Here are a few of my frustrations with Cape Town 2010:
Needed more prayer time
Throughout the week there was a sense in the teaching and the conversations that prayer was the foundation for ministry, and yet at no time was there extended opportunities to pray – even on the night of prayer we were interrupted with a new theme for prayer every few minutes.
Needed more discussion time
The table groups were, in one sense, too successful, we just wanted to carry on conversations and had to stop short too often to come back to hear different speakers share their perspective when actually our conversation may have been more inspiring, more helpful in encouraging us in our individual ministries.
Needed wider participation
One of the bitter blows of the Congress was the absence of the Chinese – I don’t pretend to understand that situation but I was saddened that with a number of years effort we still couldn’t manage it in a way that enabled them to join us. More seriously I was frustrated with the swing to Catholicism over things like the emerging church, I felt the Congress was substantially weakened for representing such a small part of the evangelical church. In the UK delegation it was sad that we weren’t able to see more women and leaders of minority churches at Cape Town 2010 – I know that wasn’t for a lack of invitations.
Needed better preaching and presentations
Some of the preachers hit the ball out of the park, while others seemed to miss the point of exegetical teaching; similarly some of the plenary speakers merely re-read their advanced paper, whilst others captivated me with their passion, story and development. I wonder, probably in an over-critical spirit, what would have happened if there hadn’t been both the Ephesians exegetical teaching and the main plenary sessions – would this have raised the quality of some of the speakers, and given more space for discussion?
Needed better broadband
Before the Congress it boasted about being the most connected conference ever, frustratingly the internet was very limited, through no fault of the Technical and Social Media teams. I wonder how many more people the Congress would have reached if the broadband had been as good as they’d initially hoped.
Overall the Congress was very well run, and I learnt so much by being there so please don’t take these as a bunch of overly-critical moans.