The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization opens in Cape Town this weekend, Sunday 17 October 2010. It draws together 4,000 invited participants from 197 nations, and extends through GlobaLink sites to 90 countries. The Congress theme is ‘God in Christ, reconciling the world to himself’ (2 Corinthians 5:19) and how to bear witness to Jesus Christ and all his teaching in every region of the world and every sphere of society.
The Lausanne Movement, founded by Billy Graham, is uniquely placed to gather evangelicals for a common purpose. The Congress will reaffirm the primary truths of biblical Christianity, and engage with critical issues set to face the Church over the next decade. These issues have been identified through consultations around the world. Doug Birdsall, Chairman of The Lausanne Movement, said: ‘We have worked to engage evangelical leaders on all continents. This is the first Congress of its kind in the digital age, and we’re praying it will herald a new moment for the Church.’
In this information age, traffic on the eight-language Congress website is expected to be high, and radio networks will relay programmes across Africa and Latin America, on the themes of the Congress.
The 1974 Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization produced The Lausanne Covenant, widely regarded as one of the most significant documents in recent church history. Reflecting on this, Archbishop Henry Orombi, Chair of the Africa Host Committee, declared: ‘Under God, the legacy of The Third Congress is up to us!’ The Cape Town Commitment: a statement of belief and a call to action, will be published out of the Congress. Dr Chris Wright, Director of Langham Partnership International, is the chief architect of the new statement, working in partnership with senior theologians from all continents.
Each of the six days of the Congress will begin with a study in Ephesians, led by pastor-theologians from around the world. ‘We will be studying Ephesians as a global community,’ said Blair Carson, Congress Director. ‘We want it to be a grounding for a whole new movement of communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ.’
John Stott and Billy Graham have sent personal greetings, assuring the Congress of their daily prayer. Both are now becoming frailer, but have lost none of their passion for Christ and his gospel. Billy Graham, reflecting on the huge scale of changes in the world, wrote from his home in North Carolina, ‘One of your tasks during Cape Town 2010 will be to analyze those changes, and to assess their impact on the mission to which God has called us in this generation.’
John Stott expressed his particular pleasure that the Congress is being hosted in Africa: ‘I pray that you will be able to share richly in the blessing God has poured out on the Church in that continent, as well as sharing in the pain and suffering of his people there.’
Participants in the Congress truly stand on the shoulders of giants.
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The Lausanne Movement is a worldwide movement that mobilizes evangelical leaders to collaborate for world evangelization. www.lausanne.org
(Via Christian Newswire)