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Category: Global-Church Collaboration

The Lausanne Movement: Collaboration & Content

The Lausanne Movement: Collaboration & Content

I am taking a moment to unashamedly promote a great resource that is under-utilized and generally unknown among the evangelical, missions-minded world. The Lausanne Movement has been at the forefront of developing both innovative and biblical missiology since the 1970s. I serve as the Deputy Director for Collaboration and Content at Lausanne, and in my editing/curating, I regularly discover wonderful articles and essays that deserve consideration.

On the website there are many great resources. Here are a few places to start:

  • The About page is a must-read for understanding the breadth and depth of The Lausanne Movement and its contribution to evangelical missions.
  • Check out everything in the Content Library.
  • The Lausanne Global Analysis, published bi-monthly, describes itself as seeking “to deliver strategic and credible information and insight from an international network of evangelical analysts to equip influencers of global mission.”
  • The Lausanne Occasional Paper section contains scholarly papers by leading evangelical, missions-minded thinkers and practitioners addressing issues related to global mission.
    • In the Content Library there are other multimedia resources and tools for education and the local church.
  • Another great resource for global collaboration is the link for Connections. In this section there are numerous networks for global Christian leaders to find others who are serving in similar regions with like-minded ministry vision.

Here is a short video describing The Lausanne Movement in 100 seconds:

Author Interview: Burns on Judson

Author Interview: Burns on Judson

On February 15, 2017, Dr. Marv Newell, Senior VP of Missio Nexus, aired an interview of Dr. Evan Burns, highlighting the new book: A Supreme Desire to Please Him: The Spirituality of Adoniram Judson. The mission of Missio Nexus is to advance the effectiveness of the Great Commission community in North America in global mission. Here is the audio interview:

Four Essential Traits of a Cross-Cultural Urban Christian Mission Agent (P2)

Four Essential Traits of a Cross-Cultural Urban Christian Mission Agent (P2)

For the followers of Christ to effectively obey the Great Commission to preach the gospel into all the world and make disciples of all the nations, it is indispensable, indeed, for an urban Christian mission agent to have a cross-cultural, multilingual mindset.

We already mentioned in the first part of this discussion two of the four habits of the mind that a cross-cultural urban Christian mission agent should develop, namely:

  1. A passionate love for the Triune God and a strong love for people. (Matt 22:36-40)
  2. A healthy self-love and self-esteem in Christ. (Rom. 12:1-3)

Equally important with the first two traits, the next two are a must have as well.

  1. An attitude of lifelong learning and open-mindedness is an essential attribute of a fruitful urban mission agent of change.
    1. As a lifelong learner, he continues to develop and expand his competencies in evangelizing, establishing and equipping of the saints and re-think these ministry skills from a different cross-cultural perspective. He will learn the biblical and contextualized ways of ministering to men, women and children of different cultural backgrounds.
    2. When the urban discipler is humble, teachable and open-minded, he’ll do everything in his power to be diligent in learning the language and studying the cultural milieu of his target ethnic groups. He will learn of their ways of thinking, communicating and doing things. In fact, he, with an open mind and a learner’s heart, can learn a lot of life lessons from these international immigrants whom he seeks to reach out and minister.
  1. A teacher-developer-capacity builder mindset is absolutely necessary for an urban Christian ‘missionary’ to be effective in reaching the metropolitan dwellers of different socio-economic, educational, cultural, work and family backgrounds.
    1. For the urban missionary to be able to effectively evangelize, establish and equip people, he should have the creative ability to do and teach the Scriptures from the spiritual milk of the very basic presentation of the Gospel of Christ to the more spiritual solid food of the reign of the Triune God through all eternity (Heb. 5:12; 1 Cor. 3:2).
    2. It is only through the Spirit-empowered teaching and learning of the Word of God can lives be truly transformed. Besides the knack of teaching one-on-one, small group or a large crowd, the urban Christian worker should be passionate in developing disciplers, training disciplemakers and raising leaders from among the people of his target international ethnic groups. (2 Timothy 2:2)

Indeed, there could be more of the important traits and mindsets needed for urban Christian workers, disciplers and lay leaders to have. But anyone can’t do without these four essentials.

Chiang Mai: What Could Have Been

Chiang Mai: What Could Have Been

How would Chiang Mai City of Thailand be described if it were the city that could-have-been, the city that-is and the city that-will-be?

In Dr. Roger Greenway’s book, Cities: Missions’ New Frontier, and in his audio-taped lecture for the course on Urban Mission and Ministry, he fascinatingly described three city scenarios. The three contrasting scenarios include the cities that-could-have-been without the Fall of Man, the city that-will-be in Revelation 21 and the cities-that-are with all their fallen characteristics, quirks and beauty and all their expressions of God’s common graces despite all of the ill-effects and deathly damages caused by Adam’s sin. The beautiful cities and their holy inhabitants of the could-have-been past and the New Jerusalem of the future are indeed magnificent descriptions of the things that God wants done through His people for this sinful world and all of its dwellers.

Seeing a vision of Chiangmai city that could have been and what it will be can fire up a Christian’s heart. It will, as well, ignite the passion and the compassion of many believers and Christian workers for Chiangmai and the whole of Thailand and all of their populace of today. Chiangmai (which means New City in English) and, of course, all of the cities and provinces of Thailand and all of their native and foreign residents and guests can be viewed more differently and with great hope and compassion.

What would Chiangmai be like if the Fall of Man did not happen at all? How will Chiangmai be described if it is ‘incorporated’ in the New Jerusalem of the Lord God’s new heaven and new earth?

With God’s common graces still filling this fallen planet, Chiangmai, like all of the other modern cities, is still a livable and habitable place. Mountain ranges surround the ‘New City’ with Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest mountain, stands tall and proud like the city’s populace. It is nested quite comfortably within the tropics with 70% of the province covered by mountains and vegetation. (See here).

Imagine Chiangmai that-could-have-been without the ill effects of the Fall. How wonderful would it be to see that its 1.5 million people could have been worshippers of the only true God and the Lord Christ. The more or less than 300 Buddhist temples in Chiangmai with all of their intricate architecture and creative designs would have been splendid temples of the Lord Jesus filled with God’s “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of His own possession who proclaim the excellencies of the Almighty” (1 Peter 2:9).  The 1.5 million souls would have lived and moved and had their beings – loving the Triune God and one another; seeking each other’s interests and well-being and serving one another with pure intentions and joyful motivations. The Chiangmai that could have been without the damning effects of the Fall and the Chiangmai that will be with the new earth should be a city without the impoverished, the exploited and the exploiters. Chiangmai would have been filled with holy men, highly respected women and honorable noble children. There wouldn’t have been 70,000 to 2.8 million sex workers nationwide – most of whom are young girls from the North and the Northeast recruited to prostitution and sex slavery. In the Chiangmai that could have been and will be, there would be no HIV/AIDS victims and victimizers. There would have been no inefficient social services of the local government. There would have been no corruption in the police force which help facilitate the rapid growth of sex tourism in the city. In God’s holy city of Chiangmai, there would have been no “visiting of prostitutes which is seen as a male bonding experience, and many Thai men think it natural to entertain business clients and friends by taking them to brothels.” There would have been no heart-rending data such as “A study at Chiang Mai University found that, in Thai society, boys begin to buy women when they are around 13 years old; 50 percent of 16-year-old boys and 90 percent of university students go to brothels” (see here). These sex-crazed fornicators, adulterers and idolaters would have been non-existent in a Chiangmai that could have been without the Fall. Nothing unclean would have been in the city nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:27)

In the Chiangmai that could-have-been, the genius and creative powers of its residents would have been all displayed in great splendor to the honor and praise of God and to the joy and Shalom of every man, woman and child. “Craftsmanship, technology, arts and all potentials of human genius without the devastating effects of sin would be awesome creations of the image bearers of God – interacting, complementing, producing everything good in the city” (Greenway, Audio-Lecture #2).

Chiangmai could have been God’s dwelling place – a magnificent God-honoring cultural center and a  temple city – with all of its 1.5 million inhabitants acting, reacting and interacting for the praise of God’s glory (Ephesians 1:3-14).  Only pure love and no lust at all; only holy joy and no sorrow at all; only true peace and no conflict and sin at all and only life and perfect health and no death and pain and mourning at all should have ruled and filled the people and their city. (Revelation 21:3-4) Oh, that Chiangmai and all of its inhabitants are of the new heaven and the new earth! Oh, that they may know Him, love Him and serve Him – the only true God and the Lord Jesus Christ whom He has sent! Oh, that God will dwell with them and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God! (Revelation 21:3) Blessed, indeed, are the people who dwell in the holy city of God and live with the Triune

1 Corinthians 13 as an ESOL Teacher

1 Corinthians 13 as an ESOL Teacher

I’d like to present my take on First Corinthians 13. I wrote this as a Christian ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teacher and presented this as part of my workshop presentation in the ACSI International Christian Educators’ Conference in South Korea. I feel it is appropriate to include it in this paper as I have sought to apply 1 Corinthians 13 in my work and my ministry contexts.

The Greatest in TESOL is …
(Adapted by Dr. A Morelos from 1 Corinthians 13)

1)  If I can speak in each of the tongues of my ESOL students and express myself in their first languages, but have no hint of love for them in my heart, I am only a loud and resounding chatter or a clanging cymbal.

2)  If I have the gift of making them all learn to speak English like native speakers and can help them fathom all of the reading strategies and all of the writing conventions and intricate processes of ESL acquisition, and if I have faith that can turn them into fluent speakers, readers and writers, but have not sought their well-being and there’s no trace of love for them in my soul, I am nothing.

3)  If I give to the ones people label as “limited and underachieving” all that I know and devote my time, energy and maximum effort to improve their English proficiency, but have no love in my thoughts for them, I literally gain nothing.

4)  Love is patient to all – to the achievers, the mediocre ones and the slow learners. Love is kind to each of them. Love does not envy other teachers.  It does not boast of his ESL qualifications; it is not showy and proud of his own ESOL credentials.

5)  Love is not rude – even to the rude ones. Love is not self-seeking but seeks the welfare of all, most particularly the struggling and the deficient.  Love is not easily angered by those who learn slow or easily annoyed with those who act silly.  It holds no record of biases and discrimination but only of what is right and pure and helpful.

6-7)  Love does not delight in seeing EL learners fail but rejoices with every progress they’re making.  Love always protects the dignity of his ESL students, always believes in their potential and trusts in their capacities to learn, always hopes for their bright tomorrow, always perseveres till each one of them succeeds in school and in life.

8)  Love never fails. But where there are L2 acquisition hypotheses, they will cease; where there are multiple intelligences, they will be stilled; where there is a solid linguistic theory, it will pass away.

9-10)  For we know our ESOL children in part and we help them achieve in part, but when our love for them blooms to the full, the imperfection of our dealings with them disappears.

11)  When I was a newbie ESOL teacher, I talked like a newbie, I thought like a newbie, I reasoned like a newbie. When I became a more loving and mature ESOL mentor, I set aside my negative attitudes and ethnocentric ways away.

12-13)  Now we see but a poor reflection of what our ESL students can fully become; and in the near future, we shall see them become great movers of good deeds and leaders and doers of what is truly beautiful, honorable and right. Now I know them in part; then I shall know fully of what they will become, even as I am fully known. At the end of the day, only one of these three remains: research-based L2 theories, best ESOL practices and the attitude of pure and persistent love.

But the greatest of these and the only one that truly remains in their hearts and ours is love.