Sunday – 2004 Forum Daily Update

Doug Birdsall
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.
Issue Group Anticipated Outcomes
The “A, B, C’s” – By Rev. Doug Birdsall, Lausanne International Chair-Elect

As the Issue Groups move toward the final day of meetings, their energy will be increasingly focused on anticipated outcomes of their work at the 2004 Forum.Conveners and Facilitators have been encouraged to think in terms of three primary and easy-to-remember categories – the “A, B, C’s” of Issue Group Outcomes:

Action Steps: Each Issue Group is asked to articulate Action Steps that will be useful to the church in the cause of world evangelization. The more precise and concise these action steps are, the more likely they are to be understood and remembered by church leaders. The more precise they are, the more likely they are to impact the world as they are actually implemented by churches, organizations and leaders who are committed to the vision and the ideals of Lausanne to see “The Whole Church take the Whole Gospel to the Whole World.”

Books and Publications: The actual form of most publications produced at the 2004 Forum will be Lausanne Occasional Papers. Throughout the history of the Lausanne Movement, Lausanne Occasional Papers have been highly valued around the world as insightful publications on challenges and opportunities facing the church. Guidelines for the production of these 25,000-word documents have been provided to Issue Group leaders. These papers will then be published and distributed in electronic and/or printed format.

Continuing Activity: Many of the Issue Groups are already planning on-going activity through collaboration on the Internet as well as in holding regional consultations in the months and years to come. One of the most enduring contributions of the Lausanne Consultation here in Pattaya in 1980 was the Task Force on Urban Ministry headed by Ray Bakke. In the same spirit, the Lausanne Committee is eager to provide endorsement and support for consultations to be convened by any on-going “task force” that will emerge from an Issue Group at the 2004 Forum.

It is our prayer that the work of the leaders and participants of the Issue Groups will result in outcomes that go far beyond the 2004 Forum for the advancement of the Gospel, the growth of the Church and the glory of God.

Issue Group #3 – The Persecuted ChurchWhy is it important?
The interdependence of the worldwide Church calls for our deepest empathy toward those who are currently in situations of persecution. “If one member suffers, all suffer together with him.” I Cor. 12:25Action Plan

  • Pray for interceders for the persecuted church, accepting our interdependence in sharing the gospel in our time!
  • Listen to and learn from Christians in situations of suffering and persecution. We are incomplete without them.
  • Make the Word of God freely accessible to those under persecution. Resource them in practical ways and sensitively hold up the universal declaration for their Human Rights.
Issue Group #12 – Future LeadershipWhy is it important?
The Church is in a state of transition, experiencing great growth in almost every nation of the world in an environment of constant change with a new emerging generation. All of these demand a new paradigm that will manifest Christ-like leadership.Action Plan

  • Raise up Christ-like leaders who know how to cooperate with God.
  • Build a catalytic leadership development movement in every nation of the world.
  • Develop contextualized leaders with a divine call, Godly-character and competence.

Issue Group #13 – Prayer in EvangelismBarriers to Prayer in Evangelism

  • People want to pray, but do not know how.
  • A lack of prayer-based evangelism.
  • The need for sound biblical understanding of prayer.

Why is it important?
God intended for prayer to be an integral part of every aspect of world evangelization.

Action Plan

  • Bring understanding to the whole Church that prayer is an indispensable part of the task of world evangelization.
  • Encourage church leaders to facilitate prayer gatherings within communities and cities for evangelism and the transformation of society.
  • Distribute materials provided by the Prayer in Evangelism Issue Group for local churches with biblical teaching and practical tools to encourage and equip the Church to use prayer in evangelism.
Issue Group #15 – Two-Thirds World ChurchWhy is it important?
The church in the two-thirds world (Asia, Africa and Latin America) is growing very fast, both in numbers and in vision, providing the world with a new missionary force.Action Plan

  • Help the Church to build an awareness of the indigenous methods and resources emerging in these regions of the world.
  • Encourage partnerships between the first and two-thirds world mission initiatives in both sending and receiving of missionaries.
Issue Group #16 – Religious and Non-Religious Spirituality in the Postmodern WorldWhy is it important?
The new spiritualities are global religious phenomena that have great impact on people everywhere. The Church has engaged the new religions apologetically, but has yet to interact with their adherents missionally and holistically.Action Plan

  • Help the Church recognize that reaching out to those who adhere to the new spiritualities must be included in the Church’s agenda for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
  • Pray for the Church to acknowledge that the new spiritualities often arise in response to shortcomings in the Church’s teaching and practice.
  • Ask the Church to explore and implement innovative cross-cultural mission approaches in addition to apologetic responses to the new spiritualities.
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