From the Past to the Future

The past six years have been a great spiritual adventure for me and for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. It has been a wonderful privilege for me to serve with a number of choice servants of our Lord Jesus Christ from around the world during this important time.

Our focus has been upon the Lord and His Great Commission. Our prayerful quest has been upon how the Lord might be calling us to advance His great mission of World Evangelization as we have been entering a new decade, a new century and a new millennium.

During the past six years, we have sought the leadership of our Lord Jesus Christ and the wisdom and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We have sensed that the Lord has clearly led and directed us in a number of significant ministry areas including the following:

1. A FOCUS ON WORLD EVANGELIZATION: We are grateful for our heritage and for those significant Christian leaders who have gone before us. We are grateful, also, for the strategic mission statement of the Lausanne Movement which for some thirty years has been The Whole Church taking the Whole Gospel to the Whole World.

We have reaffirmed that our major focus should be on Christ and His mission and not upon merely perpetuating an organization or movement. In other words, our goal has not been to advance the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization but instead to encourage every participant in the LCWE to advance the Gospel and mission of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is supreme! We are His servants committed to follow Him as Lord and to obey Him by seeking to do all that we can to be used by Him in helping to fulfill His Great Commission.

2. A FOCUS ON COLLABORATING WITH OTHERS: We have sensed the Lord’s clear direction to join with others in demonstrating the spiritual unity that the Lord of the Church desires for His people. We need to labor together under the Lordship and leadership of Jesus Christ. We believe that these are not days for competition or being divided but instead are days of being united in heart and in mind by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We thank God that we have been able to participate in the establishment of the Great Commission Roundtable which is an international network of world evangelization networks. The LCWE is deeply committed to being involved in the GCR and to cooperate and collaborate with other world evangelization ministries and networks in every possible way.

One of the special joys of the past six years has been to see the Lord bringing us closer together with our brothers and sisters in the World Evangelical Alliance. We want to serve the WEA and to co-labor with the WEA in every possible way that our Lord desires.

3. A FOCUS ON THE 2004 FORUM FOR WORLD EVANGELIZATION: We thank God for His blessing upon the 2004 Forum for World Evangelization. Our sincere goal was to advance our Lord’s mission of world evangelization.

From the very beginning of our prayerful planning, we sought for this Forum to be as practical as possible so that the recommendations and conclusions from the gathering would be implemented by the Church around the world. Our focus was on 31 major challenges and/or opportunities facing the Church in regard to world evangelization. We had a deep desire that the Church from the developing world would have a majority of participants and that a large majority of younger leaders be involved in the Forum. We are deeply grateful that the Lord met all of those goals.

4. A FOCUS ON MOBILIZING FOR THE FUTURE MISSION OF WORLD EVANGELIZATION: In a real sense, the 2004 Forum has not concluded. Instead, it has just begun. Thousands of hours of prayer, discussion and preparation have taken place. Now we face the question, “What will be done with the insights, recommendations and proposals that have flowed from the Forum?”

We pray that they will be implemented through the lives and ministries of thousands of churches and tens of thousands of Christians from around the world in the days and years ahead. May many respond to this unusual opportunity that our Lord is giving to us be used by Him in fulfilling His Great Commission.

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