Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Lausanne Guest Post: Noel Piper
The Long Reach—Back and Forward—of the Lausanne Movement
I spoke with a couple one morning last week who are about my age—60-somethings. They said something like this:
We were stewards [volunteers] at the first Lausanne gathering in 1974. This time, it’s so different. Then, it seemed like the majority of delegates were older white men. Now it is men and women of every color from 198 nations.
Lausanne 1974 was a historic, amazing first step to what is happening now. This week we are with probably the largest number of Christian believers from the most countries of the world who have ever gathered in one place.
My husband’s parents were at the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in 1974. Evangelism had always been Bill Piper’s calling and passion and life. He had preached full-time all over the United States since he was a very young man.
In the years after Lausanne, we watched his ministry expand to include the world. He made a trip or two to countries in Africa.
His correspondence course ministry expanded across oceans. The “A” in ROGMA expanded from Rod of God Ministries in America to include countries in South America and Africa and Asia. When Europe and South Pacific area were added, the name became Rogma International. Local pastors, teachers, and ministers in each place were partners who sent out courses, received and graded completed work, and issued certificates. (Now the courses are offered online.)
Bill also converted a closet in his house to a studio where he recorded sermons and lessons to be broadcast in the Philippines.
When Johnny and I ministered in several places around the Philippines in 1987, we kept running into people who were thrilled to meet us because they had learned so much from Bill Piper and had been so blessed by him.
That is the story of just one couple from Lausanne 1974. All around us last week, connections were made. Eyes are being opened to a larger world. Only God knows what stories will be told in 20–30 years—stories that began at Lausanne 2010 in Cape Town.
Learn more about the life of Evangelist Bill Piper (1919–2007).
Pastor Sam Crabtree is Bethlehem's Pastor for Small Groups, North.