Since 1974, the Lausanne Movement has mobilized thousands of believers and respected evangelical thinkers in countries across the globe. These gatherings, held every few years, have played a key role in helping to reframe the Christian mission in the context of an ever-changing political, economic and intellectual landscape and religious upheaval.
This month, the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering took place for the third time since 1987 in Jakarta, Indonesia. One thousand men and women from across 160 countries gathered to pray and discern together God’s direction of their generation for his global mission.
According to event organizers, the vision for YLGen extends beyond just those 1,000 participants. Emerging leaders across the globe who are passionately committed to God’s mission are challenged to do their part in strengthening the global church and its mission for decades to come.
But what does that mean for today’s emerging Christian leaders in the field of communications?
Richard Coleman, selection chair of the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering and senior director of mobilization and candidacy for The Mission Society challenged communicators to remember these three things:
1) We are not the center of the story. (Mark 1:7-8)
John the Baptist understood this. His story was only valuable to the degree that it was a part of the larger story. Our culture is filled with narcissism and self-centeredness. The “invention” of the ‘selfie’ and ‘like’ buttons has only driven this phenomenon. We as believers fall prey to this too. But it’s important to remember that there is someone greater than us. His name is Jesus.
Do the stories we tell point to him, or do they simply shine the spotlight on us–our abilities, our notoriety, our issues?
2) Preserve the dignity of your subject.
In an article published by Red Letter Christians titled “Now on the Red Carpet: Nikole Lim,” Lim (a photographer and filmmaker) discusses the importance of preserving the dignity of the subject and not just focusing on your need for a juicy story or compelling photo.
People are made in God’s image. Are we honoring God by the way we treat people?
3) Don’t aim low for the sake of profit.
I understand the desire and the pressure to grow your readership. Revenue is necessary. However, it is important not to compromise our values for the sake of revenue. I’ve seen pastors alter their message to tickle more ears and bring in more members and tithes. I’ve seen Christian schools become lukewarm in the process of obtaining grants. I’ve seen Christian artists become sexier because sex sells.
At the end of the day, will we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness knowing everything will be added to us; or will we aim low for the sake of profit?
For more information about the 2016 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering and Coleman, read “Rev. Richard Coleman of The Mission Society Identifies Future Evangelical Leaders” on the InChrist Communications website. To join the discussion, share your words of wisdom for Christian communicators with us in the comments section below or via Facebook or Twitter.