So this last week I read “Radical Together” by David Platt, the author of Radical. I haven’t read Radical yet, but I was drawn to reading this book because of the table of contents and seeing that the book was not just addressed to individuals but for “Unleashing the people of God for the purpose of God” (located on the cover).
Platt is concerned with the potentially meaningless unfruitful spiritual lives of Christians today. This book is about exploring how to fulfill your purpose for the church. Not just the local church, but the body of believers world-wide and serving people who don’t know Christ from your neighborhood to the ends of the earth. The first two chapters are discussing the common misunderstanding of the purpose purpose of the church and living out the Gospel. Platt discusses how focusing the ministry and programs mainly at the church level is insufficient. Instead, the church should be the place where believers are equipped for ministering to children, youth, adults, and people in the community. This requires time, sacrifice, and developing relationships with people around you instead of creating a Christian sub-culture within the church where non-believers would never feel welcome. Focusing on relationships versus programs allow churches to reallocate spending into helping the community and contributing to global missions work, something Platt describes as “Downsizing for a greater vision” (pg. 20). The Gospel of grace is free of works, but frees people to work for something bigger than themselves; to be sacrificial in seeing the love of God spread through acts of compassion and selflessness. “The gospel is the reason for radical living” (pg. 37). We need to be just as good at demonstrating the gospel as we are at proclaiming it.
The rest of the book discusses how the word of God does the work, how our idea of “smart” is really dependent on making use of all the “wrong” people, and that if our goal is really fulfilling the Great commission we will do everything in the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit to proclaim and exalt God to the ends of the earth.
I really loved this book for a couple of reasons: 1) it’s a relatively short, easy read; 2) Platt is brutally honest about his own shortcomings and desire to see the society of church in America change into something radically different; and 3) how the book stresses the importance of everyone utilizing their gifts and calling from God.
Last week I was convicted that I should spend more time with students. So I put those convictions into practice and went and participated in a Bible study with some middle school students and then hung out with some high school students playing games and just having a good time. I realized that I don’t have time to do all those things every week because of work, but I think it’s a good habit to practice the areas you are weaker in or know that God is calling you to do something about.
Read Radical Together by David Platt!