBC churches in the Commonwealth leads to today’s post. It details the growing relationship between McLean Bible and the Southern Baptist Convention. It also discusses the status of David Platt being the current Teaching Pastor at McLean Bible.  

“What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question.” 

Jonas Salk

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

1 John 4:16 NLT 

This is a quick update on a changing situation that is ongoing at McLean Bible Church here in the Washington, D.C. area.  I hope to have a couple of posts worked on in the next couple of weeks as things develop. David Platt is scheduled to be “voted on” to become the next Teaching Pastor on September 27. There is a lot of news with David Platt and the growing relationship between McLean Bible and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The question that needs to be asked in light of the email below is the following: is McLean Bible in the process of joining the SBC? But there are some other questions that are on my mind.  For your knowledge the email below is an internal message that was sent out this past week from the SBC of Virginia to all SBC churches in Virginia. 

  1. Are members of McLean Bible aware that $60,000 has been given to  SBC church planting efforts? 
  2. Are members of McLean Bible aware that New City Network is helping to plant a Harvest Bible Chapel in Ashburn, Virginia? If you want to learn of the very disturbing issues of James MacDonald’s church network spend an hour or two reading The Elephant’s Debt
  3. Are members of McLean Bible aware that New City Network is launching Acts 29 churches like Kenji Adachi All People’s Community Church in Fairfax, Virginia? I have written about this church before, you can read more in “When Neo-Calvinist Church Planting Becomes Idolatry: Kenji Adachi and All Peoples Community Church

That’s it for the day, I plan on publishing a post next week that asks the question can David Platt both lead the SBC’s International Mission Board (IMB) and simultaneously be the teaching pastor for McLean Bible?Take care of yourself.  

I want to share an update with you related to McLean Bible Church and David Platt (President of the International Mission Board of the SBC):


(1) McLean Bible Church has applied to affiliate/partner through the SBC of Virginia. McLean Bible Church is a very large church in Northern Virginia. In 2016 and 2017 the church did contribute through the Cooperative Program. in the past year, McLean has given over $60,000 to help support SBCV related church plants. I recently met with their Lead Pastor, and they want to now officially partner through SBCV. This church is also a lead church in the DC area with our North American Mission Board efforts.


(2) Since February David Platt the IMB president has been an interim teaching pastor at McLean Bible. McLean Bible has extended a call to David for him to serve now on an ongoing basis as teaching pastor, while he continues to serve as IMB president.


I want to pass on to you some FAQ and communication I received today from IMB for your information.

As (name removed) I want state that our team and I believe the SBCV as a whole will be able to be a good partner to McLean Bible Church as they continue to seek to boldly proclaim God’s Word and make disciples. We will seek to be a good partner as this church learns more about how to partner with and through Southern Baptists ministries. Likewise, we respect and will be prayerful for David, his wife Heather and their family, as he serves Southern Baptists and continues to preach and lead. I am thankful leaders at McLean and SBC leaders like David Platt, and others, see the value of partnership with SBC of Virginia churches in strengthening and mobilizing churches to make disciples and plant churches. On a personal note, I will continue to seek to be a good brother and partner with David and all our SBC leaders, as well as all our churches, including new churches that seek to partner in our fellowship, like a McLean Bible Church.


I am including some communication from IMB for your reference:


During the August meeting, the executive committee of the IMB trustees agreed to evaluate Platt’s involvement as teaching pastor at McLean Bible Church in Northern Virginia during a provisional period over the coming months.


“Our president, Dr. David Platt, has expressed a deep sense of calling to serve as teaching pastor of McLean Bible Church while also continuing to lead the International Mission Board,” Dilbeck said. “We respect Dr. Platt and his sense of the Lord’s leading; and we recognize our responsibility to hold him accountable for his work leading the International Mission Board. Over the coming months, while Dr. Platt serves as teaching pastor for McLean Bible Church, the trustees of the International Mission Board will evaluate Dr. Platt’s fulfillment of his responsibilities as IMB president. Trustees also will evaluate McLean’s level of partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention. We plan to revisit this matter in our February trustee meeting.”

Q: What is the status of David Platt’s role at IMB and MBC?

A: The elders of McLean Bible Church (MBC) have asked Dr. David Platt to consider becoming Pastor-Teacher of the church, a title used in the church’s constitution to describe the pastor whose primary duty is “to preach and teach the Word of God.” As Pastor-Teacher (or Teaching Pastor), Dr. Platt would serve alongside other pastors in the church including Dale Sutherland, who is the Lead Pastor responsible for overall day-to-day leadership in the church. Dr. Platt would serve as Teaching Pastor, not Senior Pastor, he would not be involved in overall day-to-day leadership in the church, and he would not receive a salary for his role at MBC. Dr. Platt is completely committed to continuing to lead the International Mission Board (IMB) as president.

Q: Why is Dr. Platt preaching in one local church (MBC)? How often will he preach there and at other SBC churches?

A: While Dr. Platt is committed to serving many local churches, he fully believes in the biblical importance of membership in one local church. Upon becoming president of IMB, Dr. Platt and IMB trustees mutually agreed that in light of the age and stage of his family and the amount of travel he would do domestically and internationally during the week, it would be a good, wise, and right use of his time to be with his family on weekends serving in one local Southern Baptist church. Therefore, since stepping into his role as president, Dr. Platt has been home with his family serving in a local Southern Baptist church approximately 65% of his weekends. On the remaining 35% of his weekends, he has traveled domestically and internationally carrying out IMB responsibilities and preaching in Southern Baptist churches. Dr. Platt travels extensively during the week in his role as IMB president.

As Teaching Pastor at MBC, Dr. Platt would continue the pattern of being with his family in this local church approximately 65% of his weekends. He also will continue to spend 35% of his weekends traveling domestically and internationally carrying out IMB responsibilities and preaching in Southern Baptist churches, in addition to his extensive travel during the week.

Q: What is MBC’s relationship to the SBC?

A: In 2016, MBC became a cooperating church with the SBC. Like other cooperating churches, MBC remains an autonomous local church (i.e., MBC leaders and members have authority under Christ for all the affairs of MBC). And like other cooperating churches, MBC has chosen to work with this coalition of like-minded, Bible-believing churches for Kingdom ministries and purposes in North America and around the world. MBC initially became a cooperating church in 2016 when it became the hub for the North American Mission Board’s church-planting efforts in the Washington, D.C., area. Since then, numerous other doors have opened for increased partnership in the spread of the gospel both locally and globally in cooperation with the SBC.

Q: What do IMB Trustees think about Dr. Platt becoming Teaching Pastor at MBC?

A: At the beginning of 2017, as soon as Dr. Platt was asked to serve as Interim Teaching Pastor at MBC, he contacted trustee officers to discuss this possibility. During their February 2017 meeting, trustees expressed support for Dr. Platt serving in this role. Dr. Platt asked trustee leaders to provide continual evaluation of his participation in this role, and he provided an update to all trustees in June 2017. During their August 2017 meeting, the Executive Committee of the IMB Trustees agreed to evaluate Dr. Platt’s involvement as Teaching Pastor at MBC during a provisional period over the coming months.