Earlier this year I was invited to participate on The Lausanne Movement's Strategy Working Group. Not sure why they picked me, or what I have to offer, but I am honored to be included and honored to represent Every Nation.
The 2012 Strategy Working Group includes 40 leaders from One Hope, Wycliffe, CBN, Cru (the ministry formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ), HISG, US Center for World Mission, Global Advance (David Shibley), Relevant Ministries, The JESUS Film Project, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and other world-impacting ministries.
The beginning of the Lausanne Movement dates back to 1966 when the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association partnered with Christianity Today magazine to sponsor the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin. The Lausanne website explains how that meeting evolved into a global think-tank on evangelism and world mission.
In July 1974 some 2,700 participants and guests from over 150 nations gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland for ten days of discussion, fellowship, worship and prayer. Given the range of nationalities, ethnicities, ages, occupations and church affiliations, TIME Magazine described it as ‘a formidable forum, possibly the widest-ranging meeting of Christians ever held’.
Speakers included some of the world’s most respected Christian thinkers of the time, including Samuel Escobar, Francis Schaeffer, Carl Henry and John Stott. Ralph Winter’s plenary address, in which he introduced the term ‘unreached people groups’, was hailed as ‘one of the milestone events in missiology’. Some were calling for a moratorium on foreign missions, but Winter argued the opposite. Thousands of groups remained without a single Christian, and with no access to Scripture in their tongue, so cross-cultural evangelization needed to be the primary task of the Church.
It will be impossible to measure the impact of the Lausanne Movement on global mission until we get to heaven. The way I have done ministry for most of my adult life in Manila has been shaped by ideas from the Lausanne Movement, especially the concept of unreached people groups.
I have been asked to make a presentation on church planting. Special thanks to those who helped me prepare my presentation by answering my church planting survey (Ed Stetzer, Ross Middleton, Kevin York, David Houston, Michael Paderes).
I fly to Orlando for the meeting Sunday night and return to Nashville Tuesday night. Please pray for me and for all the participants. Thanks.