I'm in Cape Town for the third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. Four thousand delegates are here in what is being described as the most representative gathering of Christian leaders in history. But one group is notably underrepresented: prominent figures associated with evangelical Christianity in the United States, especially pastors of large churches. Rather than name names, let me put it this way: pick a celebrated American evangelical church leader, especially one who founded his current congregation, and I will give you 5-1 odds that he (and most of the missing are "he"s) is not here, at least not as part of the official US delegation.
For better and for worse, these absences tell us a lot about power, influence, innovation, and the future of global movements like evangelical Christianity. Here are a few lessons from the ecclesial Realpolitik of the no-shows (in rough order from brutally honest to genuinely hopeful) . . . .
For megapastors, platform time is the price of participation. ...1