Growing Fruit on Someone Else’s Tree
Dr. Tim Tennent summarizes the recent Lausanne consultation that took place at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, MA:
One of the great things about Lausanne is that it is not an organization. It does not represent any church or school or any other organization. Lausanne is a networking movement which enables people to come together for strategic discussions, planning and collaboration. Doug Birdsall is the executive director of the Lausanne movement and a personal friend for many years. He was the driving force behind the Cape Town 2010 Lausanne event that brought together thousands of Christians in what has been called the most representative gathering of the global church in history. I asked Doug once about the secret of Lausanne’s success dating back to John Stott and the Lausanne covenant forged in Lausanne in 1974. I will never forget his reply: “Lausanne is not an organization, it is a movement. The success of Lausanne,” Doug said, “has been the commitment to grow fruit on someone else’s tree.” I have never forgotten that line. If there is any future in global theological collaboration, it will largely be determined by how deeply we are committed to growing fruit on someone else’s tree. In short, we must be kingdom focused. The kingdom must always trump denominational, organizational and institutional loyalties.
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