The explosive secret of nuclear energy that has blasted the world into a radical new era of history is the critical mass. Neither a spark nor a shock can detonate it. When an adequate quantity—a critical mass—of fissionable material is suddenly brought together, the awesome detonation occurs. Similarly, my hope is that the International Congress on World Evangelization—to be held in Lausanne, Switzerland, in July—will result in a great spiritual fission whose chain reaction world-wide will speed the completion of Christ’s great commission in this century.

The spiritual fissionable material will be there: invitations have gone to some 2,700 evangelical leaders from every known Protestant denomination and evangelistic organization in more than 150 nations. All these persons were selected for their evangelical commitment and influence. Lausanne will be the most representative Protestant conclave in history. Given the blessing of the Holy Spirit, it could become a twentieth-century Pentecost.

The World Congress on Evangelism held in Berlin in 1966 illustrated this principle of a spiritual critical mass initiating far-reaching chain reactions. I well remember seeing there a dark-skinned Pacific islander, clad in a mixture of Western and national dress. Titus Path was the pastor of a Presbyterian church in the New Hebrides, a former moderator of his denomination’s General Assembly, and a member of the government’s Advisory Council. He did not say a lot at Berlin, but he took in a lot, and went home to apply it in his own remote island church, which was afflicted with second-generation nominalism. He secured the consent of his General Assembly to inaugurate a five-year plan for evangelism throughout the church. He planned campaigns ...

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