Unity within the body of Christ and the common mission of evangelism were emphasized Thursday at a six-day Lausanne gathering in Malaysia.
Phil Butler, senior associate with the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and international director of visionSynergy, stressed the importance of collaboration in missions to the young Christian leaders at the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering.
"We are in the middle of a revolution," said Butler as he highlighted partnerships that are taking place around the world, according to Lausanne. As an example, Butler shared about a gathering of believers in Hong Kong who met to pray for Christianity to take root in the country of Mongolia.
"Fifteen years ago there were only five or six known believers in Mongolia…today there are thousands," Butler said. "After two thousand years of darkness, God is transforming a nation in one generation. The impossible dream is possible as we join hands."
Nearly 500 young leaders from over 110 countries have gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for six days, Sept. 24-30, for Christ-centered leadership development. The Younger Leaders Gathering is a ministry of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization where emerging leaders aged 25-35 in churches, ministries and the marketplace convene to learn new leadership skills, strengthen their spiritual life, and form networks with other young Christian leaders around the world.
Mario Cappello, head of the Institute for World Evangelization, also spoke during the plenary session about the need for unity in the global Church. According to Lausanne’s report, many in the audience were overwhelmed with emotion when Cappello thanked the evangelical community for working to bring salvation to others.
"[Cappello’s speech] changed my life!" said Marcellus Mbah, who founded The Strong Revival Prayer Force in Cameroon, to Lausanne. "I think I had had this mindset about the Catholic Church and now I know that God is doing amazing things everywhere. I am amazed."
Cappello has trained more than 200,000 Catholics in missions and discipleship by using the JESUS Film project and other evangelism tools.
"If we want to understand why we are not seeing hundreds of millions coming into the kingdom, it isn’t because of a lack of wealth [or]….a lack of prayer," concluded Butler earlier in the session. "It is not a question of holiness or adequate leadership. Jesus’ personal credibility has been destroyed by divisions in the body of Christ."
The Lausanne Movement was formed in 1974 during a meeting of 2,500 Christian leaders for Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Switzerland. Lausanne has helped launch numerous mission initiatives, organizations, and provided more than 30 Lausanne Occasional Papers which help church and mission leaders understand current missiological issues.