South Africa (MNN) — There's a saying that goes: "The
strength of your diversity is the strength of your unity."
It means that many parts can function well if they are
motivated under a common purpose. It's also a picture of the body of Christ,
united in making His name central. That's a driving force behind Cape Town 2010,
the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. It's a ten-day gathering that begins
Asian Access is just one group of hundreds participating. A2 President Joseph Handley says, "This event is
only held once every 15 to 20 years, so it's a significant event that will set
the course for world evangelization for the next decade or two."
What is the Lausanne Movement? It's a body formed from a movement aimed at "The Whole Church taking the Whole
Gospel to the Whole World." Lausanne III will take a cross-section of church leaders and help them figure out how to keep the Gospel at the forefront of
A little history:
1966–The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, in
partnership with America's Christianity Today
magazine, sponsored the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin.
1974–2,700 participants and guests from over 150 nations
gathered in the Swiss Alps for ten days of discussion, fellowship, worship and
prayer. The Congress achieved an unprecedented diversity of nationalities,
ethnicities, ages, occupations and denominational affiliations. Out of this meeting came the Lausanne
Covenant. It helped set the stage
for new collaborative efforts among Christians. To this day, the Lausanne Covenant serves as a basis for unity and a
call to global evangelization. Organizers got a mandate to establish a Continuation Committee that
would build on the momentum created at the Congress.
Continuation Committee held its first meeting in Mexico City. Committee members
expressed a wide variety of viewpoints regarding the future of the movement
2010–The goal of Cape Town 2010 is to re-stimulate the
spirit of Lausanne represented in the Lausanne Covenant: to promote unity,
humbleness in service, and a call to action for global evangelization.
Handley says, "We'll be sitting down together–there will be
4000 global leaders and delegates at the congress–discussing several key
issues, and kind of wrestling through the problems that we are
facing and how can we address them."
The issues run the gamut from bioethics to social justice to
spiritual warfare as they relate to the future of the Church and world evangelization.
Ministry leaders are hoping to draw on their strengths, work together
united under Christ, and become more effective.
While some leaders tend to shape their ministry approach
after a business model, there are others who promote a more relational model
within the context of the community. For everything there is a season. Cape Town 2010 will be a time for listening, building, helping, changing
and growing. For some, it means starting over.
It's a time for casting vision and figuring out how to make
that a reality. There's a lot of anticipation about
how this will look once the Congress concludes.
One thing is clear, Handley says: "At the end of the day, at
the end of this ten-day congress, we hope to come out with a greater sense of
unity in the body of Christ worldwide, a great sense of clarity for the Gospel,
and then finally, [a greater sense of] the top priorities of the task before us in reaching the world
There are challenges before Cape Town 2010. Some of them involve finances. Some involve spiritual warfare. Some are physical, with endurance tested in
keeping things moving forward for the delegates.
Momentous kingdom building strides were made at the last
Congress. "Pray for a sense of our own
centeredness in Christ; for peace and wisdom with all the things that are
coming our direction. And then, for us, as an Asian Access family, we have our
own financial and prayer needs as well. "
There are many ways you can participate. Not only can individuals watch proceedings on
the Internet, there will also be 400 anchor sites providing global links in 60
nations. Participants at theological institutions, mission sites, and churches
worldwide will be able to interact with those at the congress.