The executive chair of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and the head of the World Evangelical Alliance have formally launched a new partnership for the next International Congress on World Evangelization - Lausanne III.
WEA International Director Geoff Tunnicliffe, who represents around 420 million Christians worldwide, and LCWE's S. Douglas Birdsall were officially invited to hold Lausanne III in Cape Town, South Africa, during the Lausanne Bi-Annual International Leadership Meeting currently taking place in Budapest, Hungary.
"Lausanne III has the most enormous salvific potential for the church in South Africa and indeed all of Africa," African Enterprise founder Michael Cassidy told the leaders on Tuesday before formally inviting Tunnicliffe and Birdsall to Cape Town. "We pray we will bless you and that it will be a mighty reviving, renewing and historic moment for the church around the world, and for mission and evangelism all across our globe."
On accepting the invitation from Cassidy and other Cape Town representatives, Tunnicliffe said, "We believe that we share the same vision and heart of Lausanne as we continue to work at transforming nations and transforming the world. Our keenness is to work together for the Kingdom of God and for His glory and we believe this partnership realizes that desire."
Birdsall expressed his delight in the new partnership between Lausanne and WEA, stating: "I am pleased that we are partnering with the WEA in planning and developing Lausanne III: Cape Town 2010. May this partnership resemble what it means to be citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven."
And Dr. Bertil Ekstrom, head of the WEA's Missions Commission and a member of the Program Committee for Lausanne III: Cape Town 2010, welcomed the partnership.
"The World Evangelical Alliance and Lausanne already share the same vision to make Jesus Christ known around the world," he said. "The new partnership is the logical next step and will allow us to pool together resources and expertise as we continue to work towards our shared goal of seeing the Kingdom of God come on this earth."
Nearly 400 Christian leaders are currently gathered in Budapest for the weeklong Lausanne conference to pray, plan and work together for Lausanne III, which will seek to address what Birdsall called the "scandal of fragmentation" within the body of Christ, and the continuation of mission.
Lausanne III is expected to gather around 4,000 Christian leaders in Cape Town and link up millions more around the world via satellite when it takes place Oct. 16-25, 2010.