Communication and the Gospel

The whole Church taking the whole gospel to the whole world.

This is the stated vision of the Lausanne Movement. And in every generation, the question is, how can we more effectively communicate the truth of the gospel to all peoples? As Christ himself came to communicate the truth of the gospel through his incarnation, I believe there is no greater witness to Christ in our broken world today than to be the Church God has called us to be.

As the Apostle Paul wrote, we are the body of Christ; we are many members, but one body led by one Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Just as one member of the body cannot regard others as unimportant, so too must the Church be ever cognizant and in right relationship and communication with the other parts in order to function at its optimum capacity. Being in right relationship and in effective communication is more important than ever before.

Today, with the advent of constantly evolving mass media and communication, the necessity to understand its utility and drawbacks, as well as harness its energy, is essential in effectively reaching the world with the hope of the gospel. We are constantly being bombarded with the messages and philosophies of this world. The challenge to better herald the truth of the gospel in the ever-growing myriad of voices in this world remains before the Church.

To this end, cooperation, partnership and dynamic, cross-cultural, face-to-face communication are vital to being the body of Christ incarnate.

The challenge to better herald the truth of the gospel in the ever-growing myriad of voices in this world remains before the Church.

This month, 250 leaders from fifty countries will gather in Budapest, Hungary for the Lausanne International Leadership meetings. Three significant streams of leaders from across the world will gather together 18-22 June: the first generation of senior leaders of Lausanne, current leaders of Lausanne and younger emerging leaders. Every movement needs the experience of those who have gone before us, the commitment of those currently engaged in ministry and the leadership, enthusiasm, vitality and promise of a new generation. We hope to gather the wisdom of the past, the strength of the present and the hope and passion for the future.

Together we will join in worship, prayer, study and preparation towards 2010 and the future work of world evangelization. Please pray for this gathering as we come together in unified purpose and vision to reach the world for Christ. As we plan and pray for the future, let us be mindful and deliberate in the development and refinement of the youth who are to energize and lead us into this next dynamic era of world evangelization.

Thank you, once again, for your partnership in the work of the gospel. May God continue to wonderfully bless you. And may you enjoy this issue of Lausanne World Pulse and what these leaders have to say about communication in today’s ever-changing world.

Doug Birdsall is executive chair of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. He served as president of Asian Access from 1991 to 2007 and continues to serve on their board of directors. Birdsall is a graduate of Wheaton College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Harvard University. He is co-publisher of Lausanne World Pulse.