Thousands of young leaders are departing from Lausanne’s 2016 Young Leaders’ Gathering held in Jakarta, Indonesia. It was a strategic and thrilling time and LFM’s influence was felt clearly! Mark Slaughter, an evangelist with IVCF, penned this letter to Leighton and Jean Ford from the conference. Enjoy, and be thankful!
Leighton,Warm (and humid!) greetings to you from the Younger Leaders Gathering in Jakarta! I’ve thought of you daily since I’ve been here and wanted to update you. I know how badly you would like to be here, but even though you are not here physically, rest assured you are here in prayer, spirit, and in influence.We enjoyed a wonderful meal and sharing together with LFM and Apple Hill alumni, courtesy of LFM. Thank you very much! The pre-conference Mentor Training was outstanding. Anne Grizzle, Mary Kate Morse, & Raphael Anzenberger, and Ole-Magnus led us extremely well! Others here include Alan Stamp, Una Lucey-Lee. The mentors entered in and tremendously appreciated the training. While you are not here physically, your influence and impact is certainly here physically in so many “Aspens” investing in these amazing young leaders! I’ve enjoyed finally meeting Roland Werner and Steve Abbott from the Point Group, and seeing Susan Perlman again!In the opening ceremony, I was moved as they showed video clips from Lausanne through the years – Billy Graham’s opening address in ’74, Bishop Jack Dain, John Stott, you in Manila, and several more. This Younger Leader Planning Team has honored the past and introduced younger leaders to the Lausanne Movement, while creating cutting-edge opportunities for examining today’s missiological issues.Our corporate worship is clearly multi-ethnic, multi-national, and multi-lingual as younger leaders passionately worship the Lord and Jesus is exalted. We are immersed in Scripture throughout the sessions, being “United in the Great Story” of redemption, while exploring our own stories through story boarding and drawing them, and then seeing where our stories fit into God’s grander Missional story! Last night Ravi Zacharias gave another amazing message on “The True Story” along with Nick Hall and others.Small groups are processing content, practicing Holy & Wholly Listening, and praying for each other. As I read the profiles of the 6 leaders in our group weeks ago, I was profoundly moved by their stories, faith, humility, teach ability, and significant ways God is working through them now. Our group alone includes a woman who’s a former atheist from Alabama who’s been a medical missionary in Cambodia, a former Atheist now pastor of a growing Vineyard church in Amsterdam, a woman who is co-pastor of a church in New Zealand, a pastor from Ghana, and a MBB. What a privilege to walk on such holy ground this week, listening to their stories and helping them pay attention to God’s stirrings in their souls!I hope this is encouraging to you and Jeannie. Please pray for all of us mentors (nearly 200) to listen well both in our groups and in individual appointments where people sign up with us. For example I have nearly 20 leaders who’ve signed up with me, plus others from my small group and spontaneous people I meet.
It’s such a joy to see so many whom God is raising up in their generation to build off the past, walk with God deeply in the present, and lead the cause of Christ into the future.On behalf of the mentors, thank you for investing in all of us. I’ve attached for you a picture I took this morning portraying LFM & YLG, which I hope encourages you and your “artist’s heart!” I will do my best to be your eyes and ears some this week when able, and certainly afterwards. Personally, it’s also been a sacred journey for me, watching God orchestrate a new chapter in my own calling of evangelistic preaching and mentoring… much of which we discussed 5 years ago on a personal retreat!Blessings to you and Jeannie!Mark