Red Letters

Last week I posted on the Lausanne Congress being held in Cape Town, South Africa right now.

My good friend Mary DeMuth gave her viewpoint in this excellent post. Mary is in Cape Town for Lausanne, and is experiencing the deep joy of being personally connected to brothers and sisters in Christ from all over the world. In her post, she concludes:

So is Cape Town 2010 a giant waste of kingdom resources? Could the money
be spent wiser? Perhaps. But I have a feeling as I interact with people
who love Jesus from all four corners of this big world that the impact
in the kingdom through relationships, discussions, unity, conflict,
hope, and divine appointments cannot be measured by simple economics.
The kingdom of God is a woman taking her most costly gift and pouring it
at the feet of Jesus. Perhaps that’s a better picture of Lausanne-a
gathering of people who pour their resources out on the feet of the
Broken and Scarred One, in hopes that He would further His paradoxical
kingdom. And it’s a testimony, too, of the many, many people who
sacrificed to help others to get here.

On the other hand, Simon Cozens, blogger and missionary, responded to Mary’s post with a contrasting viewpoint. He writes:

The odd thing is that I’m normally in favour of things which promote
Christian unity and things which don’t necessarily have measurable
outcomes. But I feel that the organizers of Lausanne have so downplayed
the idea of outcomes (while at the same time hyping the size, scope and importance of the conference) that the main driver for the conference appears to be “Let’s all get together and talk about mission.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I get together with people and talk
about mission almost every day, and I expect most of the attendees do
too. A global mission conference for people who
don’t spend most of their days talking about mission would be a great idea, but this isn’t it.

And because there are no outcomes, paradoxically, the conference will
be declared a great success. Things are always a great success if you
don’t have any metrics by which to understand them; my last driving test
was a great success if there wasn’t any expectation that I should pass.

Add your perspective to Mary and Simon’s thoughts about Lausanne 2010 in the comments section.