Saturday – 2004 Forum Daily Update

Daily updates were made throughout the 2004 Forum in Pattaya, Thailand. These updates were made available online as well as in print to the forum participants. They have been made available on the Lausanne website to convey the progression of thought and events at the 2004 Forum. In addition, a Daily Blog was posted online, providing one individual’s personal reflections throughout the Forum. A number of Photos from the Forum have been made available online as well.
Leadership Transition Announced
Preparing Lausanne for 2005 and Beyond
The 2004 Forum marks a leadership transition for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. Dr. Paul Cedar, Executive Chair, and Dr. David Claydon, International Director, will step down from their posts at the end of the Forum. In making the announcement, Dr. Cedar confirmed the election of Rev. Doug Birdsall as Executive Chair and the appointment of Dr. Tetsunao (“Ted”) Yamamori as International Director. Following the Forum, Dr. Cedar will serve as a Lausanne Senior Advisor. Dr. Claydon has been named Lausanne Ambassador at Large.“These past six years have been times of prayer, transition, blessing and growth in the Lausanne Movement, leading up to the 2004 Forum,” Dr. Cedar said. In reflecting on the impact of Lausanne over the past 30 years, Dr. Cedar affirmed that he believes the Lausanne Covenant has been the most significant contribution of Lausanne to the cause of global evangelization. He added that the LCWE Working Groups have also impacted the mission of world evangelization especially the Theology and Strategy Working Groups and the various Lausanne Occasional Papers. Dr. Cedar also recognized the contributions made by the many international consultations and convocations.

Rev. Doug Birdsall has been a missionary in Asia for 25 years. From 1980 to 1999, Doug and his wife lived and worked in Japan, serving with Asian Access/LIFE Ministries, a mission organization focused on leadership development and church multiplication in the twenty countries of Asia. Since 1991, Birdsall has served as president of Asian Access. In accepting the position with Lausanne, Rev. Birdsall related his great appreciation for the spirit and vision of Lausanne for “bringing leaders together from around the world to wrestle with the substantive issues dealing with world evangelization.”

Rev. Birdsall expressed a strong sense of God’s leading to be part of Lausanne and “an awareness of personal indebtedness for the way in which my own life and ministry has been enriched by Lausanne through the influence of Dr. Donald Hoke, director of the 1974 Lausanne Conference.” In 1987, Rev. Birdsall participated in the LCWE Singapore Conference for Younger Leaders which he called “a watershed experience” that expanded his horizons, deepening his understanding and commitment to the issues related to world evangelization.

Dr. Ted Yamamori is president emeritus of Food for the Hungry International (FHI). He is Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California. Since 2001, he has served as President and CEO of Global Holistic Mission and Research, Inc.

Dr. Yamamori was born and raised in a Buddhist family in Nagoya, Japan. Upon accepting Jesus as his Lord and Savior, he began preparing his life for the ministry—with a passion to be utilized by God in the cause of world evangelization. He was first introduced to Lausanne through his mentor Dr. Donald A. McGavran, pioneer in modern church growth thinking. Since that time, he has attended
Lausanne I (1974) and Lausanne II (Manila 1989) and participated in many of the consultations held to explore critical issues related to global evangelization.

By agreement with Lausanne, Dr. Yamamori will serve the full four-year term, as International Director and then as Representative-At-Large. Dr. Yamamori, along with the Lausanne leadership, firmly believes that LCWE should have, in the position of International Director, someone from a non-western country who is young enough to bring fresh ideas and future leadership to Lausanne. During his term as International Director, Dr. Yamamori will seek to find someone who can fulfill those requirements.

Lausanne also announced the appointment of several Regional Deputy Directors.

They include:

  • East Asia: Dr. Paul Choi (Korea), Seoul Theological Seminary.
  • South Asia: Rev. Adrian de Visser (Sri Lanka), Kethusevana National Church Planting.
  • Eastern Europe: Dr. Fiodor MoKan (Russia), St. Petersburg Theological Seminary.
  • Latin America: Dr. Norberto Saracco (Argentina), Pastor and Seminary President.
  • Francopone Africa: Mr. Kadebe Daniel Bourdanne (Ivory Coast), International Fellowship of International Students.
  • English-speaking Africa: Dr. John Azumah (Ghana), Presbyterian Minister.

Rev. Birdsall also confirmed that the appointment of female candidates to regional directorships in North Asia and Western Europe are pending. Dr. Yamamori says enlisting and developing Deputy Directors who will have regional responsibility, allows Lausanne to be more selective and more strategic in the use of resources. He added that “we believe that by organizing ourselves regionally, we will be able to mitigate any sense of competition or duplication of effort at the national level where other global organizations and networks may have organized themselves at the national level.”

Convergence Group

At the opening Forum Convergence Session, Paul Eshleman presented the following 12 aspects of evangelism that could be used as guideposts to identify the broader themes emerging from the gathering. These benchmarks were developed prior to the Forum by the Lausanne Strategy Working Group.

They include:

  • Prioritizing the unreached people groups of the world.
  • Accelerating church-planting initiatives in the most neglected areas.
  • Emphasizing the building of prayer movements.
  • Developing new approaches to Bible translation – especially for oral learners.
  • Increasing the use of media – and preparing the next generation to be “storytellers.”
  • Translating training and discipleship materials.
  • Creating micro-economic structures to ensure the church is financially independent everywhere.
  • Accelerating the training of younger leaders and empowering women.
  • Facilitating the Two-Third’s World vision of sending 100,000+ new missionaries to the world.
  • Cooperating – especially in reaching the cities.
  • Focusing on the most open people group – children and young people.
  • Living and preaching a holistic gospel.

While not included in this list, translation of training and theological materials into other languages has also emerged as a critical need in advancing the gospel and should be included in your consideration of the above themes.

Issue Group #1 Globalization
Why is it important?
Situations in one part of the world affect other parts of the world. Therefore, Globalization presents enormous opportunities and tremendous challenges to the church, both globally and locally.

Action Plan

  • Church leaders should gain a thorough understanding of the nature, complexity and implications of Globalization.
  • Church leaders should identify the impact of Globalization in their local context and establish ways the local church should respond.
  • Church leaders should find ways of partnering and connecting to global networks that link the local church to the realities and experiences of Christians in other places in the world and encourage both awareness and solidarity.
Issue Group #10B – The Local Church and the Great Commission – TentmakingWhy is it important?
Tentmaking is a way of life culturally adaptable and accessible to every nation. It can be practiced at home first (marketplace or workplace evangelism) and aims at reaching a big strategic “people group” – our colleagues. Thus tentmaking is valuable as mission strategy. Tentmaking activates discipled lay people. They cross cultures, being a model in their natural setting: the workplace. They seek to make disciples through training people and helping them join an existing or newly-planted church.Action Plan

  • Mobilize and disciple lay persons in the local church.
  • Identify church members who by their work make connection with people of other religions and cultures.
  • Train tentmakers in evangelism and discipling.
Issue Group #17 – Redeeming the ArtsWhy is it important?
God, the original artist, revealed Himself creatively. His Word is 75% story, 15% poetry and 10% Greek linear thinking. Despite the universal use of story, and the increased visual orientation of our world, the Church has reversed this divine pattern. Today, 90% of communication by the Church is instructive in nature—only 10% contains a narrative or creative approach.Action Plan

  • Secular artists are discipling the Nations! The Church must pass on its transforming story through artistic expressions that move the whole person and capture the imagination.
  • Ideas have consequences. What we believe determines what we do. The Church must abandon its suspicion of the arts in order for it to recover a biblically-based understanding of the role of the imagination to express “True Truth.”
  • The attitude of the Church is that if it moves and has color—it can’t be Christian! The Church must become a community that celebrates creativity and the arts—a community where the artist is supported, discipled and spiritually accountable.
Issue Group #24 – Empowering Women and Men for MinistryWhy is it important?
More than half the Body of Christ is comprised of women created in God’s image. This mission force is one of the most underutilized resources of the Church.Action Plan

  • Pray that God will work in the Church to release and equip men and women to use their spiritual gifts in service to Christ.
  • Educate/teach the biblical basis for women’s equal service alongside men in advancing the gospel. Invest time, money and human resources that advance gift-based rather than gender-based ministry.
  • Model and promote mutuality and reconciliation between men and women in all areas of ministry.
Issue Group #26 – Reaching and Mobilizing the DiasporaWhy is it important?
Diaspora affects everyone because people movements have increased to almost 175-million people or 3% of the world’s population. Governments are developing policies for Diaspora diplomacy and engagement. The church needs to take leadership and respond to this significant opportunity for reconciliation and mission at our doorsteps.Action Plan

  • To understand the concept of Diaspora and teach Biblical perspectives.
  • To acquire knowledge and awareness of “others” – the visible minorities, people of other faiths & the marginalized.
  • To develop strategies for hospitality, welcome and outreach to “others” and international students.
Issue Group #30 – Business as MissionWhy is it important?
Those areas of the world that tend to be the least reached often have the highest unemployment and poverty. Over the next 20 years, more than two-billion people will enter the marketplace looking for jobs where there are few churches and very few employment opportunities.Action Plan

  • Affirm the gifts and calling of business people as a strategic part of God’s Great Commission mandate.
  • Recognize the untapped potential that business people and Godly businesses represent to transform people and communities spiritually, socially and economically.
  • Encourage churches to release their business people as business people into the ministry of business worldwide.
Making Disciples of Oral Learners (IG25)
Avery willis, Jr. and Steve Evans, Co-Conveners; Mark Snowden, Facilitator
From the time of the Guttenberg Bible, Christianity “has walked on literate feet” and has directly or indirectly required literacy of others. But, 70% of all people in the world are oral communicators–those who can’t, don’t or won’t learn through literate means. Four-billion in our world urgently are at risk of a Christless eternity unless literate Christians make significant changes in evangelism, discipleship, leader training and church planting.

Making disciples of oral learners means using communication forms that are familiar within the culture: stories, proverbs, drama, songs, chants and poetry. Literate approaches rely on lists, outlines, word studies, apologetics and theological jargon. These literate methods are largely ineffective among two-thirds of the world’s peoples. Of necessity, making disciples of oral learners depends on communicating God’s Word with varied cultures in relevant ways. Only then will the Gospel be able to reach to “the uttermost parts of the earth.”

Some 90 percent of the world’s Christian workers work among oral peoples using literate communication styles. Orality issues raise an urgent cry for effectiveness. What a challenge! The church today must embrace oral communicators as partners–together making disciples of all peoples to the glory of God!

Lausanne’s Orality Issue Group challenges churches and Christian organizations to ride the next wave of Kingdom advancement by developing and implementing methods for effective oral strategies. Partners, networks, seminaries, mission agencies, conference and workshop leaders and other Christian influencers are called upon to recognize the issues of orality in the world around them, become intentional making disciples of oral learners, raise awareness, initiate oral communication projects and train missionaries and local leaders in chronological Bible storying as an effective church-planting strategy.

FAST FACTS: On Orality, Literacy and Chronological Bible Storying

  • 6.3 billion world population
  • 6,809 languages spoken in the world
  • 2,737 languages surveyed and listed as needing a translation (estimated population: 147 million)
  • 1,699 Scripture projects underway
  • 4,147 languages have no Scripture
  • At least 1.5 billion people in the world have never been introduced to reading/writing
  • At least 67% of the world’s people are either non-literate or functionally illiterate
  • 75-85% of Islamic women are oral communicators (non-literate to functionally illiterate)
  • At least 65% of Islamic men are oral communicators
  • Significant numbers of Islamic Quranic leaders in the Middle East and Africa are oral communicators, operating by means of a memorized Quran
  • Illiteracy is dominant among animistic peoples.
  • 48-51% of adult Americans are non-literate or functionally illiterate
  • Oral communicators understand, learn and assimilate information best when it comes to them in narrative or storying formats
  • Oral communicators find it difficult to understand, and next to impossible to remember, recall and reproduce expositional outlines, points, principles and steps(Sources: International Mission Board, SBC,
    Wycliffe Bible Translators and U.S. Government)


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