The Lausanne Regional Consultation on Media and the Gospel was held in Kristiansand, Norway 7–11, November 2012.It was a privilege to host and chair The Regional Consultation on Media and the Gospel at Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication in Kristiansand, Norway.1 This brief report from the Consultation outlines key facts, features and recommendations with a concluding section on the way forward.
- The Consultation gathered around 25 key participants, primarily from Western Europe but also with representatives from Eastern Europe, Eurasia, The Middle East, USA and Australia. There was a wide spectrum of ministry contexts present, representing both “media awareness”, “media presence” and “media ministries” (cf. The Cape Town Commitment).
- The Consultation had a double function, both as a strategic learning community for the participants themselves and as an agenda-setting and advisory community for Lausanne International.
- The various contributions on media and the gospel to The Global Conversation during the month of November should also be seen as supplementary to the proceedings of the Consultation itself.
- Gimlekollen Extension and Consultancy Department served as facilitators for the Consultation. Tony Watkins from Damaris UK (and Adjunct Faculty at Gimlekollen) served as secretary of the Consultation. Bjørn Hinderaker (Faculty at Gimlekollen) served as Bible reader. The Consultation received significant funding from Norwegian Lutheran Mission and Norea Media Mission, which we gratefully acknowledge.
- The Consultation was characterized by a real willingness – in the spirit of Lausanne – to listen and learn from each other as participants, across various geographical and ministry contexts.
- Most participants expressed that, having such a wide spectrum of Christian media people present, with so many different media roles and arenas represented, was a unique occasion.
- Many participants expressed their gratefulness for having Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication as the arena for this specific consultation, since “Gimlekollen clearly is deeply concerned both with media awareness, media presence and media ministries”.
- The members of the Consultation strongly affirmed the emphases in The Cape Town Commitment on “media awareness”, “media presence” and “media ministries”. It was a unanimous recommendation from the participants to work towards one future global consultation with perspectives, themes and participants from all these three areas, but also with the possibility of including breakout sessions for each of these areas. Thematically, Media and the Gospel: A Call to the Global Lausanne Community should be seen as agenda-setting for the future global consultation.
- It seemed to be a widespread opinion among the participants to advise Lausanne International to aim for a global consultation with
- a date between November 2013 and June 2014
- a location with a reasonable cost level, with easy global access, and with a minimum of visa problems2
Moving forward towards The Global Consultation
- In terms of moving forward towards The Global Consultation, it seems essential to partner with key evangelical “players” within each of the three thematic fields. These should probably include (but not be limited to) the following groups and organizations:
- Gimlekollen, Damaris and Family & Media (Norway) in the area of “media awareness”
- News media-related organizations such as Gegrapha, The Media Project and Lapido Media as well as entertainment media-related organizations such as Hollywood-based evangelical groups and Damaris UK in the area of “media presence”
- Classical broadcasters (such as TWR and SAT-7), new internet / new media ministries (such as e.g. Jesus.net and its partner organizations), as well as innovative media initiatives in local churches in the area of “media ministries”
- If considered appropriate by Lausanne International and given some external funding, Gimlekollen is willing to continue our key involvement, whether the need would be in strategic, programming or facilitating roles. This may also include producing written or online resources, as well as the possibility of designing and launching key initiatives in the areas of education (whether formal or informal), research and development.
Let me finish this brief report by thanking everyone who prayed for the Consultation. We really felt God’s presence, uniting us in Christ and allowing us to benefit richly from each other’s insights and experiences. This is clearly evident from Media and the Gospel: A Call to the Global Lausanne Community. Let’s pray that this key document may serve as an appropriate platform for the way forward.
With gratefulness for partnership in the Gospel,
Kristiansand, 10th January 2012
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