One year ago today was the opening of The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization: Cape Town 2010. 4200 Christian leaders, representing 198 countries, were gathered in Cape Town along with 1000 staff, stewards and volunteers. Many more thousands of leaders were set to participate through the Cape Town GlobaLink and Lausanne Global Conversation.
Were you there at Cape Town 2010? Did you participate in the Congress though the GlobaLink or Lausanne Global Conversation? I’d like to know your thoughts on the gathering and what you’ve been doing since the Congress. Please share your comments or thoughts below.
Doug Birdsall, Executive Chair of The Lausanne Movement says while it’s too soon to fully assess the impact of the Congress,
“It is appropriate that we take time to reflect and to discern evidence of ‘God on the Move’ since we gathered one year ago in South Africa.”
What has happened since Cape Town 2010? Where is The Lausanne Movement headed? Read Lausanne’s FAQs to learn more.
We hope to answer those questions and others during this Cape Town 2010 celebration week. Starting today and continuing through next Sunday we will be sharing anniversary reports on Cape Town 2010 and on Lausanne. Cape Town 2010 was a one-time gathering, but it’s a gathering that God has used to send ripples of re-energized mission and ministry throughout the world. I hope you will be as encouraged as I am as we not only look back, but also look forward to what’s in store for the next decade of ministry for Lausanne.
Cape Town 2010 has been called “undoubtedly the most representative body of the evangelical church ever assembled . . . of all church congresses, evangelical or not, at any time in history, it most closely approximates the demographic reality of Christian populations around the world.” (ChristianityToday.com, 20 October 2010)
The week leading up to Cape Town 2010 was one of fast and furious activity – last minute details, the arrival of our teams, settling into Cape Town and, most of all, being flexible. When opening day arrived, I was too busy working to comprehend what was really happening. Walking (hurrying!) around the Cape Town International Convention Centre, seeing the different nationalities and hearing the distinctive languages reminded me that yes, over 5000 people were gathered in Cape Town. Yes, our Communications team of 150 people (from more than 20 countries) was working diligently to prepare. Yes, this was an important meeting. However it really hadn’t settled in on me yet HOW important and unique this gathering was going to be. I was just too busy.
It’s easy to get so busy that we lose perspective; sometimes we only see what we’re looking for. As the Congress began, I knew in my head what was going to happen and what I was going to “see”, but it hadn’t yet reached my heart.
That changed through the kind, gentle persistence of Esther Brumme, our Lausanne Communications Multilingual Coordinator, who pushed me into the Cape Town 2010 Opening Ceremonies. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to attend. It was just that with “everything” going on behind the scenes, I felt I couldn’t step away and truly “be” in the opening session.
After some tugging both physically and emotionally, Esther led me into the session. And there, with a sense of awe, reverence and tears, my eyes were opened and my perspective changed. “Lord, thank you. Thank you for these men and women who have come to this place. Come to worship you. Come to serve you. Come to learn from you. Thanks for giving me a very, very small part in this gathering. And Lord, wow, I can’t believe that this is really happening!!” The thrill that ran through me at lifting my voice in praise to God with thousands of other believers will be an experience I’ll never forget. Something we had prayed for, worked for and planned for had finally come to pass – whether we felt like we were ready or not!
I hope you’ll pause today in the midst of whatever busyness you’re facing this Sunday – to truly worship the Lord and give him thanks for his love and faithfulness – and that he has brought you to this point in your life – whether you feel like you’re ready or not!
And I hope you’ll also take time this week to join the Cape Town 2010 anniversary celebration as we highlight moments of this historic meeting and as we thank God for what he did through the Congress and what he’s done in and through Lausanne over the past 12 months. Re-live portions of the Cape Town 2010 Opening Celebration or experience them for the first time through video here on the Lausanne website and see for yourself what God has done:
Cape Town 2010, Opening Celebration
(Complete Cape Town 2010 Video List)
This month, Lausanne World Pulse is also taking a look back at Cape Town 2010. Lindsay Brown, Lausanne’s International Director is Celebrating God’s Faithfulness. Lindsay says, “There is already evidence that many new partnerships are being forged in attempts to strengthen our global witness and reduce competition.” (Read more)
Read a longer update on what’s been happening in Lausanne since October 2010, including progress on the calls to action from The Cape Town Commitment and download a Lausanne Info Sheet.
Other helpful resources include:
Tomorrow on this blog, we’ll present reports from Ram Gidoomal, Lausanne Chairman of the Board, about Lausanne’s new governance structure and from Larry Russell, Lausanne Director of Younger Leader Development, who will give an update on Younger Leaders in the Movement.
As always, we welcome your comments and input.
Until tomorrow . . .