The “burning platform” metaphor comes from the Piper Alpha oil-drilling disaster in the North Sea, the worst disaster in the history of North Sea oil exploration, where 166 crew and 2 rescuers lost their lives. Superintendent Andy Mochan survived the disaster by leaping from the burning platform into the oil-fired frozen ocean. He knew he had 20 minutes at the most to survive in the sea but when he looked at his options he said, “It was fry or jump, so I jumped.”
Is the modern Church, the Bride of Christ, on a burning platform?
Are we depending on methods that may have been effective in the past but are now proving to be a hindrance of the gospel?
Take a look at the facts, the simple facts of population and numbers of Christians and then let’s talk.
Watch this video with a group of friends:
Explore these questions together:
- What numbers stood out to you the most? Why?
- Which of these two statements moves you the most?
- There are more “followers of Christ” today than ever in the history of humankind.
- There are more people Hellhound today than ever before?
- Which of the two statements above is true? Explain your answer.
- Have someone read aloud a quote from Roland Allen, a missiologist says in The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and Its Hindrances:
It is, I suppose, now almost universally admitted that we cannot hope, by multiplication of missionaries, to reach the vast populations of China, India and Africa, not to mention the rest of the world, nor to cover the whole of these great areas with mission stations, still less to provide mission schools and hospitals sufficient to supply their needs. The demands made upon us by our present missions for money and support tend rather to increase than to diminish from year to year. . . . Surely there must be an end to this process some time. If we are to admit that the more successful the work of establishing a church the greater is the obligation of the home church to sustain its various needs, it is not difficult to foresee disaster(p.22)
- What disaster is Allen talking about?
- Are we in that disaster right now in light of seeing more of the world’s population on its way to hell than every before in the history of humankind?
- Is it time to jump, in other words should we be aggressively pursing other strategies to move the gospel that aren’t dependent on cross cultural missionaries and all the financial intensity that comes with them?
- You might want to refer to Spent Matches pgs 8-10 for more info.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the comments.