“According to McLean Bible Church’s FAQ document on its website, ‘MBC became a cooperating church with the SBC in 2016 to more effectively engage in church planting across Metro DC.’ The church also began giving through the Cooperative Program that same year.”
Church planting – it’s all the buzz in Christendom these days. I guess whoever plants the most churches wins???
It appears that one of the strategies the Southern Baptist Convention is using to expand its missions outreach is to encourage non-denominational churches to participate in its Cooperative Program. One megachurch that has joined forces with the SBC to help fund church planting in the Washington, D.C. area is McLean Bible Church (MBC), located in northern Virginia. According to the FAQ on MBC’s website:
“MBC became a cooperating church with the SBC in 2016 to more effectively engage in church planting across Metro DC.” The church also began giving through the Cooperative Program that same year.”
The above information was posted on the International Mission Board (IMB) website. The IMB article goes on to state the following about McLean Bible Church:
MBC recently affiliated with the SBC of Virginia (SBCV). So far in 2017, the church has contributed $100,000 through the SBCV to the Cooperative Program. Church planting records show that MBC is currently supporting 22 SBCV church planters through monthly support and/or church planting grants.
So who at this non-denominational church made the decision to affiliate with the SBC in its church planting efforts? Were congregants informed and were they allowed to have any input into whether or not the church would contribute to the SBC’s Cooperative Program?
This article, published on the IMB website on September 29, 2017, further states: (see screen shot below)
Two days earlier MBC voted overwhelming for David Platt to serve as its next Pastor-Teacher. See screen shot below.
Apparently, the fact that David Platt was serving as the SBC’s International Mission Board president did not negatively effect their decision to vote for him as their pastor-teacher. Platt will continue as president of the IMB until the Board of Trustees finds a replacement.
For our readers who are not familiar with McLean Bible Church, it was started in 1961 by five families. MBC’s fourth and most recent pastor, Lon Solomon, began serving in 1980 when the congregation was 200 strong. During his 37 year tenure, the church grew to 11,000 people worshipping in five locations in the Metro D.C. area. As Lon neared the end of his long pastoral career, he wrote a letter to his church family.
It would be interesting to know what went on behind the scenes that led to MBC joining forces with the SBC. According the the IMB article previously cited:
Send City coordinator Clint Clifton shared that MBC began supporting the North American Mission Board’s Send City effort for Washington, DC in October 2015.
David Platt began serving as IMB president in August 2014. It’s fascinating that just a year later this non-denominational church began supporting the North American Mission Board’s church planting effort in D.C. Let’s not forget that Al Mohler’s (former) pastor Kevin Ezell is NAMB’s president. Six months ago David Platt announced that he is ready to step down as president of the IMB.
It’s been interesting to read some of the commentary in social media written by MBC members and attendees. It is amazing how many are just now finding out about their church’s affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention. One commenter speculated a name change from McLean Bible to McLean Baptist Church. How many members still don’t know that MBC is now considered to be a Southern Baptist church?
Now that McLean Bible Church has a high profile Neo-Calvinist at its helm, we wonder how many who attend know about the Young, Restless, Reformed movement. David Platt is a key player, and we predict he will bring considerable change to MBC. Look what’s already happened.
In an upcoming post, we will share with congregants at McLean Bible Church what we believe they need to know about the Neo-Cals, whom we call ‘Calvinistas‘. We have been researching them for a decade now and have amassed a wealth of information about this movement, as well as some great concerns which we have shared in many posts over the years.
As we wrap up this post, we’d like to point out that not everyone is thrilled with MBC’s new ‘pastor-teacher’. See comment below.