Strengthen and Extend the Impact of Lausanne

Doug Birdsall

It is a pleasure to write on behalf of my friend Michael Oh and all of our friends from the Lausanne global family as they give leadership to the Movement.  These are exciting and challenging days for Lausanne.  We are profoundly grateful to God for the way in which he has blessed Lausanne through an infusion of energy and talent represented by younger leaders with a fresh commitment to the vision of “the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world.”

As you might imagine, it is particularly gratifying to me on a personal level to witness the evidence of God’s hand of blessing on Lausanne at this time.  The last few weeks and months have been challenging for Jeanie and me as we have dealt with the challenge of the lung cancer surgeries in July and then with my termination as President of the American Bible Society after such a short tenure there. In two weeks, I am scheduled for another surgery as cancer has also been detected on my thyroid.

In the midst of such situations, we are made more aware of our limitations and our weaknesses in this fallen world.  At precisely the same point, we are also made more aware of his greatness and his redemptive purposes in our lives and in history.  We are discovering at an even deeper level the truths of his promises:  “My grace is sufficient for you,” and “His strength is made perfect in our weakness.”

As Honorary Co-Chair of The Lausanne Movement, I ask you to come alongside Michael Oh, our Lausanne Executive Director/CEO, in this new phase of the journey.

We are so grateful for the legacy that Michael Oh inherits from people like Billy Graham, John Stott, Gottfried Osei-Mensah, Leighton Ford and many others who helped to shape the ethos of a movement for world evangelization in the “spirit of Lausanne.”

Next year we will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the epoch-making Lausanne ’74 Congress in Switzerland. Those ten days in July of 1974 were greatly used of God to unite his people and to energize the body of Christ for world evangelization.  The congress produced three gifts for the Church:  1) The Lausanne Covenant, whose primary architect was John Stott; 2) A call to the global church to once again take up the responsibility for holistic mission, which came through the prophetic voices of Samuel Escobar and Rene Padilla; and 3) A breakthrough mission paradigm which came through the great intellect and imagination of Ralph Winter, the new understanding of ethne which gave birth to unreached people group movements.

When the leaders of The Lausanne Movement meet next year in Switzerland, they will not only be looking back 40 years, they will also bring fresh assessment to the state of the church and the advance of the gospel in our world. They will then be looking ahead to anticipate the challenges and opportunities that are on the horizon.  They will also connect with leaders of the many new partnerships and fresh initiatives that issued forth from Cape Town 2010 and The Cape Town Commitment.

Lausanne is on the move – it continues to be a dynamic and generative global movement of “reflective practitioners” from every major stream of the church around the world. Your partnership and investment have helped make that possible. The transition of leadership has gone very, very well. I am so impressed with Michael Oh and the team he is building.  They provide vision and strength that will help to set the course for the years and decades yet to come.

A Call for Partnership

On behalf of my friend Michael and the new leaders for Lausanne, I want to invite you to be part of a global company of people who will strengthen and extend the impact of Lausanne through generous financial support.

You will be encouraged to know that the opportunity has come to be a part of a matching giving opportunity.

A wonderful friend of Lausanne has provided a matching gift of $500,000.  Michael is praying and working toward the goal of enlisting 500 partners who would be willing to make gifts, large and small, which would enable us to broaden the base of support for Lausanne.

My hope and prayer is that you will consider an end-of-the year pledge that will help us reach the goal of $500,000 in new gifts and pledges. Michael faces a big challenge and an even greater opportunity.  He is a man of faith and vision.  I ask you to join him.  Your gift will be a great encouragement to him.  It will also be an investment in a new generation as they build on a great legacy and help us move decisively into the future.

Double Your GiftTo learn more about how to make a financial commitment that will be doubled, please go to

Or you may make your commitment by mail. Just send a check with your first gift and a note indicating your commitment to:

The Lausanne Movement
P.O. Box 9020
San Dimas, CA 91773

I believe with all of my heart that for Lausanne and for the cause of world evangelization, “The future is as bright as the promises of God!”  Thank you for your friendship and partnership in the work that God has entrusted to our care. God bless you!


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