Christian leaders from around the world who plan to convene in South Africa this October will adopt a new document that will follow in the footsteps of the historic Lausanne Covenant, an evangelical manifesto considered to be one of the most influential documents in Christendom.
The highly-anticipated document, referred to as the Cape Town Commitment, will be "rooted in the centrality of the uniqueness of Christ, and on the authority of the Scriptures," say leaders of the Lausanne Movement, which is spearheading the gathering in Cape Town in cooperation with the World Evangelical Alliance.
And it will reflect the discussions of some 4,000 Christian leaders from 200 nations who will be gathered to focus on the future of the Church and evangelization in the 21st century.
Lindsay Brown, international director of the Lausanne Movement, said the statement would provide evangelicals with a clear definition of the nature and call of the Church.
"There is a lack of clarity when we talk about evangelism and the gospel, particularly in the Western Church,” Brown stated in an announcement on the upcoming document.
“We need to have agreement on the message we are proclaiming," he added.
Brown also said he hoped the Cape Town 2010 gathering would result in a "fresh call to the Church worldwide to bear witness to Jesus Christ and all his teaching in all of the world – not only geographically, but in the sphere of ideas."
Cape Town 2010 will be the third international Lausanne Congress held since a committee headed by world renowned evangelist Billy Graham called for the first gathering in 1974, drawing more than 2,700 evangelical leaders from 150 countries and ulimately producing the Lausanne Covenant.
For the upcoming gathering, leaders associated with the Lausanne Movement and the World Evangelical Alliance will examine the world and today’s culture to discern where the Church should invest its efforts and energies to most effectively respond to Christ’s call to take the gospel into all the world and make disciples of all nations.
"This is a critical moment for the global Church, with pressures from outside and dissension within,” remarked Doug Birdsall, executive chair of The Lausanne Movement. “We trust the Cape Town Commitment will be a clarion call for unity around the primary truths of the Gospel.”
Chris Wright, director of Langham Partnership International, is expected to be the chief architect of the Cape Town Commitment, which will stand in the line of the Lausanne Covenant (1974) and the Manila Manifesto (1989).
Renowned Christian leader John Stott, who founded Langham Partnership International, was the chief architect of the first two documents.
In addition to the 4,000 Christian leaders who will attend Cape Town 2010, thousands more are expected to participate in the gathering through the web and other media.
Cape Town 2010 will be held Oct. 16 -25 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.