In preparation for the 2004 Forum for World Evangelization, hundreds of Christian leaders from around the world are exchanging information and ideas on crucial issues facing evangelism. The Forum, organized by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization in partnership with the Great Commission Roundtable will be held this September in Thailand to focus on the task of global evangelism.
Over 2,000 Christian leaders are expected to attend the 2004 Forum for World Evangelization, the fourth comprehensive global gathering called by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization in the past thirty years.
This year, the topics of discussion for the Forum will include the thirty-one specific issues that have been identified as roadblocks to evangelism following a comprehensive worldwide research effort. The effort, led by Christian Research (CR), a UK-based non-profit organization, involved the consultation of 4,000 senior Christian leaders across the world who suggested specific topics and indicated the average importance ranking of each topic, according to CR Executive Director Dr. Peter Brierley.
According to Brierley, a huge variety of topics were suggested. Those topics were in turn sorted into suitable groups by CR, and then presented to the Lausanne Administrative Committee. The Committee then chose topics that commanded the greatest numbers in responses as well as those that were deemed to be especially important even if only supported by a minority of respondents, Brierley explained.
The resulting thirty-one issues were then divided into three key categories labeled “The Whole World”, “The Whole Church”, and “The Whole Gospel”, corresponding with the Lausanne mission statement “The whole Church taking the whole Gospel to the whole world.”
Teams of 30 to 70 people (called Issue Group’s—IG’s) were formed through careful selection of participants from online applications submitted by international Church leaders, and each were given a specific issue.
From now until September, IG’s will be defining their issue, conducting research, collecting information on ministries engaging the issue, and then preparing an implementation action plan for the church to address the concern. IG findings will be shared at the 2004 Forum.
During 2005 and 2006, Lausanne will be working relationally around the world, encouraging leaders to prayerfully make the ideas generated by the IG’s the active agenda of ministries and denominations.
Among those who are taking leading roles in the Forum are Patrick Sookhdeo, CEO of Barnabas Fund (UK/Pakistan); Ted Yamamori, President of Food for the Hungry (USA/Japan); Pete Hammond, Vice President of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (USA); Rick Sessoms, Director of Leadership Development for Trans World Radio (USA); Mike O’Rear, CEO of Global Mapping (USA); and Joseph D'Souza, President of All India Christian Council (India).