Senior leaders of the Lausanne Movement gathered in Buenos Aires in June to continue preparations for Cape Town 2010: The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (CT2010), to be held 16-25 October 2010. The meetings were hosted by Dr Norberto Saracco, Lausanne International Deputy Director for Latin America. Pastors and theologians from several Latin American countries joined the Lausanne leadership team for several days, sharing insights into the state of the Latin American church. The meeting with the Latin American leaders is part of an ongoing intentional process by Lausanne to meet with national and regional leaders to gain their wisdom and insight into the issues of paramount importance to the church worldwide.
Dr Rene Padilla, Argentinean senior statesman, observed that the past 40 years has produced Latin American theologians and writers, and that whereas in the 1970s most Christian books were translations from ones in the West, there is now a strong indigenous body of Latin American writers and teachers.
Latin American leaders also shared that while their society is increasingly mirroring the West; the Latin American Church has grown by 70% in the past decade and still retains a distinctive joyfulness and generosity of spirit. Its evangelistic passion has driven a deep desire for justice in society, and a growing number of missionaries are crossing borders within the Continent and also going to Europe and Africa. Some 20,000 Latin American missionaries are currently serving outside their home country. Overwhelmingly, the leaders agreed that much emphasis is now needed on discipling young Christians and helping them form a Christian world view toward political, environmental and economic issues as well their family life.
Bishop Hwa Yung of Malaysia, Chair of the CT2010 Participant Selection Committee, says the number of participants from each country at CT2010 will reflect the size of the national Church in each country, including those countries from Latin America. Of the 4,000 CT2010 participants, two-thirds will come from the non-western world, 60 %will be under 50 years old, and 35 % will be women. Plans are also underway for many more Christians around the world to take part in the Congress online and in national meetings before and after the Congress.
The Revd Doug Birdsall, Lausanne Executive Chair, says the time is right for a world Church Council such as CT2010, given the current crises both internally and externally in the church. Consultations to identify key issues will continue in locations around the world until October 2008 when the programme will be finalised during a meeting of the CT2010 Leadership Team.