Cape Town, South Africa – Eighteen delegates from nine Salvation Army territories and International Headquarters are representing The Army at the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa. The delegation continues the strong bonds between the Lausanne Movement and The Salvation Army.
Originating in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1974, through the vision of Billy Graham and scholarship of John Stott, the Lausanne Covenant stands as an evangelism standard-bearer for evangelical Christianity. The Second Congress held in 1989 in Manila, The Philippines, expanded the original call for evangelistic clarity with corresponding social action. Thus, the congress is a natural setting for Salvation Army participation.
Doug Birdsall, executive chairman of the congress, described the gathering as “the most diverse gathering ever in the history of the Church and the most united expression of the Church the world has ever seen.” 4,200 delegates drawn from 197 countries are in attendance.
The third congress is reaching out to young, ethnically diverse, and influential evangelical leaders. Issues of pluralism, world faiths, and globalization are all being addressed. Additionally, it is hoped that the gathering will mark a shift in the empowerment of a lay evangelism movement. “Evangelism has become too event-centered and too professional,” commented workshop presenter Becky Pippert.
Marked by a clear emphasis on biblical exposition and active delegate participation, each day commences with an in-depth textual study of Ephesians. Furthermore, each delegate sits at a table group to allow constant dialogue and interaction.
At the invitation of the Western Cape Divisional Commander, Major Patrick Booth, on the opening Sunday morning of the congress, the visiting Salvationists participated with testimony and preaching at the eight corps in the Cape Town area.
Commissioner Christine MacMillan, director of the International Social Justice Commission, conducted a congress workshop on sex trafficking and was a featured speaker during the Tuesday morning plenary session.
Many of the main congress events are available through the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelisation website www.lausanne.org.