Tag Archive: lausanne

the one thing that stood out for me yesterday from the lausanne footage we watched was the dude doing the ephesians 4 devotional who spoke about how some people can look at a footprint in the sand and know if it was a woman or a man, if it was someone old or young, if that person is carrying a burden or not, if that person has a slouch or walks straight and tall… he then referred to about five different verses in ephesians that spoke about walking and posed this question:

if we take a week and watch how you walk, what would we be able to tell about you?

[similiar to the statement – if you were ever tried in a court of law as a Christ follower, would there be enough evidence to convict you? well, would there? excluding any testimony from you.]

we watched a panel do some talking around the theme of globalisation yesterday and i jotted down some interesting lines and thorts on my phone while it was happening:

with globalisation there are three stages we need to go through:

– we need to discern
– we need to assess
– we need to engage

is it right or wrong, it is good or bad, is it useful or useless – too often as the church we can throw the whole thing out instead of taking the time to go through those three steps and see where we can get involved and make the most of what is happening in the world – Jesus often used the context around Him (fish, children, people putting money into the offering) to teach His audience – when it comes to globalisation, the scope is vast and so both throwing out and holding onto everything is going to have negative results – but discerning, assessing and then engaging is going to be valuable, productive and effective

one of the speakers said that one of the needs during globalisation is for the rest of the world (specifically the south, where the shift of power is happening – india, china and africa and so on) to go to the west and help them win back the west [for so long there has been the mindset of the west going out to save/help/reach and now the reality is that the west contains some of the biggest need, especially when it comes to the gospel and living it out]

there is too much world in the church [and not enough church in the world] – one person in my small group said it like this quoting DL Moody – the church is like a boat has been made to be on the water – but heaven help the people in the boat once the water starts coming in to the boat – the two extremes here are becoming too isolated and becoming too worldly and the church has been guilty of both in different areas – our national vineyard conference recently met with the theme of ‘taking the church out of the building’ and i really believe that is a huge key to the future – links strongly with the split between sacred and secular [that actually if we include/invite/involve God in every aspect of our lives then everything is or should be spiritual] – we need to be infecting the world and not the other way around

lots of churchianity, not enough Christ-ianity…

then three aspects of the gospel that need to be happening:

– we need to believe the gospel
– we need to behave the gospel (live it out)
– we need to bear the gospel (take it out)
– and a fourth would be that it is a Biblical gospel

which links to the vision statement of lausanne which is ‘the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world’

another statement that was made was this: never before in the west have we had so much (stuff, toys, technology, opportunity) – never before have we had so little (depth, genuine relationship, life-transformation)

one of the problems of Christianity in the west is that it has been pitched as a product to buy – it never shows as discipleship because it never was truth – is there any surprise that we don’t live any differently to the world – what can i get out of this? how does it make me feel? how does it change me? a religion that is me-centered as opposed to a relationship that revolves completely around God that i am privileged to be an active participant in

one of the keys is that we need to be making disciples rather than converts – and even taking it a step further – we need to be making disciplers, rather than just disciples

another point which ties in with globalisation and this discussion on church is a statement John Fisher made at a breakfast recently when he was talking about his love of the church and he said we don’t need uniformity, we need unity – that is one of the biggest things that if we could get right, we would see the world changed…

so one of the things that came out of yesterday’s discussions when we were looking at the christian faith existing in a pluralistic multi-faith society was the need to understand what we mean by church…

one of the problems that the church faces today is that what we see as church is a combination of what church is meant to be about (according to God and the Bible) plus tradition and style and denomination and flavour and emphasis and a whole bunch of stuff that is actually not church has crept (or been invited) in

how do we peel away what we have added to figure out exactly what Jesus intended for His bride? also not to say that all that stuff is necessarily wrong either – there is a lot of tradition/style/emphasis/denomination etc that is good and positive and adds to the experience and journey of church, but the danger is when we hold too tightly to some of that stuff and see it as the thing when it is in fact only the clothes of the thing

another question that came up is ‘do we have a gospel message that we can preach at different churches that is the same message?’ – for example if we take the message of the gospel and preach it at an affluent white church, is that the same message we will preach to a township church in a more povertous situation? and if not, then is that truly the gospel message?

for example, as an affluent western churchgoer you can take the prayer of jabez and read it and pray it and say ‘oh look, God blessed me with everything i want, therefore the prayer is true’ (or more honestly ‘it works’ as with other superstitions) – but then the question is would that same prayer and ‘consequence’ work for a Christ follower in a country where they are being persecuted and even killed for their faith? Not at all. Not in terms of how we have come to understand or interpret “blessing” and “territory enlargement” and so on. Therefore the question is, “is that the gospel at all?” and with the prayer of jabez it is a resounding “No!” – if we were able to take out of context prayers that were between a person and God from the Bible and apply them to our lives as if they were teaching then we would have to hold on to the prayers of Job and Jonah and Amos and Isaiah as well and then suddenly it’s not so much about me being happy and comfortable and having a big pile of stuff and selling all my books and so somehow it doesn’t seem to work…

the kinds of questions that may need to be asked with the manpeeling are some that a lot of people (paid Christian workers such as myself perhaps?) will find difficult to ask because it may mean we have to change some stuff and quite possibly get a lot more uncomfortable – questions like ‘is having a building church?’ and ‘is paying a pastor/worship leader/youth worker church?’ and so on…

also questions that would make the rest of the church start to get nervous such as, ‘is 5% of the people in a weekly gathering doing 100% of the work church?’ and is ‘this group is the evangelists and that group is the missionaries church?’

and so on.

this week the third lausanne congress for world evangelication is happening in cape town – 4200 delegates from around the world representing church leaders, academics, theologians, marketplace people as well as men, women as well as old, young – convening for a week to discuss relevant issues facing the church – things like globalisation, pluralism, multi-faith society, relevance, integrity, response to poverty, trafficking etc etc – it is an incredible time and i am so super amped for the beautiful Val that she gets to be a part of it

in 2006 i was privileged to be a part of what was called the younger leaders gathering where 500 people from 150 churches met in malaysia for a similiar younger version of this congress – it was life-changing and i met some really amazing people who continue to be a part of my life – and this week i am involved in a global link which is a satellite conference dealing with a lot of stuff Lausanne is dealing with (watching a lot of same footage and hearing same talks and then engaging with the stuff) – last nite was the first session and went from super not amped (organisational issues in setting it up) to being completely amped (the group that arrived) and then encouraged/blown away/broken/challenged/shaken by the footage that we watched, in particular the history of the church (very very good and very very bad and a lot of persecution) from Jesus time to present day

the one phrase that came through about 6 to 8 times in that presentation was “people thort it was going to be the end of the world” (for example when the plague claimed about a third of Europe’s population or something) and as the voiceover guy said at the end – every generation thinks there’s is going to be the last, but one of them will be right

but the one message that came through again and again is that a divided church is a weak and foolish and irrelevant thing – the church is responsible for a lot of missingthepointness and violence and hypocracy and so on in terms of the past (well, not really, if you define church as God-following people cos it hasn’t been when people have been truly following God that that stuff has happened) but it has also been part of an incredible amount of good and positive and upliftment and life – when the church is a group of people who follow God and walk in the footsteps of Jesus while filled by His Spirit and living that out, then the church is a beautiful thing – that church is worth loudly proclaiming that i am a part of

if you are part of a local congregation and either you or one of your leaders ever makes any statement or claim about your specific church being the one true church or better than other churches or anything like that or speaks out against other churches then run, flee, head for the hills, leave that ‘church’ and seek out Jesus…

16-25 October – Lausanne 2010 – for those of you who are not aware of it, next week there is going to be a very important Christian conference happening in Cape Town – 4000 Christian leaders from around the world are going to be meeting together to look at a variety of topics and come up with action plans to make a difference in the world – this is the third time Lausanne is happening (the first time actually being in Lausanne) – more more information you can check out the site at http://www.lausanne.org/cape-town-2010

However, for those people who are not able to make the actual conference (because you weren’t invited for example) there are sites around the world that are going to be dealing with the same information and meeting together and grappling with the issues and then feeding back to the main conference and so i encourage you to find out if there is one in your area and get involved – http://www.lausanne.org/cape-town-2010/globalink.html

I am helping organise one in Cape Town specifically for younger leaders (so on average 18 to 35 year olds working with children or youth or students and more) and if you know of someone (your youth/student leader for example) who you think should be there then tell them to get hold of me and i can pass on the information…

One thing that is open to all young people is a worship event next Thursday 21 October at 55 Kloof Street from 6 to 10 pm which i can highly recommend – we are going to hopefully have a number of the younger leader delegates from the conference coming to share some testimony as to what God is doing in various places around the world interspersed with worship – it is going to be a free event (with an offering to cover costs) but i highly recommend you cancelling cell or youth or whatever you may have going and join us for that as it is a once in a lifetime opportunity in terms of the Lausanne conference being on our doorstep and it would be a great thing to get even a glimpse of

So email me at brettfish@hotmail.com if you want to know more about either – some of the topics our global link will be looking at that week include: making the case for Christ in a pluralistic society, peace of Christ in a broken and divided world, wealth power and poverty, bearing witness to the love of Christ to people of other faiths, globalisation and discerning the will of Christ for modern day evangelisation… some very meaty topics so send your young leaders to be a part of it.

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