“The entrance strategy is actually more important than the exit strategy.” Edward Lampert
David Platt’s embattled McLean Bible Church has a new leadership pattern. Go to this page, scroll down, and notice that the Lead Team is over all of MBC. It consists of two lead pastors, Mike Kelsey and David Platt. Scroll further down the page and notice they are both elders on the Board of Elders. Church Leaders posted David Platt Assures He’s Not Leaving As Church Votes To Install Mike Kelsey as Lead Pastor.
This past Sunday, McLean Bible Church (MBC) held a church family meeting to vote on Mike Kelsey, the current MBC Montgomery County location pastor, to be the church’s new lead pastor alongside David Platt.
According to a Q&A on church’s website and a panel discussion including Platt (elder, lead pastor), Mike Hollingsworth (elder), and Mike Kelsey (teaching pastor), a recent change to the church’s constitution allows for more than one lead pastor to be elected by the members of MBC.
Sadly, McLean Bible Church continues to be in turmoil. WUSA9 reported Court denies ‘time machine’ remedy but revives election lawsuit against McLean Bible megachurch.
The Court of Appeals of Virginia says members of a Tyson’s Corner megachurch can continue part of their lawsuit over a disputed 2021 leadership election – reviving it after a lower court dismissed the case as moot last year.
…The suit was filed by five church members who alleged senior pastor David Platt and the board of elders violated the church’s constitution by wrongfully deeming members “inactive” and therefore deprived of them of their right to vote in a regular election for three elder positions in June 2021. The members further alleged church leadership denied members the secret ballots guaranteed by the church’s constitution and targeted certain members for “inactive” status because leadership believed they would vote against their chosen candidates.
Some church members contend Platt was taking them down the road to woke and identity politics. Given Platt’s background as a die-hard Calvinista and one of the more prominent “theobros,” I find that a bit difficult to believe. But, hey, I’m not going to his church and would avoid it based on his BFFs in the Calvinista movement.
The lawsuit brought to the surface disagreements over the direction of the church between Platt, a best-selling author and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, and a contingent within the church that believes he has steered MBC away from its founding ethos and the path charted for more than 30 years by long-time senior pastor Lon Solomon. Since taking over from Solomon in 2017, Platt has faced criticism from some members over what they view as his embrace of critical race theory and support for the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as allegations that he wanted to change the church’s stance on abortion and homosexuality.
Some might imagine Platt being careful of whom he picked to be his co-leader. Nonetheless, he forged ahead and appointed (well, I supposed there was some vote somewhere) MIke Kelsey as what appears to be a co-equal lead team pastoral role. Some church members did the due diligence not done by the elders (What do these elders do?) and found a video by Mike Kelsey, who was pontificating without thinking after George Floyd’s death. According to Church Leaders:
A video of Kelsey saying that there are times he feels like torching “all white people, particularly white evangelicals and Christians” resurfaced early this week.
Kelsey made the comment three years ago while he was on an episode of Jennie Allen’s podcast, titled “Understanding Your Role in Racial Reconciliation,” just weeks after a video showed that George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer.
Here is the video. Thankfully, these words are at the start of the interview at 3:10 through 6:00.
I think Kelsey was talking in the heat of the moment. I doubt he plans to torch all white people. The problem is quite evident to me. Platt knows his congregation. He should have dealt with this upfront. Kelsey should have been made to address these words before the appointment to his new role. But, being a Calvinista means never having to say sorry; it will happen when the Spirit (or a whim) moves. Now, Platt has more people upset with the direction of the church, and the complaints will continue. Platt must be too busy to vet and handle difficult situations carefully.
This all demonstrates (at least to me) that the church leadership, namely Platt, is totally in control, which brings up another point.
Who’s in charge?
How do two men, one known and influential, co-lead? I’m sure the typical meme “the Spirit will lead” will be touted in the coming days, but I have some thoughts.
- I predict that Platt will be ‘called’ to greener ($$$) pastures.
- He suddenly, ala Francis Chan, decides to go into the missionary field, giving it all up until he comes back, writes more books, and appears more saintly for doing so while still seeing $$$ ahead. Diversion alert: Did Chan ever document proof for all those miracles he claimed to have witnessed?
- There will be two different messages to the guys from the ‘Spirit,’ and they have a big fight.
- Maybe they are bros and will work in perfect harmony.
- There will continue to be lawsuits and problems at MBC.
- I would never be a member of such a church.
- I think Platt is preparing his exit strategy.
So what say you?
And to make us all smile