Appointment Emphasizes Importance of Artists in Mission and Evangelism
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Naomi Frizzell, [email protected], +1.904.262.5202
BOSTON, MA 15 August 2012 – The Lausanne Movement has appointed a Lausanne Senior Associate for The Arts. Rev. Dr. Byron Spradlin, Founder and President of Artists in Christian Testimony Intl, which mobilizes and equips artistic, innovative ministries and missionaries for Christian work, accepted the position in June at the Lausanne International Leadership meeting. Spradlin also serves as Department Chair for the School of Worship, Imagination & the Arts at Williamson Christian College, Franklin, TN.
Rev. S. Douglas Birdsall, Executive Chairman of The Lausanne Movement, says, “Byron’s appointment demonstrates the deep commitment Lausanne has to the involvement of artistic Christians in mission and world evangelization. By embracing the artistic gifts God has given us, but especially those given to men and women who are creatively using their gifts to honor God, we see a greater vision of the glory of God and the hope we have in him.” He adds, “The Cape Town Commitment offers a clear call to the Body of Christ to energetically engage the arts in the context of mission. Byron has proven leadership in this area and was an essential part of the Cape Town 2010 music and worship team, a gathering which offered a magnificent display of the creative use of worship and music to glorify God and draw us into more intimate fellowship with our Lord.”
Byron says in this new role it’s his desire to “help fan the fires of a Movement that will artistically declare God’s truth, beauty, goodness, virtue, and salvation through Jesus Christ to a world desperately in need of his life and his love.” He emphasizes that he will serve both artists and other Christian leaders by:
- Calling artists to greater involvement in the Church and her world-evangelization efforts using their specialized, God-designed “imaginal” intelligence and artistic abilities
- Biblically equipping artists in the role they and their artistic expression have in life, worship and ministry
- Catalyzing artists to bring their artistic gifting into the service of world evangelization
- Encouraging Mission and Church leadership to gain a greater understanding of the role of artists and their art in the Body of Christ as strategic ministers and ministries of the Church including the mandate of world evangelization.
The Lausanne Arts effort seeks to discover strategic alliances with leaders in evangelical denominations, agencies and education around the world to further prayer, biblical reflection, training, and calls to ministry action toward mobilizing and equipping artistic Christians. Byron and his growing international Lausanne ARTS “Imagineering” council also hope to catalyze yearly biblical reflection and prayer consultations in all 12 Lausanne regions of the world. The Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary (Kiev), headed by Dr. Anatole Glukhovskyy, (Lausanne International Deputy Director for Eurasia), will host the first major effort of the Lausanne Arts effort. This twelve nation Biblical Consultation on The ARTS in Life and Ministry (3-5 December 2012) will be preceded by a week-long lectureship by Byron on the same topic.
Additionally, Dr. Todd Johnson, Director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, has committed his archival resources to house and track research on the growing field of global indigenous arts and music. Todd has also agreed to serve on the initial international Lausanne ARTS “Imagineering” Council.
Byron concludes, “Lausanne ARTS exists to call artists back to the Church, and to call Church leaders to re-engage artists for the sake of declaring the praises of God through Christ, who has called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. May the Lord see artists all over the world more deeply surrender themselves to him, to the place where they cannot BUT glorify him through the unique ‘imaginal intelligence’ God has given them—whether they serve in the marketplace, the Church or world evangelization.”
Lausanne is a global Movement that mobilizes evangelical leaders to collaborate for world evangelization. It grew out of the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization convened in Lausanne, Switzerland by Rev. Billy Graham and Bishop Jack Dain. The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (October 2010) in Cape Town, South Africa brought together 4000 Christian leaders, representing 198 countries. The resulting Cape Town Commitment (www.lausanne.org/ctcommitment) serves as the blueprint for the Movement’s activities.
Lausanne is convening four to five Consultations each year around the issues articulated in The Cape Town Commitment. The most recent one was the Lausanne Consultation on Global Theological Education in Boston. Others will include the Lausanne Global Consultation on Islam, the Lausanne Global Consultation on Creation Care and the Gospel, and the Lausanne Consultation on Media and the Gospel (Norway). For more information, please go to www.lausanne.org.
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For interviews or more information contact Naomi Frizzell, Lausanne Movement Chief Communications Officer,
at [email protected] or +1.904.262.5202.