The Evangelical Fellowship of India hosted The Lausanne Movement’s first Global Leadership Forum in Bangalore, in June, drawing 350 participants from over 60 nations, selected from the public arenas, churches, agencies and the media. Its main work was to assess progress in issues identified in The Cape Town Commitment, and to stimulate further collaborative action towards the goals of its ‘Call to Action’.
The Forum Director was Grace Mathews, Vice-Chair of the Lausanne board. ‘Our issue groups gathered sharp minds and strategic thinkers,’ she said, adding: ‘Partnership has remained a core value since our early days under the leadership of Billy Graham and John Stott. So as we did in Cape Town, we plan to make much of the Forum available online to gain wide participation in the discussions.’
The four days each began with Bible exposition from a different continent, accompanied by a multi-cultural Bible study in table groups. The Forum then moved to explore ways in which the church can better engage our culture – in particular, through the local church, through the workplace and through cultural influencers. Evenings brought news from across the continents, with time for unhurried prayer.
At the end of the Forum, Doug Birdsall, Executive Chair of Lausanne from 2004, and now President of the American Bible Society, formally passed the leadership to Korean-American Michael Oh (42), founding president of Christ Bible Institute in Nagoya, Japan. As the newly- appointed Executive Director/CEO, he emphasized his desire to see more younger leaders engaged in the movement.
The first of a series of global consultations on critical issues identified in The Cape Town Commitment has already taken place, in Jamaica, looking at the mandate for creation care. Gatherings to explore issues surrounding ethnicity, the ‘prosperity gospel’ and the gospel and media are currently in the planning stage.
In preparation for the gathering in Bangalore, a special edition of the Lausanne Global Analysis was published bringing insight from an international network of evangelical analysts to equip the participants and Christian leaders globally for the task of world evangelization. To receive the bi-monthly Lausanne Global Analysis in your inbox, subscribe online. To access The Cape Town Commitment and Lausanne’s growing list of published books, visit www.lausanne.org/books.
Several participants have also blogged about their experiences at the Global Leadership Forum: