The Contribution of Women to Lausanne’s Ministry

Over the years there has been increasing participation by women at Lausanne Movement gatherings.

  • Lausanne I in Switzerland (1974): about 100 women participants; very little involvement at the leadership level
  • Lausanne II in Manila (1989): about 900 women participants; some presented workshops, gave the Bible studies, and preached at the communion service
  • Lausanne III in Cape Town (2010): over one-third of the 4,200 participants were women; contribution was significant at every level—presenting plenary papers, giving the Bible studies, leading multiplexes and dialogue sessions, chairing table discussions, sharing in the opening and closing ceremonies, and playing a vital part in the planning of the whole congress

One of the special aspects of Lausanne III was the onsite café, which provided opportunities for women and men to meet, discuss, share, and reflect on the conference while being ministered to by women from around the world. Presentations (through spoken word, music, and drama) each afternoon by women leaders from particular regions contributed a creative vitality to the event.

As the Lausanne senior associate for women, I spent years traveling to countries meeting women leaders and gaining insight into their special ministries. One of my great joys at Lausanne 3 was to meet up with many of them, hear how their ministries have expanded, and see them making significant contributions to Lausanne and to gospel ministries around the world.

Three years ago I had the privilege of handing over the role of senior associate for women to Elke Werner from Germany. Elke, a plenary speaker at the congress, has been alongside me in Lausanne ministry for a number of years and has many gifts the Lord is using for the kingdom. If you would like more information on the Lausanne women’s network, Wings, go to

Robyn Claydon is vice chair of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. She is also Lausanne senior associate for women. She can be reached at [email protected]. Claydon served as program chair of the 2004 Lausanne Forum in Thailand.