Lessons from a Global Gathering

This month I (Caleb) was able to attend Lausanne Movement’s Younger Leaders Gathering (YLG) in Jakarta. It was a privilege to gather with about 1000 leaders and mentors from over 140 countries around the world, and an honor to help facilitate the prayer room and evening of prayer during the event. The purpose of the gathering was to teach, pray, connect and collaborate with ministries around the world to propel global mission. After some reflection, here are a few key takeaways from the week:

  • Understanding God’s Story is a great cure for our idleness, idolatry, and infectiveness. During the gathering, we discussed the grand narrative of the Bible. It was powerful to see that the more we understand what God is doing, the more we are forced to step outside of ourselves and engage in missions.
  • All Mission is God’s. The Great Commission is impossible without the Holy Spirit! We (especially in the West) need to realize that God is the initiator and leader of all successful mission work. Therefore, we all need to wait, listen, and respond more. That is why prayer took such a central role during the gathering.
  • Globally, the church is succeeding despite challenges. Where we see the biggest opportunities in missions, there are also some of the biggest obstacles like persecution. But God is raising up incredible leaders who are making huge strides with the gospel and reaching the unreached.
  • Unity is not just a strategy, it is a part of God’s goal! This is a unique time in history when the church needs to be more unified than ever. We have to realize that we will not succeed alone because our unity affects both our progress and our testimony.
  • Our brothers and sisters need our involvement. We need to support our brothers and sisters around the world. Technology, communication, and transportation are making this possible, but we must engage with wisdom. It’s complex, so let’s enter every situation with humility, discovering how we can best serve the body of Christ.

Halfway through the gathering, during the evening of prayer, we all took a white stone and wrote what God is speaking to us. Then, at the end of the week, we took someone else’s stone to commit to prayer. To me, this is a beautiful picture of how God is fulfilling his mission through our diversity and unity. It is humbling to know that God is using people like you and me to reconcile the world to himself, but our confidence is in the Cornerstone who brings us all together. So, while our generation may have a huge task ahead of us, I am excited to see what the Lord will do!