Leading up to the highly-anticipated world evangelization conference in Cape Town, mission-minded Christians and leaders from around the world are discussing questions such as how should Christians respond to the prosperity gospel and are all religions true.
The Lausanne Global Conversation (LGC) invites Christians to discuss such pressing issues facing the global church in the months leading up to Lausanne III: Cape Town 2010, in October. Participants can join a wide range of ongoing conversations or create a new discussion topic on the website.
Organizers say the church is highly fragmented and the Global Conversation is meant to unite the global church to engage collectively on important issues related to world evangelization.
"We believe these global issues need global conversations," organizers state on The Lausanne Global Conversation website. "So let's talk, let's strategize, let's work together. Above all, let's pray – with a sense of expectation and hope – for the Lord to bring wisdom through the counsel of many (Proverbs 11:14)."
Some of the conversation categories include world faiths, orality, partnership development, truth and secularity, children, Scripture in missions, forming leaders, reconciliation, poverty and wealth, and the environment, among others.
Within each of these categories are specific questions that people can choose to respond to.
Some of the featured conversations on Tuesday include: The Audacity of Dialogue, The Gospel of Greed, and The Flying Community.
The Lausanne Global Conversation aims to provide Christians, especially those who will be attending the conference, with a big picture of the issues before they set foot in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization will bring together some 4,000 leaders from more than 200 countries Oct. 16 to 25. The leaders will tackle critical issues that relate to the future of the church and world evangelization.
Lausanne I, the first international Congress on World Evangelization, was held in 1974 in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Rev. Billy Graham led the gathering of more than 2,700 evangelical leaders from 150 countries. It resulted in The Lausanne Covenant – a document defining the theological ground works for collaborative world evangelization. It also provided a framework for unity and serves as the statement of faith for hundreds of Christian organizations worldwide.
More than a decade later, Lausanne II took place in Manila, Philippines. That Congress produced the Manila Manifesto which reaffirmed and expanded upon The Lausanne Covenant and the call to "Proclaim Christ Until He Comes." The 1989 gathering attracted 3,600 leaders from 190 nations.
Lausanne III will address a whole host of pressing issues, including how to engage worldviews that are increasingly hostile to Christianity, the threat of terrorism, HIV/AIDS, and how to use opportunities presented by new technologies.
"We pray that Lausanne III: Cape Town 2010 will serve to unite and energize the Church with a new vision and a new commitment to partnership for the work of world evangelization for a new time," said the Rev. S. Douglas Birdsall, the executive chairman of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, in a statement.
Ideas and comments shared within the Lausanne Global Conversation will be used to shape Cape Town 2010. After the Congress, the LGC will be used to drive ongoing discussion and collaboration for the global church.