Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization . . . USA's Mission America Coalition . . . James Brainerd Taylor on evangelism

The Third International Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization took place in Cape Town, South Africa, October 17-24, 2010. It was held in collaboration with the World Evangelical Alliance (est. 1846).

"Perhaps the widest and most diverse gathering of Christians ever held in the history of the Church," Cape Town 2010 (Lausanne III) "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."

For a report of the historic event and its document "The Cape Town Commitment: A Declaration of Belief and a Call to Action," click here. Also, read here attendee and New Testament scholar Darrell Bock's blog entry concerning his reflections.

To view videos of most of the sessions, including John Piper's exposition of Ephesians 3 (see World Faiths: Plenary I, October 20), click here.

The Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization is "a worldwide movement that mobilizes evangelical leaders to collaborate for world evangelization." Lausanne I--LCWE's first International Congress on World Evangelization--was held in 1974 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Lausanne II was held in 1989 in Manila, Philippines.

In 1974, LCWE produced The Lausanne Covenant, one of the most influential documents in modern Evangelical Christianity. Click here to read the document in various languages.

Mission America Coalition, National Association of Evangelicals & UCM

Since its founding in 2007, Uncommon Christian Ministries (UCM) has been a member of LCWE's American affiliate, Mission America Coalition: Uniting Christians for Evangelism and Revival. Begun in 1995, leaders from 81 denominations, 350-plus ministries and dozens of ministry networks have been involved in MAC. Some members of the coalition's staff and national committee were among the 400 U.S. delegates at Lausanne III. MAC's Chairmam/CEO Paul Cedar wrote an endorsement for my 2008 edited anthology Of Intense Brightness: The Spirituality of Uncommon Christian James Brainerd Taylor.

As a follow-up to the Congress, MAC is co-sponsoring a leadership consultation forum in Orlando, Florida, April 4-7, 2011. For more information about "From Cape Town 2010 to Orlando 2011 . . . and the Future: Accelerating the Church toward the Great Commission," see MAC's website. Among others, the forum is also being sponsored by the National Association of Evangelicals as NAE also sent representatives to Cape Town 2010. Both MAC and I individually (as founder of UCM) are members of NAE.

James Brainerd Taylor

The Princeton University and Yale Seminary-trained evangelist James Brainerd Taylor (1801-1829) would no doubt have been pleased with Lausanne III/Cape Town 2010 and the work of Mission America Coalition in his native U.S. That J. B. Taylor lived and breathed evangelism is evident by such comments as these from his journal entries and letters included in the Memoir of James Brainerd Taylor (1833) and A New Tribute to the Memory of James Brainerd Taylor (1838):
O, may we enter the work [of ministry] to win souls to Christ, and have, as our great motive, the honor of our blessed Redeemer. (Memoir, page 80)

I know that my object, my highest wish while on earth, is to be instrumental in bringing souls to Christ. (Memoir, 181)

The spare time I have from my college duties, I would rather spend with the sick--the indigent; and that, too, to win souls. (Memoir, 233-34)

I feel willing to live a hundred years on earth if I might work for God and bring souls to Christ, and then have nothing diminished from eternity. . . . I fell before the throne and had a longing for souls--I thirsted to bring souls to Christ. I groaned to win souls and almost with agony pleaded to have souls for my hire. I think I felt willing to lay out my life for souls. Souls, souls, I want souls. (Memoir, 268-69)

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