Christ in Culture: At the Very Heart of the Mission of God

This issue of Lausanne World Pulse features a theme that is at the very heart of the mission of God: “Christ in Culture.” Throughout the twenty centuries of Christian history, missionaries have drawn inspiration and instruction from the model of Christ’s life and ministry.

Next year, four thousand evangelical leaders from two hundred countries will gather in Cape Town, South Africa, for the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (Cape Town 2010). We will gather together to consider the ways in which we can most effectively live and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to all cultures and all people.

In John 1:14, we read, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Christ’s ministry was sacrificial, incarnational, gracious, and truthful. We pray these qualities would increasingly be the hallmarks of those who are his witnesses.

As you read and reflect upon the issues in this month’s LWP, I trust you will draw instruction and inspiration that will strengthen the ministry that has been entrusted to your care.

Cape Town 2010 Update
Let me update you on the planning for Cape Town 2010. This is an exciting time in the Lausanne Movement. The Participant Selection Committee, under the leadership of Bishop Hwa Yung of Malaysia, is working with national committees to select the four thousand participants. It is our expressed desire that the participants will reflect the demographic, theological, cultural realities of the global Church. They plan complete their work of identifying and inviting participants by June 2009.

Dr. Chris Wright, international director of John Stott’s Langham Partnership, is convening the Theology Working Group for its annual meeting which will take place this month in Panama City. This year, they are dealing with issues related to “The Whole Church.”

An International Fundraising Team is working under the leadership of Eran Wickramaratne of Sri Lanka. This team is committed to raising funds from churches, Christian organizations, foundations, and individuals in every region of the world. The vision of the team is to build unity and ownership for the congress by ensuring that the congress is fully funded through a truly cooperative effort of joyful giving for the work of world evangelization.

In October, we will begin the Global Conversation Project in partnership with Christianity Today (CT). Every month for the twelve months leading up to Cape Town 2010, we will produce an article for CT that will feature one of the issues in the congress program for Lausanne III. These articles will be translated and published in magazines around the world. Conversations will then be facilitated in each of the official languages of the congress so that Cape Town 2010 will be enriched by perspectives and wisdom from around the world.

Volunteers: Every week we receive inquires from individuals and organizations eager to help with congress preparations. If you are interested in helping with communications, information technology, logistics, serving as a steward, etc., please send a note with your interest and availability to: [email protected].

There is much more we will be sharing as we proceed toward Cape Town 2010. Please continue to visit the following websites for additional information: and

Please keep the leadership for the congress in your prayers. The team is made up of women and men from every region of the world. As such, there are special challenges inherent in having a team distributed so widely around the world. Thank you for your kindred spirit and for your prayers on behalf of the Lausanne Movement. May God enable us to be people who bring hope and peace to our cultures throughout the world as we serve Jesus Christ.

Doug Birdsall is executive chair of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. He served as president of Asian Access from 1991 to 2007 and continues to serve on their board of directors. Birdsall is a graduate of Wheaton College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Harvard University. He is co-publisher of Lausanne World Pulse.