YLG2016: Opening Ceremony
The third Lausanne Young Leaders Gathering is happening in Jakarta. YLG2016 is a gathering of 1,000 younger leaders from over 160 countries who will connect, pray, and discern together God’s leading of their generation for his global mission. It’s a privilege to be here and to share my notes of the Opening Ceremony with you.
Why are we here, what is the vision?
- We are here because God is about to orchestrate divine connections for us to be here. We welcome the Spirit to bring birth to life long friendships, Gospel partnerships and more.
- We are here because God wants to speak to us. He is longing to speak to each one of us. Speak oh Lord for your servants are listening.
- We are here because our Father has given us a task that has not yet finished. The evangelistic cutting edge of the world is here tonight to see how it can fulfil Christ’s great missions as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
- Throw off anything that hinders: We might need to throw things off, cut things out this week.
- Run with perseverance: not just run, but run with perseverance, he knows it is a tough race. Perseverance is used 27 times in the NT, normally within the context of persecution.
- Fix our eyes on Jesus: after two moving metaphors he tells us to stay, to fix.
Live in Rome a few kilometres from the Colosseum, from where many Christians became martyrs. As I run in the area I could imagine the early Christians, those first martyrs in the stadium.
Grandfather grew up in a family in Brazil in real poverty. His first five siblings did not survive due to starvation. He was blessed with a great mind, became a Professor and enabled people to access schools. As I told my 6 year old son, I realized I was passing on the blessing to the next generation.
The father is inviting us to come close and hear his story, from generation to generation. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, including grandfather, and some from Lausanne 1974. One day like YLG 2006 we might be cheering on the next generation.
It will be a long but incredible week.
Although I am fluent in all 7 languages meaning I can say good evening in all of them I want to greet you in the name of Lord Jesus Christ who is Lord of all nations, and of all generations. I opened the 2006 YLG with these same words. Much there is that is different in the world and much that is the same. My 4 kids have become 5, my 12 years of marriage have now 22 years, I was 35 years in 2006, people tell me I look the same age or even younger, but I just wish I felt as young as I look, a few weeks ago I got a hearing aid! Even though my body is feeling old I am still young at heart. You may even see me wearing a Brazilian soccer shirt, on a scooter, trying to save precious minutes running from appointment to appointment.
Seeing you all like this my heart is gushing with joy. Ten years ago I was just like you, a younger leader with so many dreams, so many questions so much hope. I was a bit naïve I thought I knew a lot about the world and yet I didn’t know very much about myself. I can’t wait to see how God will use you in the next 10 years.
Welcome, I am so glad you are here. Your being here is the fruit of many prayer, by many people. One of 3,000 younger leaders who were nominated, and one of 1,000 young leaders invited. This event has taken three years to come to fruition. You have come so far to come, so committed and interactive in preparation. Thank you for being so well engaged.
For many of you one of the hardest aspects was the fundraising. Thank you for your perseverance. I am going to personally take time to thank each and every single person who enabled you to be here, when I get to heaven. Thankful to Scott Horton for his biblical wisdom for us all on fundraising, it is a biblical ministry. Jesus demonstrated it was core to his disciples, he could have provided from his carpentry, or do more miracles, but he chose to be supported by a group of women. He chose to be dependent on others, something we can also do, without shame, following in the footsteps of Jesus.
We were planning on hosting this in Ukraine, but due to political unrest we had to postpone the event. I reached out to Dr. James and Eileen Riady on a hunch never having met them. I wrote it on a plane to Vietnam. By the time I was boarding the plane to Cambodia, Eileen had written back and said yes. James and Eileen and their children are amazing examples of the 4th principle as impacting society for the gospel. Their two businesses have impacted the Vietnamese society hugely.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
Connecting generations to proclaim the gospel. Be it in the public square, or for those with disabilities, or 26% of the world’s population will be under the age of 14, by 2100 50% of the children under 18 will be African, but 700 million die of starvation, 1 billion are witnesses to violence, and millions are orphans. We have no future without our children, and they have no hope without the gospel.
This past year has been the most challenging of my life, days of desperate dependence on the Lord. Through this darkness and suffering the Lord has been sanctifying and refining me in very painful but very gracious ways. A reminder that God can only work through me when he is working in me.
Christ-like leaders: the formation of your character is at the core of our vision, hope and prayer for you. We cannot shape the future, but we can help to shape future leaders. Sanctified, redeemed, loveable, Christ transformed character. We each have natural weaknesses and God-given strengths, we need him to redeem our weaknesses and sanctify our strengths.
Many of the alumni from the 2006 YLG have received blessing through the Lausanne movement. This time we are more intentional in how we support and structure this through the launch of YLGen helping not just what you fulfil, but who you are:
- Connecting every leader with a mentor: In 2006 I asked Jim Chew to mentor me for prayer. For the last 10 years I have enjoyed the kindness and blessing of his prayer. You can sign up for mentor connect.
- Connecting every leader with a global connect group: either your group from YLG or a new issue group.
- Connecting you with an issue network: currently 35 groups working alongside nearly every area for global mission.
- Connect you with Lausanne movement in your region: Lars Dahle will be taking on this role to help you engage in one of the 12 regions.
- Connect you with strategic mission resources and teachings: we have a wealth of information so we want to help make them available and influence your strategies for evangelisation.
Welcome, we are here to serve you. The road ahead will not be easy, we are engaged in a battle that is taking place in the heavenly realms. Satan is not happy in this moment, but the Lord is rejoicing in singing over us at this moment. Let’s have an amazing week together.
Connected from all over the globe through Jesus.
They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
If we want to see growth this week, growth in the kingdom, we need to connect.