During our meetings in Malaysia, a commitment was also made to ensure that one third of the participants will be women. As this vision is translated into reality, it will set a new standard for the percentage of women participants in a global Congress on world evangelization.
As you can imagine, choosing just 4000 participants from the thousands of gifted Christian leaders around the world will be challenging. However, the Participant Selection Committee is developing a process that draws on the involvement of national and regional leaders. Regional committees and national nominating groups are being established under the leadership of the twelve Lausanne International Deputy Directors (IDD’s) who serve in twelve regions around the world. This process will ensure that participants will be carefully selected by people who know them best. It is our desire to convene 4000 participants who are deeply committed to world evangelization and who embrace the ideals of the Lausanne Covenant. These will be people who are making a distinctive contribution to world evangelization as missionaries and mission leaders, as pastors and teachers, as theologians and as leaders in colleges, universities and seminaries. The participants will also include those who are leaders in business, government, education, medicine and the arts.
Leadership and participation in the Lausanne Movement reflects these new realities. Whereas it once was true that the leadership for Lausanne came largely from the West, that is no longer the case. The Hosts for Lausanne III are Africans. The Program Chair is from the Middle East. The Participant Selection Chair is from Asia. The Advisory Council Chair is form Latin America, and the Chair of the Intercessory Group is from Australia.
We pray that at Cape Town 2010 the 4000 participants will provide a wonderful model of what it means to be part of the global body of Christ where every member of the body works in a coordinated and respectful manner with every other part of the body. As we come together to work on the issues that are before us with respect to world evangelization, we pray that there will be a sharing of gifts and experiences that result in greater strength and unity in the body of Christ and which finds expression in an “exchange of joy.”
Our recent days together in Malaysia were productive and memorable. I believe they began a process that will result in a global gathering in Cape Town that will bring encouragement to the church, hope to the world, and glory to God.
PS: Let me just add one additional word. I want to encourage you to continue to visit the Lausanne website and this blog to get information on Cape Town 2010. Also, if you haven’t done so already, sign up for the monthly Lausanne Connecting Point ENewsletter. We’ll provide regular updates on the Congress, the participant recommendation process and some exciting ways you can be involved virtually in the Congress.