The 5th International Lausanne Researchers’ Conference took place in the Geelong Conference Centre just outside Melbourne, Australia, 8-12 April. It was attended by 67 delegates representing every continent. This kind of gathering can only be good for the Kingdom of God and in terms of outcome and was probably the most fruitful of the various Researchers’ Conferences held so far.
Altogether, 33 papers were presented reflecting research that is currently ongoing by the different members who attended. These papers can be found on the website for the Lausanne Researchers’ International Network
which was formed during the conference. This is in effect a Lausanne Special Interest Group dedicated to research but open to all who are interested in researching mission, the church, Christianity and other religions in the context of evangelism in the world of today. There was a special emphasis at this Researchers’ Conference on research about youth and their spirituality; a number of people specifically addressed this topic. The opportunity was also taken for some 20 different organisations working in research in different ways around the world to present something of their opportunities.
The conference was chaired by Rev Dr Philip Hughes, Executive Director of Christian Association in Australia, who, together with his team, were responsible for putting the conference together and ensuring the event went smoothly. An excellent opportunity for fellowship was taken by making space in the programme to go on tours of the beautiful parts of Australia near to where we were staying. This, together with the delightful ambiance of the Geelong Conference Centre (Salvation Army) where we were located, helped to make this an enjoyable, stimulating, and important gathering to think through some of the issues which confront us in terms of our research work.
Enthusiasm for the conference was high. Some of those present were reasonably new to research while others had been doing research for many years, giving an opportunity to share methodology and experience. We also had time to think through from the detail what the implications are of some of the findings emerging for some of the research.
The 6th Lausanne International Researchers’ Conference is now being planned, probably for April 2011, hopefully in Brazil.
For those requiring more detail, please refer to the web site www.lrin.org
Written by Peter Brierley, Lausanne Senior Associate for Research