Lausanne Congress – Outcomes and Future

Below is a summary report about the Congress from the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization.

Our Lausanne board will be meeting in January to develop more specific plans.

Third Lausanne Congress closes with ringing call to action
Cape Town, South Africa

The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization closed October 26 in Cape Town, South Africa, with a ringing call to the Church. This Congress, perhaps the widest and most diverse gathering of Christians ever held in the history of the Church, drew 4,000 selected participants from 198 nations. Organizers extended its reach into over 650 GlobaLink sites in 91 countries and drew 100,000 unique visits to its web site from 185 countries during the week of the Congress.

“Our vision and hope was firstly for a ringing affirmation of the uniqueness of Christ and the truth of the biblical gospel; and a clear statement on evangelism and the mission of the church – all rooted in Scripture,” said Lindsay Brown, Lausanne Movement International director, in his closing address. “The evangelical church has rightly put an emphasis on bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to every people group, but we have perhaps been a little weaker in our attempts to apply biblical principles to every area of society, and to public policy: to the media, to business, to government. We need to engage deeply with all human endeavour – and with the ideas which shape it.” The Congress included an Executive Leadership Forum and a Think Tank for leaders in Government, Business and Academia. “There is a groundswell of conviction,” said Brown, “that greater concerted effort is needed to apply biblical truth in these arenas.”

The Cape Town Commitment, a declaration of belief and a call to action, will stand in the historic tradition of The Lausanne Covenant, which was issued from the 1974 Congress, held in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Lausanne Covenant became widely-regarded as one of the most significant documents in recent church history. The Lausanne Movement, since its founding by U.S. evangelist Billy Graham, has worked to strengthen evangelical belief, and to reawaken the evangelical church’s responsibility in God’s world. The Cape Town Commitment is therefore in two parts. The first part, a Trinitarian statement, fashioned in the language of love, is the fruit of discussion by senior evangelical theologians drawn from all continents. This is available now on the Lausanne web site, The consequent call to action, shaped from discussion at the Congress around critical issues facing the Church over the next 10 years, will be completed by December. It is expected to engage in principle with such issues from all parts of the world. Chris Wright, International director of Langham Partnership International (John Stott Ministries/USA) is chief architect.

“We would like The Cape Town Commitment to be seen as ‘a gift to the local church from representatives of the global church,'” said Doug Birdsall, chairman of The Lausanne Movement. He then outlined the Board’s plans for the movement’s future: “First: to stay light on its feet, remaining agile in its ability to respond to new challenges and opportunities. Second, to be strong theologically, firmly rooted in Scripture and nourished by the best reflection on how we take the Word to the world. Third, to provide a reliable and credible contribution to Christian discussion and mission. Fourth, to keep a focus on identifying and developing younger leaders. And fifth, to be strategic in gathering the right people at the right times in the right places.

“Lausanne gatherings will breathe oxygen into the fire that sparks more fires, and track progress made on the priorities established in Cape Town,” he said. Birdsall sketched out plans for a series of Davos-like gatherings, drawing thought leaders from the Church and from mission agencies, from government, business, and academia. The first is planned for June 2012.

The Lausanne Movement is rooted globally under regional leadership around the world. The funding for the Congress had been raised from all regions, and from a “healthy combination” of significant major gifts and many smaller gifts, often sacrificially-given.

The Congress extended to an estimated audience around the world of a further 100,000 people through its GlobaLink sites. It was also possible to participate virtually. Prior to the Congress, The Lausanne Movement launched a multi-lingual online Lausanne Global Conversation to begin the discussion process. This was complemented by a series of radio programs in countries in the Global South. The Global Conversation, the first of its kind, has gained significant momentum and will continue. A round-the-clock team mined the data of all responses throughout the Congress, despite the Congress web site being brought down for the first two days by malicious attacks.

“The local church is God’s chosen locus of service and evangelism,” said Doug Birdsall. The Congress closed with a celebration of Holy Communion, led by Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi of Uganda. For this, 100 communion sets had been borrowed, each from a local church. “These represent the remembering of Christ’s death across many nations,” Birdsall continued. “We are a global movement, committed to the local church.”

Cape Town 2010 was held in collaboration with the World Evangelical Alliance, which includes the National Association of Evangelicals, of which the Church of the Nazarene is a member.

The Lausanne Movement is a worldwide movement that mobilizes evangelical leaders to collaborate for world evangelization. For more information, please go to

A Pepsi and M&M Break

Just received a report that I’ve never before seen about our campus…..a vending machine report.

For the first eight months of this year, we sold 26,000 drinks in our vending machines. The top choices……Aquafina, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew.

During that same time, we sold 38,000 snacks. The top choices…..M&M Peanut, Snickers, Twix.

The busiest machines……Irby Hall, followed by Wells/Robertson.

The Brown Bottling Group provides our campus drink and snack services, and does a great job….while keeping our costs affordable for students.

Lausanne Congress

I’ve just returned from 12 days in Cape Town, South Africa, where I was attending the Lausanne Congress which brought together 4,300 evangelical leaders from 196 countries. It was a remarkable event, and a beautiful city.

Made some new, and very exciting partnerships for Belhaven University. Will share them with you soon.

During my 25 year involvement in the leadership of the Lausanne Movement, I’ve watched the Church globally shift from deep divisions, mistrust, and infighting, to this Congress, where there was demonstrated an overwhelming spirit of harmony, commitment to evangelism, and care for the needs of a suffering world.

Many of the tensions of the past have been healed, and subsequently, there was a greater urgency than ever for the Gospel because of God’s people coming together to work in cooperation.

The Congress was also a sobering reminder for the western Church that persecution of Christians continues with great intensity around the world, and the challenges are complex for the Gospel to reach through the structural barriers of mega-cities, oppressive governments, and class based economic systems.

In the coming days I’ll write more in reflection about the Congress (right now, getting over the 32 hour trip home). But here are some facts about the Congress to help you get a picture of who attended. (I serve as Treasurer for Lausanne and on the Board of Directors.)


4,250 Participants from 196 countries

· 65% from Africa, Latin America and Asia

· 40% under the age of 50

· 30% women in ministry leadership

150 national and regional selection committees working over the last two years to select participants to represent the demographic, theological and cultural realities of the Church around the world

350 Special Guests from the Vatican, World Council of Churches, the Orthodox Communions, African Indigenous Churches and the China Christian Council

1,150 Staff, Media Stewards and Volunteers

643 GlobaLink sites registered in 92 countries enabling more than 100,000 additional people to participate through the internet links. (The GlobalLink did not work for the first three days because of a cyber attack from an outside source trying to limit the Congress message.)

8 official languages—Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian

240 speakers and presenters in plenary sessions and “multiplex sessions” all simultaneously interpretedion 8 languages—all edited, translated and broadcast to 643 sites within five hours of original presentation. No speaker was given more than 15 minutes to assure that many were heard and that collaborative learning took place in discussion groups.

$16,500,000 – Congress budget (we had $800,000 yet to raise when I left for home).

3,660 Volunteers and Staff have worked on one aspect or another of the Congress preparations over the last three years.

Miner Shirts . . . For Sale?

I’ve had so many notes back asking where you could buy one of those shirts, so I wrote my friend Steve Douglass, the president of Campus Crusade for Christ, and told him of your response to the post.

I encouraged him to find a way to get them for sale, and you may want to watch the Campus Crusade for Christ web site to see if that happens.

I’ll be with Steve on Sunday at a meeting and will talk to him then as well.

Chilean Miners and the Jesus Film

A few minutes ago the last of the 33 miners was pulled from the Chilean mine where they have been a half-mile underground for over two months.

A friend from Campus Crusade for Christ wrote me this afternoon to share how they supplied MP3’s of the Jesus Film to the miners and provided the shirts they are all wearing as they are rescued from the mine.

The shirts say, “Thank you God” and also printed on them was the favorite verse of the 9th miner rescued.  Once above ground, he knelt and prayed.

Here’s a photo of the tee shirt the miners are wearing.  You can see the JESUS Film logo on the shirt sleeve as well.

20 of 33 Chile miners rescued so far - World news - Americas -

The following is an excerpt from the Chilean Campus Crusade for Christ National Director:

I want to share with you about the last two very intense weeks as we have worked on the project to take the Word of God and the JESUS audio version to the mine, but it has really be worth the effort as it is food for the soul.

As Campus Crusade, God guided us to think about how we could help these men and this was how we took the initiative to contact some churches in the North, leaders and authorities about sending the JESUS audio into the mine.

It wasn’t easy in the beginning because of some apathy in the Christian leadership and a lack of a sense of urgency, together with the restrictive control of the rescue team but God in His sovereignty provided that we were able to gain contact with the daughter and the brother of one of the three Christians that were trapped there.

During several weeks, I was in contact with them, and I explored the possibility of sending them audio material.  Finally, I traveled to the mine with 33 MP3’s containing the JESUS audio version and an ample portion of the Bible. I was there for 2 days and we sent the MP3’s through each family members that were there.

Belhaven Was Here First

No matter how old you are, Belhaven was educating students at the time you were born. We were founded in 1883 – just 18 years after the end of the Civil War.

Thanks to alumae Evelyn Tackett, and others, we have a wonderful archives.  The Inside Belhaven Blog recently had a submission from one of our senior history majors about the archives:

As I walked into the Belhaven archives today, the familiar musty smell of old brown pages came to my nose. It always acts as a sort of intoxicant, filling my mind with thoughts of years which no-one remembers, books which have remained unopened for decades, thoughts of men and women lost in the abundance of words preserved across the world.

Today my eyes were drawn especially to the large Bibles on the back wall. I examined one of them, the Lemly family Bible—Bessy Lemly being an art professor who gave her name to the room in which the archives are now. The Bible is an immense and heavy tome, the cover a solid black with raised, elaborate gold floral designs spread across the binding and up and down the cracking spine. The date on the title page is 1874, and it boasts features such as commentary by six Bible scholars, nine hundred illustrations, the Apocrypha, a concordance, comprehensive Bible dictionary, and a concise history of all religious denominations. Magnificent engravings, including those by Gustave Dore, fill the pages and lend a dramatic air to the most casual of readings.

The most interesting and unique part of the volume, however, is the family portraits in the back. These are pages with four squares each wherein old photos are pasted. Only the first page has later annotations in pen. In one of the front squares there is a distinguished-looking old man, frowning thoughtfully, named Frances S. Smith; his costume seems to place him around the 1860s. Beside him is another portrait that appears possibly older: a young, intense man called Virginius Smith. The others have names are designated “Napoleon Smith,” a handsome, intelligent professional, and “Frank,” a man bearing a close resemblance to Napoleon but appearing older and milder in nature. Other portraits include that of a middle-aged woman in a voluminous black dress; an elderly lady in black, probably a widow, holding up a tiny Bible; a young, dashing fellow with a striped waistcoat, who looks like he could be Errol Flynn’s brother; and many of wide-eyed infants.

After indulging my imagination in hypothesizing lives and personalities for these people, I stumbled across a box of Kodak slide duplicates from the 1960s. Holding them up to the light, I saw various scenes of college life as it was fifty years ago. One shows a group of students, boys and girls uniformly in jeans and polo shirts. On another, a couple stands serenely on one of the Belhaven Lake docks, watching the white geese swim about below them. Others include photographs of scenes wherein a well-groomed and suited professor lectures a classroom of young ladies on the phonetic alphabet, using sample words such as “cold,” “ought,” and “cool”; a girl is constructing on a pile of books what is either alien-looking equipment for a science project or non-representational art that vaguely resembles the Eiffel Tower; in what appears to be the Helen White kitchen, an elderly lady instructs two female students with short, bouffant hair on how to clean the inside of a stove burner; young men, still smartly-dressed, lounge in bunk beds, reading, a film roll sitting casually on a nearby dresser.

Other matters draw my attention, and I return the slides to their place. Today I glimpsed two different eras, one belonging specially to the Lemly family and the other to Belhaven, and I left the archives with a sense of being better connected to my Belhaven heritage.

Rex Bradshaw is a senior history major at Belhaven University. Rex digs through the Belhaven archives for lesser-known facts and stories from Belhaven’s history.