“On the Radical Experiment” is the third part of Michael Duduit’s conversation with David Platt, one of the best-known young preachers among evangelicals.

Preaching: In the book, you urge the readers to take what you call the radical experiment. Tell me about the radical experiment.

Platt: Basically the radical experiment is something we did at Brook Hills to try to put some handles on tangible ways that we can put obedience to Christ into action in ways that we’re seeing unfold in the gospels. So there are five components, and number one is to pray for the entire world. We as a faith family are using Operation World, which is an incredible prayer guide for praying for the world. The good thing about Operation World (or anything else along those lines) is it enables you to pray; literally, you can walk through the entire year and pray for every single nation in the world. So the radical experiment starts with a one-year commitment to literally pray for every nation and allow God to transform our hearts in the context of praying for the world.

Second: to read through the entire Word and look intentionally and intensively at the revelation of God and His Word. So we as a faith family are walking through, reading the Bible together—as individuals, as families and as a faith family.

The third component is to sacrifice your money for a specific purpose. This is where we have challenged folks for a year: Just start with a year, and put a cap on our lifestyles. Don’t think that just because we have a certain amount of money that we’re required to live according to that standard. Put a cap on your lifestyle; free up as much as you can for one year to make sacrifices in our lives; and free up as much as we can to give away for the glory of Christ. I mean, there’s urgent spiritual and physical needs in the world. So we’ve been doing that as a church, as individuals and families in the church.

Fourth: Spend your time in another context. Take time in that year to go into some other context with the gospel—ideally somewhere overseas, although it doesn’t necessarily have to be overseas. The way we describe it at Brook Hills is we challenge everybody to give 2 percent of his or her life during the year (about one week) to take the gospel to another context. That 2 percent radically will transform the other 98 percent of their lives.

Fifth: Commit your life to multiplying community. This is primarily a commitment in the context of the local church. None of us is called to be a Lone Ranger in this picture; we’re called to follow after Christ in the context of community, but not just in the local church. Even at Brook Hills as we’ve challenged folks to do this, we’ve challenged them to get involved in a small group where they are doing disciple-making, where they are sharing the gospel together, showing what the gospel looks like as they share life with one another, teaching the gospel to one another and serving the world together. So we challenge them to carry out the other components in the context of community.

Basically, the five components of the radical experiment are those: to pray for the entire world; read through the entire Word; sacrifice money for a specific purpose; spend time in another context; and commit your life to multiplying community. These are means by which God transforms us, and they penetrate our hearts with truth and really bring it to light.

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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