Alan Platt on Marketplace Ministry and Raising Up Christian Leaders

Global leader and church planter Alan Platt shares fundamental principles and paradigm shifts for effective discipleship and ministry in the workplace.

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What does it mean to be a leader who takes responsibility in a world that is full of excuses and finger-pointing? Alan Platt has built a global ministry on a powerful leadership principle, and in this inspiring episode of The Beacon Show, his words of wisdom will challenge you to step up and embrace your God-given assignment with courage and conviction.

Alan Platt is the founder of Doxa Deo, a thriving family of churches making disciples and planting churches on multiple continents. With over 40 years of experience in ministry, Alan has learned that everything rises and falls on leadership — and for him, true leadership starts with taking responsibility for the spiritual atmosphere and outcomes in your sphere of influence. 

Growing up in South Africa, Alan sensed the call to ministry from a very young age, but he quickly realized that God had more in store for him than traditional pastoral work. He began to understand his apostolic gifting and stepped out in faith to plant a church that would reflect God’s heart for the nations. 

Since then, Alan has raised up hundreds of leaders, both inside and outside the church, equipping them with the tools and mindset to transform their communities for Christ. He believes that the key to lasting revival is mobilizing the body of Christ to be agents of the kingdom in every sector of society. 

His latest book, City Changers, casts a compelling vision for marketplace ministry and empowers believers to see their work as worship. He challenges the sacred-secular divide and urges the church to equip disciples who can connect Sunday faith to Monday life. 

If you long to grow in your spiritual authority, make a measurable impact for the Kingdom, and leave a legacy that outlasts you, Alan’s story will ignite fresh passion and purpose in your soul to take responsibility in a whole new way. 

Watch or listen to Alan’s full interview on YouTube and Apple Podcasts!

Paradigm Shift: Taking Responsibility for Christian Leadership

From a young age, Alan Platt had a strong desire to work for and in the church, but not necessarily as a pastor. 

“I did start out as a pastor,” he says. “I did enjoy pastoring, and I still do. But I also recognized that, beyond just the shepherding component, there was a demand on my life to take responsibility for leadership.”

Alan uses the word “responsibility” very intentionally, defining it as “the ability to choose your response, which fundamentally means that you’re never subject to circumstance.” 

Throughout his 40 years of ministry, Alan’s goal has been to raise up Christian leaders who aren’t intimidated by their circumstances, but instead respond to those circumstances in a way that positively impacts the environment around them. 

This principle has the power to change the paradigm of how we think, which in turn transforms how we approach problem-solving in every area of our lives.

The Development of a Christian Leader: Moving from Ego to Eco

According to Alan, a truly effective leader undergoes a transformational process that moves them from “ego” — the early season of personal development and growth, of coming into one’s own as a leader — to “eco,” the stage where one is driven not by a desire for success but by a desire to serve and to create a Kingdom-minded ecosystem of pouring into future generations. 

This paradigm shift is the transition from focusing on your ability to communicate well and speak words that inspire others to focusing on helping others apply God’s truth in their lives. 

“I started to recognize the strength of reproduction, of investing into the next level of leadership in a way that I could start to celebrate what God was doing through their lives,” he explains of his own leadership journey. “And that started an environment conducive for life to flourish around me, where I started to see leaders rise, moving from pretty average, mediocre role players to people of significant impact.”

Just as Jesus spent much of His earthly ministry equipping His disciples to carry on the work of His Kingdom, we can make an enormous impact on the world around us by seeing the potential in others and finding ways to help them understand and reach that potential. 

Applying the 80-20 Rule to Leadership Training

Early in his ministry, Alan realized that he had a responsibility to raise leaders who could not only lead and teach others around them, but who could establish their own frameworks for church leadership. 

As Alan considered how to fulfill this responsibility, a principle known as the Pareto Principle (or the 80-20 Rule) challenged him to rethink his approach. 

According to this principle, 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes. Or, as Alan explains it, “In society, 20% of the people take 80% of the responsibility.” 

Instead of leaving that core group to their own devices, Alan learned to focus his efforts on investing in small groups of leaders, immersing them in the ministry’s foundational principles so they could go on to replicate it in new locations without having to be micromanaged. 

By following the example of Jesus — ministering to a crowd, but investing in a group — Alan and the entire Doxa Deo ministry is able to raise up leaders who can confidently charge ahead and raise up new leaders in turn. 

Effective Discipleship for Marketplace Ministry

One of Alan’s passions as a Christian leader is helping people learn how to “connect Sunday’s faith with Monday’s life.” As he explains in City Changers, there are three vital outcomes of effective discipleship:

  • Knowing God: Undergoing spiritual transformation and embracing your identity in Christ. 
  • Loving people: Becoming an instrument of God’s grace and learning how to use your gifts and resources to serve others.
  • Impacting your world: Understanding that Christ is Lord of all, not just of your own life, and being on a mission to represent His Kingdom in every area of your life. 

In Alan’s experience, much of Christian discipleship training tends to focus solely on the first category. As a result, we fail to properly train disciples who can act as impactful agents of God’s Kingdom in the workplace. 

“When we use the term “calling” and only appropriate it to ministry activity within the church, it’s an incomplete truth,” Alan says. “There is obviously a calling to ministry in the church, but a calling is something that needs to be understood more comprehensively… You are called into a particular environment, and you now represent Kingdom life in that environment.”

A CEO with 1,000 employees, for example, is already working in a mission field, even if that company isn’t an explicitly Christian organization. It’s a huge opportunity to engage with those employees in a way that elevates Christ and empowers them to reach their God-given potential.

That’s why, when all is said and done, Alan says his goal is to cultivate a community that truly understands the transformational mission of Christ and can reproduce impactful leadership models for generations to come. 

It’s not about building something amazing for himself; it’s about being faithful to the calling God has placed on his life and following wherever God may lead him from one day to the next. 

About Alan Platt

Alan Platt is an agent of transformation in the lives of individuals, local churches and corporate structures of society. He has been in full-time ministry since 1983, serving the church on various levels. Under his leadership of Doxa Deo, a strong city-reaching strategy has been established. In Tshwane (Pretoria, South Africa) Doxa Deo serves 30000 people (referred to as partners) in ten different campuses (local churches functioning as one integrated church in the city). 

This Ministry has also established churches in five other cities in South-Africa, as well as three internationally (London, UK: Auckland, NZ; and Stuttgart, Germany). 

Doxa Deo has established various educational institutions (Pre, Elementary, through to High Schools) that serve to educate the next generation in Christ Centred education. Intentional engaging of existing public educational institutions by having a permanent presence in State schools in South Africa is part of their ministry strategy to affect the transformation of communities.

Vocational Education and Training Centres have been established to prepare people vocationally, also reaching the students spiritually, emotionally and physically through a counselling, medical, dental and eye care services.

The Ministry reaches out to HIV, abandoned and Special Needs children in several orphanages managed by The Doxa Deo Ministry. 

Through their City Changers Institute, people are trained for effectiveness vocationally in the areas of Church, Education, Social Society and Business.

The City Changers movement has been birthed by the Doxa Deo ministry to facilitate greater integration and synergy between the kingdom initiatives in the different spheres of society. 

Through Alan’s primary gifting in leadership and teaching, he has not only established an exceptionally dynamic leadership team in Doxa Deo, but he has also influenced a wide spectrum of organisations, denominations and church networks internationally. His influence extends beyond the church to the influencing of the business sector, education and society at large. 

Alan’s capacity to communicate with small groups as well as large crowds makes him a sought-after speaker across the globe. His material on the finished work of Christ, as well as the Church and City Transformation has impacted many people, leaders and ministries. Alan has recently authored his first book titled ‘We start at Finish’, fast becoming a life changing instrument for many ministries.

Alan is married to Leana and they have two children, Duncan and Amy.

Visit the Doxa Deo website here. Connect with Alan on Facebook, LinkedIn, and X (formerly known as Twitter).

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