Last week, 120 younger leaders in the evangelical movement got together in Madison, WI. I was privileged to be one of them. This was the first of several “younger leader gatherings” that the Lausanne movement is pulling together in each of the regions of the world. We started from the Cape Town Commitment document and broke into working groups that included business as mission, leadership development, unreached people groups, cities, theological education, and arts and media, where I found myself.
Tom Lin and the rest of the steering committee brought us together to consider how we see the work of the church from our roles with our churches and organizations. But the real beauty of this was the connections that formed in the hallways, during breaks, late at night, and over breakfast.
I met fantastic people. Bryce is leading a church way up in Canada and doing some cutting edge research. Chris is facilitating a conversation about who we are and who we should be. Bethany is making the case for justice work from a biblical framework. Matt is gathering together first hand observation and analysis from people on the ground all over the world. Emily is mobilizing people to care for vulnerable children. Jonathan is re-envisioning the church as gospel communities on mission, with a network of others. J.R. is leading a conversation about what our church cultures do to us and the potential of that, in his new book. And Tanya is traveling and teaching about God’s character to young adults.
These leaders—and knowing gatherings like this are happening around the world—give me hope.
What gives you hope for the next 40 years?