In a little less than a month, the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization begins in Cape Town.
The first Congress was held in 1974 and is regarded as a milestone in the history of modern missions. Here’s a bit of the history:
In July 1974 some 2,700 participants and guests from over 150 nations gathered in the Swiss Alps for ten days of discussion, fellowship, worship and prayer. The Congress achieved an unprecedented diversity of nationalities, ethnicities, ages, occupations and denominational affiliations. In fact, TIME magazine described the Lausanne Congress as “a formidable forum, possibly the widest-ranging meeting of Christians ever held.”Congress participants heard addresses from some of the world’s most respected Christian leaders of the time, including Graham, Samuel Escobar, Francis Schaeffer, Malcolm Muggeridge, and John Stott. Ralph Winter’s plenary address, in which he introduced the term “unreached people groups” was hailed as “one of the milestone events in missiology.” In contradistinction to those calling for a moratorium on foreign missions, Winter argued that because thousands of groups remained without a single Christian witness, cross-cultural evangelization should be the primary task of the church. Dr. Scott Moreau (Evangelical Missions Quarterly) and Dr. Mike O’Rear (Global Mapping) have called the people groups concept “the most significant development in evangelical mission strategy over the last 25 years” (Moreau 1998).
Lausanne II was held in 1989, and the third Congress is next month. You can learn about the Lausanne movement here.
I noticed that as of last week, there are still some funds left to raise to ensure that the Congress is fully funded. This would be a worthy cause worth giving to, and if interested you can give online at their site.