David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Alabama and best-selling author, will host a free simulcast from the Middle East on the cost of discipleship. He released “Follow Me: A Call to Die, A Call to Live” in February, a book which portrays the all-consuming call of Christ for His disciples to follow Him (see Matthew 16:24-25).
Platt will be teaching from an undisclosed location in the Middle East, where sharing the Gospel often means risking persecution and even death in Muslim-dominated regions. He invites believers worldwide to gather together in homes or at church venues to study the cost of discipleship with him, something that he believes is often lost in a culture where Christianity is commonplace. “Scores of men, women, and children have been told that becoming a follower of Jesus simply involves believing certain truths or saying certain words. As a result, churches today are filled with people who believe they are Christians . . . but aren’t. We want to be disciples as long as doing so does not intrude on our lifestyles,” says the product description for his book. Platt also conducts Secret Church, where believers gather together by simulcast to learn fire-hydrant-style teaching for six hours in one evening, with the goal of becoming equipped to teach what they have learned to others.
In a video about the upcoming seminar, Platt said, “The more we think about what it means to follow Christ … the more we’re in tune with His word … His desires … the more we’re going to find ourselves going against the grain of culture in so many different ways … the more we’re following Christ, the more costly it will be … but the more rewarding it will be.” He quoted Galatians 2:20a, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me.”
Platt said that Jesus’ call to “Follow Me” (see Matthew 9:9) is a summons to lose our lives, with the infinite reward of gaining more of Him in the life that He has chosen for us to lead. “We have a dangerous tendency to dilute and dumb-down the essence of what it means to follow Jesus … I’m just convinced that scores of people here and around the world easily find themselves culturally identifying themselves as Christians but Biblically are not followers of Christ,” he said, emphasizing that Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23 that “many” would be mistaken about their right-standing with God on the day of judgment.
Platt is eager to see simulcast technology “leveraged for the glory of God and His church.” It is scheduled to take place on August 14 at 6:00 pm EDT, and those interested will need to register for the free event beforehand.