Lausanne Global Leaders' Forum

“The Whole Church, Taking the whole Gospel, to the Whole World” - This is the aim of the global Lausanne Movement, which takes it’s name from a unique gathering of over 2,700 Christian leaders from over 150 nations in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1974.  Over the last decade the Lausanne Movement has enjoyed something of a resurgence, not least through with the second global Younger Leaders Gathering in 2006 in Malaysia, and with the Cape Town 2010 congress - described as the youngest, most ethnically diverse, and geographically varied gathering of evangelical Christian leaders ever.

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Bangalore, India, with over 300 leaders from around the world, to attend the 2013 Lausanne Global Leaders Forum.  This trip made a great impression on me, and has encouraged me greatly, especially as I reflect on the change, renewed health and momentum of the Lausanne Movement over the last ten years.  Here a few thoughts and reflections following this latest engagement with Lausanne.

Read More

Forgetting who we are...

Well, we're continuing our journey through John's gospel at Barney's, and yesterday got up to the end of chapter two!! We were considering John's account of Jesus clearing the temple courts in John 2:13-22. (Watch on video here). It's Passover time, and the temple courts are full of travellers, pilgrims, as well as money changers and people selling animals for sacrifice.

Jesus turns up, and contrary to the mythical impression we sometimes have of 'baby Jesus meek and mild etc.', gets really angry, throws over the tables of the money changers, does a bit of improvised whip-making and drives them out of the temple courts - animals and people alike.

Read More

things I have learned from John the Baptist - part one

I started the year reading John's Gospel. I have got stuck. Not in a 'what's going on here?' kind of a way, but in a 'there's no point reading further until I have thought long and hard about this' kind of a way.The good people of Barney's are therefore 'stuck' there too - we've spent four weeks in John so far, and we haven't finished chapter one!

The main reason I am stuck… is John the Baptist.

I am stuck on his humility. When the Jewish leaders ask who he is, he is very clear on who he is not. He answers them unequivocally. "I am not the messiah. I am not worthy even to untie his sandals. I am nothing. He is everything."

This is striking for me, in a culture where self-promotion, self-centredness and self-addiction are prominent. Don Miller captures well the spirit of the age in his book 'Blue Like Jazz' when he writes,

The most difficult lie I have ever contended with is this: Life is a story about me.

John Baptist resists the temptation to get a bit of limelight for himself, even at a time when the Jewish people are desperately seeking someone to follow. Surely he was a little tempted to get something out of this situation for himself? Instead, the clear motto of John Baptist's ministry:

He must become greater, I must become less (John 3:30)

How often we are tempted to think of ourselves first, and others later, if at all? How often do I look like I'm listening to someone, but actually I'm planning something else or wondering what's for tea? How often do we seek some benefit for ourselves in our interactions with other people?

John Baptist is a powerful reminder - it's not about me. Life is not a story about me.

Life is, rather, a brilliant Jesus story about the creation and redemption of a fantastic world gone wrong. My life, if it is to have meaning, is designed to be part of this great story - which is most definitely not just a story about me.