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Cape Town 2010 FAQs - Basics

What are the dates of Cape Town 2010: The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization?
Cape Town 2010 was held from 16-25 October 2010 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa.
How many people attended CT2010?
More than 4,000 participants from 197 countries, plus 1,000 special guests, observers and staff were onsite in Cape Town for the Congress.  Lausanne also extended the reach and impact of the Congress beyond the 4,000 leaders onsite to thousands of others in 90 countries who were able to participate virtually.
Who endorsed CT2010?
We are grateful for the endorsement and involvement of leaders from around the world in the Congress, including Billy Graham and John Stott among others.  Read endorsements.
Who lead CT2010?
God has provided wonderful men and women who serve in leadership for Lausanne and CT2010.  They include:
What were the official languages for CT2010?
Lausanne has established eight official languages for CT2010.  Those languages are: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. 
 Was there any importance in the choice of the year 2010 or the location in Cape Town, South Africa for the Congress?
We believe 2010 is a significant year in which to hold the congress.  2010 is the 100th anniversary of the 1910 World Missionary Conference, convened in Edinburgh, Scotland under the leadership of John R. Mott.  CT2010 gave the church an opportunity to celebrate the Edinburgh Conference and the progress made in missions and evangelization since that time.  It also offered an opportunity to take an inventory of where we are as a global church.  What have we learned with regard to missions and evangelization since 1910?  What mistakes have been made and what can we learn from them?  What new challenges and opportunities are before us in sharing the gospel? 

Cape Town was selected from among seven cities/regions to host the Congress.  The selection of Cape Town has historic significance as William Carey, considered the father of modern missions, first proposed an international missionary conference to be held there in 1810.  Now 200 years later, Carey’s vision was fulfilled.  In addition, Michael Cassidy, Founder of African Enterprise and a member of the Cape Town 2010 Advisory Council, said the Congress “will add enormous impetus and encouragement to the African church to fulfill its destiny in World Missions in the 21st Century.”
Why is there a need for a Lausanne World Congress?
In essence, CT2010 is a “global church council” on the pressing issues facing the advance of the gospel around the world.  Church councils like this allow the body of Christ to come together on issues which impact the integrity of the gospel and the future of the life and witness of the church.

No matter where you go in the world, you’ll find Christians dealing with challenging issues as they seek to evangelize.  While many issues impact specific local or regional areas, some issues are also of global or international importance such as: responding redemptively to challenges to the gospel by other beliefs; HIV/AIDS; poverty; the need for in-depth discipleship, environmental concerns; globalization and urbanization and others. 

Global issues like these require God’s people from around the world to “engage in global conversations in pursuit of global solutions.”  As never before, the body of Christ is a global body of believers.  We are connected by our love for God, our redemption through Christ and the divine work of the Holy Spirit in our lives - connections that cross racial, tribal, ethnic, gender, denominational, geographic and social barriers.  No one nation, region, denomination or ministry has all the answers to all the questions before us.  CT2010 allowed us as brothers and sisters in Christ to come together as leaders in the church, prayerfully seeking God’s wisdom for solutions to overcome the barriers to sharing the good news of the Gospel so that every man, woman, young person and child will have the opportunity to make a personal decision for Christ.
What makes Lausanne uniquely qualified to convene a world congress? 
The Lausanne Movement is a dynamic, catalytic environment in which like-minded missional leaders can engage with one another face to face and through technology to deal with the seminal issues that are before us with respect to world evangelization.  Lausanne provides a theological basis (The Lausanne Covenant) that allows leaders to move forward in their development of collaborative relationships and partnerships in theological reflection and with strategic action. 

CT2010 was the third major Lausanne world congress.  In July 1974 some 2,700 participants and guests from over 150 nations gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland for the International Congress on World Evangelization.  Since 1974, dozens of Lausanne-related global, regional, and topical conferences have been convened all over the world.  Global gatherings include the Consultation on World Evangelization (Pattaya 1980), Conference of Young Leaders (Singapore 1987), Lausanne II (Manila 1989), The Forum for World Evangelization (Pattaya 2004) and The Younger Leaders Gathering (Malaysia 2006).  Lausanne has also inspired the development of regional networks and topical conferences such as the Asia Lausanne Committee on Evangelism (ALCOE), Chinese Coordination Center for World Evangelisation (CCCOWE), Nigerian congresses on world evangelization, and international consultations on Jewish evangelism.
What did Lausanne hope to accomplish through CT2010?  What are the expected outcomes?
The world and church situation has changed dramatically since Lausanne II.  In 1989, communist regimes were still in place in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and much of our communication was done by facsimile or letter.  The past 20 years have seen significant church growth in the Majority World, leading to the increased influence and importance of Majority World church leadership in missions and evangelization.  The five countries with the largest number of Christians are now China, India, Brazil, Nigeria and the United States.  Today, we’re facing technological, bioethical, terrorism and environmental issues that weren’t even thought of two decades ago.  Alongside the significant church, political, social and cultural changes, we’re seeing increased opposition and challenges for the church resulting in increasing hostility toward the gospel.

CT2010 allowed us to come together as brothers and sisters in Christ, prayerfully seeking the Lord’s wisdom to address the challenges and opportunities for the spread of the gospel.  Together we will humbly seek the Lord, asking for His guidance as we examine the world and our culture seeking how to address the urgent issues facing the church and the world in the next generation.  As a result of Lausanne II, nearly 350 partnerships were formed between churches and different agencies around the world.  It’s our prayer that Cape Town 2010 would see the formation of many more hundreds of partnerships that result in more men, women, children and young people having the opportunity to hear about Christ.  Together, we want to discern where the church should put its efforts and energies so that we can most effectively respond to Christ’s call to take the gospel into all the world and make disciples of people.

It’s our hope and prayer that three things will emerge from Cape Town 2010:
  1. A greater sense of unity in the body of Christ.  Jesus prayed (as recorded in John 17), that His followers would be one, just as He and the Father are One so that “the world may believe.”  As we come together, face-to-face and virtually, we have the opportunity to draw closer to God, putting our hearts and minds together in prayer and strategy, learning more about one another and supporting one another personally and in ministry.  What a powerful witness to the watching world!
  2. A greater sense of clarity of the gospel.  There is a growing sense of ambivalence in the church with regard to the gospel.  Questions about its truth and reliability are being raised even by those who claim to believe it.  As the body of Christ we must reclaim the ground that has been lost in our conviction that the gospel is truth and we must move forward with a greater understanding of how to communicate the truth of the gospel in the changing culture and world in which we live.
  3. A greater sense of ordered priority in the task before us.  We can do more together than we can do separately.  By coming together in CT2010, we can discern what God is saying to us about His church and the task of world evangelization and can seek to move forward with a greater understanding and commitment to work in partnership on the priority of sharing Christ in word and deed.
 Was CT2010 primarily for evangelists or those in full-time ministry?
Most onsite CT2010 participants were already involved in day-to-day direct evangelization or engaged in motivating, educating, influencing, supporting and directing others.  Participants were also chosen according to their ability to return to their country or region after CT2010 and extend the impact by bringing together leaders not at the Congress for prayer, discussion and strategic action.  Therefore, participants were selected from the following groups:
  • Pastors and evangelists
  • National, foreign and tentmaker missionaries       
  • Lay professionals (approximately 10% of the total number of participants are CEOs, political and civic leaders, businesspeople, donors and heads of funding agencies for ministry and mission)
  • Denominational leaders, mission executives, directors of parachurch ministries
  • Specialised ministry executives and leaders (children, media, arts, social concern, Bible distribution, networking, etc.)
  • Teachers of evangelism, missions and theology
  • Researchers, statisticians, historians
  • Students
  • Others deemed appropriate by the Country/Regional Selection Committees
How was the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) involved in the Congress?
We were grateful for the involvement of Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director of WEA, and his team in the planning of CT2010.  Geoff and other WEA leaders were involved at each level in the development of the programme, helping choose participants, providing theological and strategic thinking on the issues to be discussed and in communicating the Congress to a global audience.