Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray that you are experiencing the joy of his presence and his hand of blessing upon all that he has entrusted to your care.
I am writing today to provide you with a report on the recent Lausanne Biennial Leadership Meeting. In my opinion, this was the most productive and gratifying meeting that we have had since I began serving as the Chairman for Lausanne in 2004. We praise God and give Him thanks for the progress that was made and for his presence and direction at the meeting.
Dr. Leighton Ford, Honorary Lifetime Chairman of The Lausanne Movement, shared with me at the end of the meeting that he believes Lausanne is now the strongest that it has ever been. I believe the most significant accomplishment of the week is that we successfully transitioned from Event Mode to Movement Mentality and came away with a clear sense of unity, vision and direction, strong leadership and growing momentum. Three factors made this possible:
Additionally, we officially launched the Global Executive Leadership Forum. Approval was given for the development of the monthly Lausanne Global Analysis. Support was also given to proceed with plans for the first “Davos-like” Lausanne Global Briefing in 2013 for 350 of the world’s leading pastors, scholars, mission leaders and business executives. At those biennial global consultations we will assess progress in world evangelization with respect to the Cape Town Commitment. We also began the initial planning for the Younger Leaders Gathering in 2015.
I am pleased to report the following steps forward:
1. Cape Town 2010 Celebration: We had a grand celebration of the achievement and impact of Cape Town 2010. “God is on the move,” as we heard in story after story from around the world. Most encouraging were the reports of new partnerships and initiatives that have begun as a result of the Congress. More will be shared in the coming year. (Please send your stories and reports to [email protected])
Together we also watched Congress video clips that helped us relive a shared journey that will never be forgotten. I hope you’ll be encouraged as I was when you watch the following short video on the Congress:
2. Lausanne Board Leadership: I believe that the restructuring of the Lausanne Board, including the addition of new members from every region, allows the Board to now be positioned to serve as a “global board of elders” for evangelicalism with respect to world evangelization.
I am particularly pleased to announce that Ram Gidoomal has agreed to serve as the Board Chairman. Ram is a man of great distinction with experience in business, government, higher education and mission. He is the prototypical 21st century global Christian leader, a convert to Christ from Hinduism, a Diaspora man of South Asian heritage who was raised in Africa, who then helped build a global enterprise while based in Geneva and London. He leads mission movements in the United Kingdom and South Asia and serves on a number of prominent boards in England, India and the U.S. We praise God that Ram has brought his rich life experience to the service of Christ and to The Lausanne Movement. Please keep him and his wife, Sunita, in your prayers.
3. International Deputy Directors: Our team of 12 International Deputy Directors (IDDs), working under the leadership of International Director Lindsay Brown, has been further strengthened and reconfigured with seven new members. Lausanne IDDs provide global presence and regional advocacy for the Movement. They will be convening regional consultations in the next 18 months with the next two major consultations in Moscow (Eurasia) and in Cairo (Middle East/North Africa region).
4. Global Executive Leadership Forum (GELF): The emergence of GELF may prove to be one of the most significant developments of Cape Town 2010. Under the leadership of Bob and Leslie Doll, along with GELF Chairman, Atul Tandon, GELF will connect and resource business leaders of global influence who have a profound commitment to Christ and the mission of the church in the world.
5. Cape Town Commitment (CTC): To ensure that we are making solid progress in the priorities articulated in this document, 30-35 Lausanne Senior Associates will be appointed who will each take responsibility for one of the Commitments. They will be supported by mission organizations and networks who will serve as resource partners. These Senior Associates will work to convene consultations and catalyze new initiatives in their area of specialized responsibility over the next three years.
6. Younger Leaders: As an expression of Lausanne’s historic commitment to the development of younger leaders, plans were initiated for the next Younger Leaders Gathering in 2015. In the years leading up to that global gathering, younger leaders will be identified, developed and connected to mentors and to one another in each of the 12 Lausanne regions. Interestingly, many of the leaders for Cape Town 2010 first came into Lausanne through the 1987 Lausanne Younger Leaders Conference in Singapore.
7. Pew Forum Research: During the meeting, Luis Lugo, Director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, released the results of their research done among the 4000 participants at Cape Town 2010. This report, which has been distributed and reported globally, reveals the dynamism, complexity and maturity of global evangelicalism. The report also raises the visibility of Lausanne in the eyes of the church and with scholars and journalists as a Movement that is intellectually vibrant and strategically engaged in holistic mission. Read more here: http://www.lausanne.org/lausanne-blog/global-survey-of-evangelical-leaders.html
8. Lausanne/Cape Town 2010 Curriculum: You will soon have access to curricula for use in colleges and seminaries, as well as course material carefully developed for adult study groups, Sunday School classes and mission committees. This will include course outlines, video clips of presentations at the Congress, and carefully edited papers prepared for the Global Conversation and the Congress.
9. Sabbatical: Jeanie and I are grateful to the Lausanne Board for granting me an extended sabbatical over the next five months. This will enable me to regain energy and strength following the demands and strains related to the Congress preparations. Please pray that this will be a time of physical rest as well as a time of deepening and strengthening as we seek to discern all that God has for us during this season.
I have full confidence in our Board Chairman, Ram Gidoomal, and our International Director, Lindsay Brown, who will be providing leadership for the movement during this time of sabbatical.
At a moment in history when we are dealing with unanticipated global challenges and with unprecedented opportunity for bearing witness to the power of the gospel, it is a sign of hope to see fresh vision, new expressions of unity and a rising generation of leaders come together with renewed passion for “the whole church to take the whole gospel to the whole world.”
Thank you for your friendship and partnership in the gospel. May God continue to wonderfully bless you.