In Orlando, FL, USA from June 3rd to June 5th,
The Lausanne Strategy Working Group (SWG) convened to discuss the the group’s future focus and direction. A primary goal was the identification of individuals and networks that represent the richness and diversity of the Global Church. This includes the involvement of younger individuals, females and non-western practitioners. Another goal of the group was to build collaborative relationships with existing working groups within The Lausanne Movement. People of multiple nations shared ways God is at work in their midst and how He is reaching the formerly unengaged. Forty five grass-roots workers, missiologists, theologians and CEOs, with a magnifying glass in hand, examined the detailed statements that represented the Mission, Vision and Values of The Strategy Working Group.
At the beginning of the meetings the baton was passed from Paul Eshleman, former Chairman of SWG to Roy Peterson. Paul’s sixteen year legacy with Lausanne and his future support of the movement was celebrated. The group focused primarily on clarifying the role of SWG and how it fits within the greater Lausanne context. Special emphasis was given to re-aligning the group’s structure, taking actionable next steps, identifying best practices and connecting with places that God is at work globally. Presentations given focused on topics such as Geographical Briefings, Persecuted Church, Resourcing, Children, Global Generosity, Church Planting Movements, Disaster Response and Orality. God spoke clearly as briefings were shared from Sergey Rakhuba, Jose de Dios, Gisela Sawin, Tom Albinson and Steve Murrell.
This gathering was a learning environment where everyone’s input was sought and encouraged. One of the richest elements brought to the meeting was the insight shared by the Majority World brothers and sisters who shared reports of God’s triumph even in places of vast Spiritual darkness. A common thread was the overwhelming need to further develop partnerships among organizations, become advocates for best practices and taking the message of Jesus Christ to the least reached in the most accelerated format.
The collaborative effort brought evidence of a unity in spirit at the conclusion of the meeting. Each person was entrusted to produce re-worked, utterly clear, Mission, Vision & Values statements. The strategic outcomes of this SWG meeting were; identifying the need to use the 41 issues that the Cape Town Commitment recognized; ensuring that our structures don’t become a hindrance for what God is doing; locating where God is at work and joining Him.
At the closing, SWG participants were challenged with the following remarks, “The Strategy Working Group is a great opportunity and great responsibility. Do you feel hope about the movement going forward? The power of the gospel to change lives? The hope that the whole world will have an opportunity to know Jesus and His hope in their own tongue? ” They were encouraged with the charge to, “go out filled with joy and peace, because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with hope due to the power of the Holy Spirit. ”
Roy Peterson, Chairman
June 12, 2012