Lausanne Cape Town: A Reflection
We have returned from South Africa. It was quite a trip. I spent 13 hours a day on average in the back trailer editing summaries and synopses for Globalink (almost 200 segments were summarized). I did get a flavor for the event although I was only in the hall about 30 minutes out of the six days.
Most people I spoke with were deeply impacted by the exhortations and testimonies about how God is one the move around the world. This is especially the case in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Many of the speakers minister in these contexts. Issues here are real as the church copes with growth, especially in a context where literacy of any type is limited.
There were challenges in terms of embracing the truth, living simply, having integrity, and speaking up for Christ as God's answer to the human dilemma. Numerous programs were spotlighted, from women in India who tithed with their produce to ministry efforts designed to reach children through sports and mentoring, often for children with less than ideal family situations. There was discussion about how to cope with postmodernism in the West as well as the rise of technology. Partnerships and working more effectively together was a constant note as networking of all sorts took place.
This conference was structured around conversation, reflection and dialogue as the over 4000 delegates sat at tables of about six people each. A support staff of over 1000 helped make the week happen. A US Seminary President sat at a table of six that included several Africans with powerful stories of faith and reconciliation. I know of other tables where messianic believers sat with other believers from other parts of the Middle East. A Commitment document came out of the conference. Both videos and the Commitment materials can be found at www.lausanne.org. These materials are worth checking out. My wife was deeply moved by the commitment of so many people from difficult circumstances around the world. This was a global mega-church and most were deeply moved by the communion that closed the event on the final Sunday evening meeting. We shall see what Lausanne brings in terms of its impact, but those who were there said it was an event that had given them renewed vigor for the Lord. One can only pray that it is a lasting effect.