Langham goes to Cape Town with Lausanne

30 September 2010 |

Chris Wright, Langham Partnership International Director

Langham and Lausanne are worldwide movements but they are named after a street and a city. Langham, of course, after the street of the church in London (All Souls, Langham Place), to which John Stott has belonged all his life, and Lausanne after the city in Switzerland where Billy Graham and John Stott convened the first Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in 1974. Biblically, it seems appropriate that two ministries that share the same vision of populating the streets of the City of God should be named after a street and a city. And historically, both movements owe so much of their passion and ethos to the work of John Stott, who was the architect of the Lausanne Covenant.

Ruth Padilla de Borst
Ruth Padilla de Borst (Langham Scholar from Costa Rica & Bible expositor in Cape Town)
Femi Adeleye
Femi Adeleye (Langham Scholar from Nigeria & hosting plenaries at Cape Town)

In October 2010, the Lausanne Movement is holding its Third International Congress in Cape Town, South Africa. Four thousand people will gather from almost every country on earth, with the great majority coming from the ‘majority world’ – the continents where the majority of the world’s Christians now live. They will not only rejoice together in all that God is doing in the staggering growth of the church around the world, but also think and pray together about the challenges, opportunities, dangers and needs that Christians face as we share in the mission of God in our own generation.

Many Langham Scholars will be there. Some, such as Andrea Zaki from Egypt and Las Newman from Jamaica, are in senior leadership positions. Several Langham Scholars are involved in the Multiplex workshops on issues such as Poverty, Prosperity and the Gospel; Media and Technology; Urban Mission; Ethnicity; The Environmental Crisis; Reaching Oral Cultures – and scores of Dialogue sessions. Ruth Padilla de Borst (Langham Scholar from Costa Rica) will be one of the team giving Bible expositions each morning from Ephesians. Femi Adeleye (Langham Scholar from Nigeria) will be hosting several plenaries, and speaking on the Prosperity Gospel. So it is clear that the fulfilment of one part of John Stott’s vision, in equipping such leaders through the Langham Scholar programme, has borne fruit in another area of his vision – in commitment to the cause of world mission through the Lausanne movement.

Meanwhile, Chris Wright, our International Director, has been chairing the work of the Lausanne Theology Working Group, through a number of international consultations that have explored what each phrase of the Lausanne slogan means “The whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world”. Lausanne is passionate that mission and evangelism should be grounded in good biblical theology, and a number of Langham Scholars have been part of that group too. Chris is also chairing the small group of eight people, from different continents, who form the Statement Committee, with the plan of producing a document emerging from the Congress, “The Cape Town Commitment” – with two parts, “For the Lord We Love”  (our commitment of faith), and “For the World We Serve”  (our call to action).

Please pray:

  • For the Congress, that it may accomplish the purposes of God in bringing fresh encouragement and energy to Christians all over the world who long to share the love of God with our pain-filled world.
  • That those around the world who call themselves evangelical will repent of their flirtations with pride, success and greed, and return to the humility, integrity and simplicity that should mark disciples of Christ.
  • For the Langham Scholars and staff members who will be participating in various ways. Pray for Wendy Toulmin, attending as part of the Australian delegation, for good conversations and connections for kingdom purposes outside of the organised session times. 
  • That Cape Town will not just be a very expensive exercise in talking about the gospel, but will motivate thousands to a more costly exercise of walking the gospel and making it attractive to a cynical and hostile world.
  • That the cross will be central and God will be glorified.