Seven more months left until the third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization this year. World Christian representatives have begun preparing and engaging in active discussions on various key topics.
With the theme “God in Christ, Reconciling the World to Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19), Lausanne III will be held from Oct. 16-25 in Cape Town, South Africa. Over 4,000 Christians from 200 countries will convene for the conference. Besides this, millions of believers can participate in Cape Town 2010 through internet-based Cape Town GlobaLink at their churches and seminaries.
This year, Lausanne III will primarily explore the six major challenges that the global church and mission field are facing, including the challenge of new atheism, the impact of hedonism, the reality of Islam, the globalized world, the brokenness of our world, and the seismic shifts in global Christianity.
Furthermore, to encourage the participation of the world representatives, this year’s conference has set the Internet-based Lausanne Global Conversation. Prior to the conference, the organizing committee has published a series of 12 special-topic articles on Christianity Today and invited ministers and scholars from around the world to write blogs and to post comments and responses on the website.
Rev. Doug Birdsall, international director and chair of Lausanne committee, stated that while the majority of Christians now in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, the global leaders must together establish a new global equilibrium for the church whereby we relate to one another on the basis of our shared vision, our shared calling, our shared wealth and our shared poverty.
LCWE was initiated by world-renown evangelical preacher Dr. Rev. Billy Graham in 1974. At the first congress, around 2,700 evangelical leaders from 150 countries convened in Lausanne, Switzerland. Around 60 Chinese representatives participated, which included Dr. Rev. Thomas Wang, honorary chairman of Great Commission Center International and later the international director of Lausanne II. At the end of the first conference, one of the most influential Christian documents, Lausanne Covenant, was drafted, which left a long-lasting impact towards the vision of world missions.
According to sources, during the Lausanne II held in Manila, Philippines in July of 1989, 200 seats were reserved at the front of the conference for the Chinese church that were unable to participate, which showed the hope that the Chinese church can enter the fellowship of the world churches.
Moreover, according to reports from mainland, this year, over 200 Chinese ministers from China will participate in Cape Town 2010, which would finally fulfill their hope of gathering in one place with the world churches and holy saints, praying together, and shouldering the future. They believe that this is an opportunity that God has given the Chinese churches to step out, to run towards revival. In addition, they’ve issued a prayer requests: through the third Lausanne Congress, God can allow the believers in China to obey the Lord’s calling, step out in faith, receive the vision of doing missions in unity and bring back the fire of revival, hoping that the Chinese church and believers will experience revival.
[Editor's note: reporter Eunice Or contributed to this report.]