Monday, 13 July 2009

A global people

Jesus, with global authority, gave us a global commission to be carried by a global people. The church in one country can never be self-sufficient, without need of the church in other countries in its mission. It is in that framework that the following press release is important:

"At its biennial leadership meeting in Korea in June, The Lausanne Movement named the expositors for Cape Town 2010. This Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, held in collaboration with the World Evangelical Alliance, will take place 16-25 October 2010.

"The Revd Doug Birdsall, Chairman of the Lausanne Movement, stated that the six Bible expositors will reflect the demographic, theological and cultural composition of Cape Town 2010.

"‘The Congress will be truly global while at the same time being distinctly African in nuance and feel. Two hundred years ago, William Carey proposed a congress of similar scope for Cape Town, South Africa. In a very real sense, Cape Town 2010 will be the fulfilment of his dream. Each day, the Congress programme will begin with expositions from the book of Ephesians. The six Bible teachers we have invited to Cape Town 2010 come from six different regions of the world and represent some of the finest Bible expositors of our generation.’

"The expositors have been named as Ajith Fernando, Director of Sri Lanka Youth for Christ; Calisto Odede, Associate Pastor of Nairobi Pentecostal Church, Kenya; John Piper , senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis , US; Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St Ebbe’s Church, Oxford, UK; Ruth Padilla DeBorst, General Secretary of the Latin American Theological Fellowship (Costa Rica); and Ramez Atallah, Director of the Egyptian Bible Society, and his wife, Rebecca, who has a grassroots ministry among children and Sudanese refugees in the ‘garbage village’ in Cairo.

"Lindsay Brown, Lausanne Movement International Director, spoke of his hopes for the Congress:

"‘We are hoping for clarity on the nature of evangelism; for clear-sightedness on the critical issues to be faced by the Church in the next 20 years; for many new international partnerships and initiatives such as characterise The Lausanne Movement; and for decisive action as the gospel is taken to the ends of the earth, by which we mean both the geographical ends of the earth, and every area of society.’

"The Congress will draw 4,000 participants onsite, from 200 nations. In addition, capacity is being built for virtual participation by churches and theological colleges around the world, through the Cape Town GlobaLink. From October this year, the Church on each continent is invited to join The Global Conversation at, the first of its kind to draw the world’s evangelicals together in engaging critical issues in world evangelization. Peter Brierley, founder of the UK body ‘Christian Research’ said, ‘I suspect this will be the best-planned, technologically-led global conference ever.’"

In the UK and the USA, undoubtedly we have celebrated various conferences and movements which have sprung up in recent years around the gospel. A friend rightly asked whether this isn't just one more conference for those who live off conference highs rather than in the real world and real, daily, weekly, church. But I'd suggest that is far too UK/USA-focussed. We do have excellent conferences which equip us for daily ministry and life focussed on Christ. We have churches, colleges, inter-church organisations and books which help prepare us for evangelism and world mission. But what of getting together from across the world, as hearers and do-ers of our Father's word? Weren't the ancient councils to address how to preach Christ for us and for our salvation, sharing together across the known world with its pressures of Greek cults, high philosophy, Islam, politics, and internal heresy? I look forward to hearing of the congress, and its subsequent influence in the world. The Lausanne Covenant, drafted by John Stott as an outcome of the 1975 conference, can be read here. You can see within it how they addressed key issues in evangelism in various parts of the world at the time.


Chris said...

thankyou for this rose!

Paul Levy said...

I might have misread it but do the expositors include women preachers at the main sessions?