Exciting news–I’ve been invited to take part in the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering!
The Lausanne Movement is an evangelical movement united by the shared vision of “the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world”. It takes its name from the location of the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization brought together by Billy Graham and John Stott, which resulted in the Lausanne Covenant. Since the first Lausanne Conference, there have been subsequent gatherings in Manila, Philippines (1989) and Cape Town, South Africa (2010).
As well as these three major Lausanne gatherings, there have also been gatherings of ‘Younger Leaders’: first in Singapore (1987) and then in Malaysia (2006). Occuring ‘once a generation’, the idea of these is to connect up-coming missionary leaders in ministry partnership and enduring friendship. The upcoming Gathering will be held next summer in Jakarta, Indonesia after the initial plan to host it in Ukraine was disrupted by instability within that region.
Who else is going?
The Younger Leaders Gathering is a selective, invitation-only affair. Applicants had to first be nominated, and then from the three thousand applicants, one thousand — from over 150 nations! — have been selected and invited.
Now some might say that this sort of elitism isn’t very Christian — isn’t the gospel an invitation that specifically does not require one to have the approval of any human committee? doesn’t God choose the weak and foolish things of this world to put to shame the so-called strong and wise? But while it is true (wonderfully true!) that Jesus promises salvation to whosoever believes in Him, it is also true that he thought and prayed long and hard before choosing a limited number of twelve of his disciples to be designated apostles. And after the Resurrection, and after Pentecost, the church still made use of councils restricted to ‘apostles’ and ‘elders’ (Acts 15:6).
Anyway, there are twelve of us from the UK that have been selected, including Andy Frost, director of Share Jesus International; Chine Mbubaegbu, the Evangelical Alliance’s first black female director, and the author of Am I Beautiful?; Claire Rush, the international vice-president of the Girls Brigade; Michael Ots, university mission week evangelistic speaker; Emma Lewington Follows, a doctor who’s involved with the Navigators; Owen Brown, team leader of the UCCF team in Wales; and Chris Kidd, director of Children’s and Youth Ministries at the Dibden Church.
And I’m excited and privileged to be part of it!