With this issue we announce the passing of a baton. Since its inaugural issue in 2012, David Taylor has served as our Editor, skilfully guiding the publication from the first conceptual discussions following Cape Town 2010 to its present role as the flagship publication of the Lausanne Movement, published in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French. David’s insight and skill in shaping and arranging articles from such a diversity of authors from around the world have made Lausanne Global Analysis a trusted source of perspective and guidance for Christian leaders in over 200 countries and territories. We are thankful that David intends to remain on the Editorial Advisory Board, as a volunteer.
With great joy we welcome Loun Ling Lee as our new Editor. An experienced teacher, writer, and editor, Loun has served previously as Lecturer in Mission at Redcliffe College, UK, Training Director of AsiaCMS based in Malaysia, Mission Mobilizer with OMF, and Pastor at Grace Singapore Chinese Church.
With deep gratitude we express our appreciation for David Taylor’s more than seven years as LGA Editor, and with joyful expectation we look forward to the continued growth and impact of the LGA with our new Editor, Loun Ling Lee, who is providing this month’s Issue Overview.
– David W. Bennett, Global Associate Director for Collaboration and Content, Lausanne Movement
The Lausanne Covenant states, ‘We rejoice that a new missionary era has dawned. The dominant role of western missions is fast disappearing. God is raising up from the younger churches a great new resource for world evangelization, and is thus demonstrating that the responsibility to evangelize belongs to the whole body of Christ’ (Covenant pt-8).
In this issue of Lausanne Global Analysis, we have authors from different parts of the global church addressing strategic issues relating to world mission. Melody J. Wachsmuth is a mission researcher living in Croatia. She is passionate to see Roma and non-Roma together engaging in healthy partnerships for mission, to ‘share our diverse gifts while manifesting the new humanity in Christ’. She helps us to understand the need for such partnerships at the roundtable where everyone has the opportunity to contribute, and everyone will be heard.
In the same spirit of unity in the body of Christ, Dan Sered and Simon Stout, serving with Jews for Jesus, sharpen our awareness of the spiritual problem of antisemitism around the world. Jews were persecuted in the history of the church. They are still being stigmatized among Christians today. ‘As members of the body of Messiah, we must not only recognize the faults of those who came before us but be willing to combat antisemitism,’ urge Dan and Simon. One practical step they suggest we could take is to reach out and build ‘relationships between our church communities and the local Jewish community.’
The legacy of Lamin Sanneh, a distinguished historian, scholar of World Christianity, and advocate of interreligious dialogue, could not be more relevant in our complex world today. Wanjiru Gitau, senior research scholar at St. Thomas University, has highlighted his legacy, especially on the theme of translation of the message of Christ into the language and culture of the recipients. Her article challenges contemporary theological scholars to ‘guide Christian communities to discern the signs of the times’, ‘making the gospel intelligible’ to ‘a vastly changed world’, as did Lamin Sanneh.
When The Lausanne Covenant was drafted, emerging from the First International Congress on World Evangelization in 1974, those involved could not have envisaged the current phenomenon of China’s mission movement as part of the ‘new missionary era’. In ‘The Uncertain Future of China’s Urban Churches’, Thomas Harvey’s analysis of the urban church and mission trends in modern China gives us a fresh insight into the thriving mission movement there despite the hostile environment. Thomas, Academic Dean of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, reminds us ‘as mission work takes hold in nations beyond Western Christendom, the dynamics of mission and its relationship to the secular and religious powers are uncertain and often face severe headwinds as they strive to move forward.’
We hope this issue has encouraged us to see what God has been doing through the global church beyond Western Christendom, as well as motivated us to participate in God’s mission for the world in our times. Lausanne Global Analysis actively seeks diverse authors to reflect the richness of the global community of believers. We aim to cover a wide range of contemporary topics which are of interest and concern to this community, so that together as the whole body of Christ, we can fulfil the task of world evangelization entrusted to us by our Lord.
Lausanne Global Analysis is also available in Portuguese, Spanish, and French. Please send any questions and comments about this issue to [email protected]. The next issue will be released in July.