It is with great joy and hopeful expectation that we bring you the premier edition of Lausanne World Pulse (LWP). With God’s blessing, LWP will reflect and inspire the pulse and heartbeat of our common mission for the next decade.
The task of world evangelization is formidable and far from complete. It is so large that some would say it is impossible and suggest that we select a more obtainable goal. The reality is, that is not an option. Our calling comes from our leader and guide, Jesus Christ. Thirty years ago, the original framers of the Lausanne Covenant understood this goal to reach the world for Christ and engaged in it courageously:
“We are deeply stirred by what God is doing in our day, moved to penitence by our failures, and challenged by the unfinished task of evangelization. We believe the gospel is God’s good news for the whole world, and we are determined by his grace to obey Christ’s commission to proclaim it to all mankind and to make disciples of every nation.” (Lausanne Covenant)
When I think of the men and women who birthed the Lausanne movement, I stand in awe. They were giants of the faith, at least in our estimation. We have a saying in the United States: “We’re not fit to fill their shoes.” However, thirty years have passed, and like it or not, it is our turn to take the mantle of leadership.
A movement like Lausanne needs communication to stay connected. Communication is our life-blood. But this need to stay in touch is not easy, especially when it requires crossing thousands of miles and many more cultural barriers. One advantage we have today is the availability of instantaneous and comprehensive communication. However as the great playwright and philosopher George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
For this reason, the Institute for Strategic Evangelism, along with our publishing department, Evangelism and Missions Information Service (EMIS), and our colleagues in the Intercultural Studies department at Wheaton College near Chicago, IL, USA, said yes to the request from Doug Birdsall and Ted Yamomori to create LWP and serve as part of the communications nerve center for Lausanne. This publication is the official online magazine of the Lausanne movement. LWP will be similar in format to World Pulse, a much-valued publication in the missions and evangelism community, which we published for many years. Doug, Ted and I will serve as publishers for LWP. Editorial leadership will be provided by Naomi Frizzell, Laurie Fortunak and others.
LWP will be an online magazine. It will be a free monthly publication (thanks to the ongoing generosity of donors and foundations). Evangelism and mission leaders will be informed of news from various regions of the world. The great advantage of an e-magazine is that it can be read in nearly every region of the world. Our hope is to:
- Inspire the church towards global evangelization;
- Inform mission leaders of news and developments from every part of the kingdom church and;
- Instruct the great commission and commandment forces to better understand and present the whole gospel to the whole world.
To do this well, we need teammates. We are asking every region in the Lausanne community to find a communications director or editor to work with our team at LWP. Your communications directors/editors will stay tuned to the movements of Christ in your region of the world. Reports of God’s wonderous power will inspire all kingdom laborers. Communications directors will also provide urgent calls for prayer and harness the intercession of the global church over strategically vital needs. Further, Working Groups and Issue Groups (IGs) will be asked to have someone on their task force communicate succinctly and clearly important findings in their work. We need to realize that busy kingdom leaders will not read every word of every paper, treatise and book the Lausanne movement creates. Therefore, we need to publish summaries of important theological, cultural and missional developments. Those not directly involved with Lausanne, but who resonate with the Lausanne Covenant, are also encouraged to send us reports and stories (firstname.lastname@example.org) on the task of global evangelism.
Last November, I had the privilege of standing in the auditorium in Edinburgh, Scotland, where John R. Mott and fellow leaders conducted what we now historically remember as the first global missions conference, which was held in 1910. The room was smaller than I expected, with a capacity of only several hundred. Yet, although the room was not large, the dream was gigantic. The Edinburgh leaders believed they were to take the gospel to the whole world in their generation. Outside the entrance to the meeting hall is a large statue of John Knox, who had once cried out, “Give me Scotland or I die.” I imagine that every day the Edinburgh delegates must have passed by Knox as they entered and left the meeting hall. Bold and passionate commitments to world evangelization have been the foundation of the church since our Lord’s declaration on the day of his ascension. Now, it is our turn.
I close with the words of Gandolf, Frodo’s wise old guide in Lord of the Rings: “You have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have.”