Before the close of the International Congress on World Evangelization last July, the participants agreed that there was a need for an ongoing committee to carry out what was started there at Lausanne. The resultant Continuation Committee met for the first time last month in Mexico City. Its members had been chosen from lists voted on by regional meetings at Lausanne and therefore were representative and selected democratically.
The Lausanne Covenant affirmed that the mission of the Church comprises more than evangelism. There are, moreover, some responsibilities of Christians that are not direct responsibilities of the Church. At Mexico City the mandate of Lausanne was neither ignored nor circumvented. The statement issued by the Continuation Committee said:
“The furtherance of the church’s mission” means the encouragement of all God’s people to go out into the world as Christ was sent into the world, to give themselves for others in a spirit of sacrificial service, and that in this mission evangelism is primary. More than that within our primary task of evangelism, our two particular concerns and burdens must be the 2,700 million unreached peoples and the other millions of people in nominally Christian areas who have not yet heard or responded to the true gospel.
At Mexico City the Continuation Committee said that its primary business is that of evangelization. In this it followed in the tradition of many other para-ecclesial organizations that choose to emphasize some important segment of the Church’s mission and thus become specialists rather than generalists. The Student Volunteer Movement was a specialized ministry. So were the Faith and Order and the Life and Work movements. The London Missionary Society was founded ...1
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