Thomas Wang was born into a third-generation Christian family in Beijing, China. He became a Christian at age 11, and at age 30 visited ten European countries as a traveling evangelist. Inspired by the 1974 Lausanne Congress, he and 69 other Chinese church leaders began a movement of evangelism among Chinese churches around the world.
This led to the formation of the Chinese Coordination Center of World Evangelism (CCCOWE), based in Hong Kong. Wang directed CCCOWE for ten years before becoming international director of the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. He discussed his role in the Lausanne movement with CHRISTIANITY TODAY.
What are your hopes for Lausanne as you prepare for the 1989 meeting?
I hope we can intensify relationships in the eight regions around the world where we are operating, so that Lausanne can get its message to the grass roots. Also, If Lausanne is to be truly international, both North Americans and Lausanne people in other parts of the world must recognize that Western culture is not the only culture, nor is the North American way the only way.
Do you anticipate closer working relationships with other evangelical bodies, such as World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF)?
Not in the organizational or merger sense. But we will work together, as we have in the past, on various events. WEF is an affiliation of churches and organizations. We come as individuals, with a focus on evangelism.
How will the Lausanne ’89 participants be chosen?
There will be about 4,000 participants and 2,000 observers, media people, workers, and special guests at Lausanne. We are seeking an increased percentage of young people and women—more than in 1974.
Local committees around the world will nominate the participants, in accordance with the guidelines of the Congress Participation Selection Committee.
Nominating committees will look for people who are burdened for evangelization and will go back to their own countries and do something about it. We will look for participants who understand and agree with the Lausanne Covenant.
What motivates you to carry out this work?
I am an old-fashioned preacher and a believer in the blood atonement of Christ. I believe sinners need regeneration through Christ. I believe the Bible—from beginning to end—is the inspired Word of God.
I uphold the Cross and understand its reproach. I am not ashamed of the gospel. I am drawn to Lausanne because it is a movement of hope and biblical faith. By God’s grace, it will stay that way.
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