The plenary addresses from the 2006 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering (YLG) have been published by the William Carey Library in a book entitled Living and Leading like Jesus. Grounded in scripture and richly illustrated with the real-life experiences of prominent Christian leaders from around the world, Living and Leading like Jesus presents an inspiring biblical and global portrait of Christ-like servant-leadership.
The book’s editor is Judd Birdsall, son of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization’s (LCWE) executive chair, S. Douglas Birdsall. Judd is also a former research assistant with the LCWE. Judd says in his preface that he altered the transcript of each speech as little as possible, leaving intact each speaker’s unique voice. Many YLG-specific references were left in the manuscript so as to give readers a sense of what it was like to actually attend the landmark global forum.
Living and Leading like Jesus divides thematically into three sections. In the first four chapters, Christian ministry leaders Michael Oh, Doug Birdsall, Ramez Atallah and Peter Kuzmic introduce Lausanne and the YLG by sharing how their lives and ministries have been greatly enriched by their participation in the Lausanne Movement. “Lausanne ’74 truly transformed my life,” says Peter Kuzmic in his chapter on “Leadership and the Whole Gospel.” The Lausanne Movement helped Kuzmic realize that “all theology must be missiologically focused…[and] all missiology must be theologically grounded.”
The next three chapters deal specifically with ministry leadership. Mutua Mahiaini, Africa director for The Navigators, takes readers on a biblical exploration of true servant-leadership. In her chapter on “Leading People to Christ,” speaker and author Rebecca Pippert argues that evangelism can be hampered by an underestimation or an overestimation of the power of sin. Pippert encourages would-be evangelists to continually bear two truths in mind: we crucified Jesus and we were crucified with Jesus. Ajith Fernando, national director for Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka, mines the high priestly prayer in John 17 for principles Jesus used to develop his disciples into effective Christian leaders.
The final section provides something of a commission to readers. Phill Butler encourages greater partnership and collaboration among Christian ministries. Jason Mandryk examines how far the Church has come and how far the Church still has to go to complete the Great Commission. Illustrated with a number of helpful charts and graphs, Mandryk’s chapter alerts readers to the ongoing challenge of evangelizing unreached people groups and the need to address strategic issues such as poverty, disease and refugees. The book concludes with a final charge from Doug Birdsall, who calls for a rigorous commitment to integrity in ministry. “The gospel message will never be heard as good news,” he says, “if the messenger is bad news.” Birdsall implored the young leaders assembled in Malaysia to respond thoughtfully and courageously to the social and spiritual challenges of their generation.
Those interested in purchasing the book can visit the William Carey Library’s website at: http://missionbooks.org/wcl/customer/product.php?productid=578&cat=&page=1.
Also available from the William Carey Library is A New Vision, A New Heart, A Renewed Call, Lausanne Occasional Papers from the 2004 Forum for World Evangelization, hosted by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization in Pattaya, Thailand. The three-volume set is available for purchase at: http://missionbooks.org/wcl/customer/product.php?productid=504&cat=&page=1.