Notes from the Lausanne Conversation

David Epstein, who pastors our host for tonight's Lausanne Conversation, Calvary Baptist Church.

Tim Keller led a conversation on the importance of reaching the cities. He said we should be resident aliens. We should inspire and condemned by most of a secular society, and if we're only condemned or only praised, we're doing something wrong.

The speakers were asked to sharewhat they hope to seein Cape Town:
Relationships, trust, re-calibration when the global church worships together, blessings on Cape town, listen, learn from Christian leaders who don't have the crutches of affluence. Keller closed by quoting CS Lewis, saying that you need a community to know Jesus, and it's his hope that when so many cultures share thei faith in Jesus, we will all know Him better.

Rich Van Pelt, who Joyce and I met at Michael W. Smith's ranch, and have reconnected with in a couple of countries with Compassion International. Rich shared a quote by Dwight L. Moody that encouraged me after one of my early performances when some children dedicated their lives to the Lord. Moody told his wife two and a half people gave their lives to the Lord after one of his talks. She said, "Two adults and a child?" "No," he replied, "Two children and an adult, who's life is half over." He said we should plant into the 4-14 window: Most people come to the lord between those years. To sponsor a child now visit I asked a pastor wo runs a Compassion site in Honduras how many sponsored kids give thei hearts to Jesus. He looked at me like I was nuts: "All of them," he said.

Here come the questions:

1. What personal "sufferings" and challenges have you experienced living and ministering in the city?

Tim Keller said his wife said there's no better place to live, so long as you have someone following you around with a wheelbarrow full of money. He concluded that everyone sacrifices to be here.

The pastor from South Africa has had automatic rifles held to his head three times. But he said it's not hard labor. The Lord's burden is light. He said he wouldn't change a thing.

2. Given the city is a means to globally evangelize should we as Believers push to improve public school systems and public safety.

One gentleman is working with churches to adopt schools in the hope that they'll impact the whole system.

Tim Keller said churches must proclaim the Gospel and demonstrate the Gospel.

3. How does the church address the reluctance towards the city held in the hearts of Christians.

Tim Keller said, "Tell them to stop it!"

The church can't inspire people to reach the cities from the suburbs. They need to move toward the cities.

Tim Keller said the city is a magnifying glass: you see the best and the worst. The city doesn't create the darkness; it's the human heart. He said, "If you can live in a city, please do."

4. What can be done so that Christian leaders can think and pray together to reach their city?

It's a mission field. Praying together is the most effective way to break through all the stuff and bond in Christ.

Take on something that's bigger than any of you can do.

Tim: Prayer and justice work will not only attract people from all parts of Christendom, but working for justice will also draw pre-Believers.

5. Do people in thriving cities really know what suffering is and accept that part of the Gospel?

The South African answered in light of the broad spectrum of persecution.

6. Is thereany place left for "direct evangelism" in our era of cities?

Yes, but more investment in people's lives is called for.

We hold within us the hope of Glory. Sometimes we meet people in the 9-month part of someone's walk. We shouldn't hold back when we get to the 9-second part when they're ready.

The South African is heartbroken that we've moved away from direct evangelism.

In 1974 the corrective was to bring more action to our words. Now we need more words to follow our actions.

If you've been reading this and don't have a relationship with the Lord, I hope you'll read my story:

The pastor who closed in prayer pointedout that we should be inviting people not to just live for ever and ever but have erernal life right now.

Follow the global conversation:

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