The Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization's International Leadership Team met in Hong Kong last week, marking the first time nearly all of the new Lausanne team had the opportunity to meet face to face since the leadership transition at the 2004 Forum for World Evangelization last fall in Pattaya, Thailand.
Participating in the June 20-22 meetings were Lausanne's International Deputy Directors (representing the 11 regions of the world), Senior Associates, Senior Advisors, 2004 Forum Issue Group leaders, National and Regional Committee representatives, organizers of the 2006 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering, the Lausanne Administrative Committee and Lausanne Staff. The meeting was hosted by Dr. Leung Wing Tai, chair of the Lausanne Communication Working Group, and CEO of Breakthrough Ministries.
In speaking of the Lausanne Leadership Team, Rev. Doug Birdsall, Lausanne Executive Chair, said it is the strongest it has been in fifteen years, adding that "A new generation of leaders brings with them a high level of energy and a fresh commitment to advance the ideals of 'the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world.'"
Birdsall noted that forty percent of the members of the committee have been added in just the last thirty months.
"This younger generation of leaders fully embraces the history and the rich legacy of the Lausanne movement," Birdsall stated, according to Lausanne. "These men and woman are committed to providing leadership and service that will enable the movement to press forward in the 21st Century with fresh ideas and renewed devotion to the Lord and the spirit of Lausanne.”
According to the Lausanne Committee, the meeting allowed leaders to assess the status and strength of the Lausanne movement in light of progress made since the 2004 Forum and discuss the recently released 2004 Forum Lausanne Occasional Papers (LOPs) – 31 documents that address many of the major issues facing the church in the 21st Century.
The 2004 Forum LOPs – which were the result of work done by hundreds of Christian leaders leading up to and including the 2004 Forum for World Evangelization last fall in Pattaya, Thailand – provide research, analysis and biblical reflection on 31 issues identified as barriers to world evangelism. Issues include: globalization; the HIV/AIDS pandemic; the persecuted church; ministry to Unreached People Groups and the disabled; media and technology; and making disciples of oral learners.
Rev. Dr. David Claydon, former Lausanne International Director, served as LOP editor and said last month that the papers share the experiences of the rapidly growing church of the developing world and the challenges of the postmodern west in such a way that “every Christian community will be able to use some new ideas in the task of sharing the Good News in their own unique situations.”
Dr. Tetsunao "Ted'" Yamamori, Lausanne International Director, said one important discussion at the meeting in Hong Kong was "how best can we ensure the dissemination of the information about Lausanne and the implementation of action plans proposed in the LOPs.”