The Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering is a tight ship. The gathering is a product of 3 years worth of planning and preparation, and the 8 day conference is packed with incredible plenary sessions, workshops, and time for networking. Like most conferences of this sort, the attention and gratitude is often pointed to those standing under the bright spotlights that illuminate the front stage. To be sure, these men and women are worthy of honour and gratitude. They provide leadership before, during, and after the gathering, and their willingness to contribute their time and effort to see a representation of the global church gathered for a historic event like this is worth our applause and praise.
However, there are also those who don’t stand under the spotlights. They are the silent laborers and I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of these heroes throughout the week and their work is equally worthy of our praise. These are the volunteers in the blue vests who come different parts of the world (many of whom pay out of their own pocket in order to serve us!) just to serve us so that we can have the space and time to worship God, hear from Him, and connect with one another. They are the ones who welcomed us at the airport so that almost every 10m we see a smiling face telling us where to go next. They are the ones who smile at us every morning saying ‘selamat pagi’ or ‘good morning’ on our way to our morning sessions. They are the ones who serve us our food and they are the ones who direct us to our seats. They are the ones who answer our questions and they are the ones who stay up late to key in data or make preparations for the next day due to last minute changes.
These are the crew who make sure that this tight ship runs on time and in fashion and for that, we have so much to be grateful for.
It reminds me of the testimonies we heard from leaders of underground churches yesterday; that although the work and ministry of many may go unheard in this life, God knows them and will honor them accordingly. No doubt, many incredible things will come out of this gathering, and we are indebted to all these volunteers who love and serve us and who play a part in making these plans possible.