Lausanne Movement

Big international meetings might not be your idea of exciting. They weren’t mine either until I saw some create effective focus and action at the grassroots. One of the most effective has been the “Lausanne” congresses and the movement they have created.  The first was held in 1974 in – you guessed it – Lausanne.  The last major meeting was in 1989. The most recent took place in October in South Africa.

It was the largest and most diverse meeting of believers in the last 20 years. It’s composition reflected the number of believers in each country and other demographic characteristics of the church. So, of the 4,000 delegates, 400 came from the US, 50 from Canada, 80 from the UK, but 230 from China (although many of those were blocked from attending by the Chinese government). Sixty percent were under 50 years old and 10 percent under 30. In stark contrast, at the 1910 Edinburgh World Missionary Conference of the 1,200 delegates, 500 came from US, 500 from Britain, 4 from Asia, and none from Africa. Welcome to the 21st century. Isn’t it great?

The topic, as always, was world evangelism and the uniqueness of Christ, the authority of the Bible, and the imperative of world evangelism. All got ringing affirmations.

The web site for this latest meeting has videos of many of the main sessions. As someone involved in Bible translation I was pleased to see the themes of Celebrating the Bible and Eradicating Bible Poverty woven throughout. The Scriptures were presented as foundational to the accomplishment of the Great Commission. (That link leads to articles and videos on the topic.)

You might be interested in the topic “Bringing the Gospel to the Least Reached People Groups and Cities.” You can find it here:

If you are interested in more devotional thoughts, consider watching some of the morning devotions by John Piper at:


Dayle and I are involved in helping the growing and maturing believers in Africa do Bible translation for themselves. Beyond the specific topics, this meeting was proof that God is growing his kingdom and that many people around the world are still blessedly obsessive about making Jesus known. That is exciting. Those who predicted the death of Christian faith were oh so wrong.

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One thought on “Lausanne Movement

  1. As someone involved in Bible translation and minority langauge work, I was rather disappointed by the Lausanne Congress overall. Part of my frustration comes across in this piece from my own blog:

    I have already highlighted the way in which all of the conference presentations had to be given in English. The conference chairman explained that this was done to facilitate the interpretation into other languages. While this was an issue, it was not an insurmountable one. Having everyone speak in English marginalised all other language communities and reduced them to a lower status, which was unfortunate. It was desperately sad to see people struggle to read statements in English and coming across as dull and boring, when they would undoubtedly have been exciting and interesting in their own language. On the last morning we were reminded that we have to listen to the voices from the margins of the Church – sadly, the message of the conference was that we would only listen to the margins if they speak English.

    You can find the whole post here:


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