The British Church should fix “mega mistake”, again send more young people cross culturally, former IFES, Lausanne head says

By Timothy Goropevsek |
OM Logos Hope Ship
Operation Mobilization's Logos Hope ship. | OM

In a recent conversation with Christian Daily International, Lindsay Brown spoke about new dynamics in global missions. While primarily talking about the Global South mission leaders’ desire to partner with the Global North, the former General Secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) and former International Director of the Lausanne Movement also touched on the current situation in his native Britain and called out what he believes to be a wrong missional approach.

“In Britain, my Anglican brothers, they better stop treating missions as if it is wonderful if somebody goes from the South of England to the North of England. They should send more people in their early 20’s cross culturally, just as they did in the 70’s,” he said.

“It has been a mega mistake to challenge so many young, gifted Anglicans to stay within England and only seek to contribute to the renewing of the Anglican church. They missed out big time.”

He argued that “they should send all these young people out oversees just for a year or two, just like people used to go in the 70s through Operation Mobilization (OM), YWAM, and so on, just as I went. I often think of my year with OM, after graduation, on the Logo in Africa was like a fourth year of university in preparing me for a lifetime of service in cross-cultural ministry.”

“We’re not doing that enough. We’re too myopic in focusing only on the British context, and we’ve got too much money, which we’re spending on larger church-based teams, and we’re keeping too many people at home,” he lamented.

“We should move them out and let them come back after a few years and they’ll have a more realistic notion of mission, and they’ll have a renewing impact on the life of the churches in the UK.”

“There needs to be a strategic shift among many British evangelical leaders. Global mission needs to become much more central. And the paradox is that as we send some of our best people out, so we will grow at home,” he said.

“We’re not doing enough of it. We’ve become myopic and we’ve become overly focused on our own culture and context.”

Updated June 16, with a few language improvements and minor corrections.