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The Lausanne Movement gears up for a new global scenario as it celebrates 50th anniversary

At the end of September, Seoul will host the Fourth Lausanne Congress, where “global church collaboration for discipleship in all countries” will be promoted with 2050 on the horizon.

AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus SEOUL 14 DE JUNIO DE 2024 15:11 h
Seoul will host the 4th Congress of the Lausanne Movement. / Photo: [link]Yu Kato[/link], Unsplash, CC0.

The Lausanne Movement is preparing its Fourth World Congress this September, which is expected to attract 5,000 delegates from around the world.

They will be joined virtually by thousands more, making it the largest and most participatory representation of any event to date since the movement's beginning in 1974.

Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is the venue for a gathering that will serve as a catalyst for reflection and global mission momentum. Evangelical Christian leaders from different denominations, from all countries of the world, are being invited to participate in a congress that is the most visible part of a movement.

This movement aims to make a decisive impact through collaboration and synergies to bring the gospel to all people everywhere, to train leaders after the example of Jesus, to strengthen local churches and their growth, and to bring the influence of the kingdom to every sphere of society.


Graham and Stott, the two souls of the movement

These aims have been promoted by the Lausanne Movement since its inception in 1974 and, as Jaume Llenas, national coordinator of the Lausanne Movement in Spain, explains, they have had a tangible impact on evangelical development over the last five decades.

The movement takes its name from the Swiss city of Lausanne, where the first congress for world evangelisation was held, driven by renowned figures such as the US evangelist Billy Graham and the British theologian John Stott. “This gives the two souls of Lausanne: an evangelistic and practical soul, which is joined by those who reflect on evangelism and mission”, Llenas told Spanish news website Protestante Digital.

From the beginning, Lausanne is a movement that seeks the “polycentric” participation of diverse evangelical voices. This is how René Padilla, Samuel Escobar and others from Latin America participated, but also many others from Africa and Asia.

The collaboration between “people of influence” is envisaged at the congress, in order to foster communion and joint reflection for joint action. Lausanne exists to provide spaces so that “all those who are reflecting and all those who are doing can have time together to see how to move the Kingdom forward”, explains Llenas.

Impact and influence

Evangelical Christianity “continues to be the fastest growing religious movement in the world”. This progress came about through “very concrete aspects”, said Llenas, such as the integration of the Pentecostal movement as part of the larger identity of Evangelicals, building a visible unity; the development of the concept of mission as something that is not only a message, but also a concrete action to bring the kingdom of God and impact society.

“These are things that we take for granted now, but which at that time, in 1974, were novel”, explained Llenas, and which over time have been confirmed and form part of the ecclesial life or the vision and mission of so many evangelical organisations and churches around the world.

Lausanne has also stood out for the publication of documents such as the Lausanne Covenant (1974), the Manila Manifesto (1989) and the Cape Town Commitment (2010), which have been reference documents for evangelical churches and organisations around the world.


Seoul 2024, a great opportunity

Seoul 2024 will be a celebration of the gospel and of our loving, forgiving and merciful God who has invited us to join in his mission in the world”, say the conference organisers.

Before the presentation of the meeting, the report The State of the Great Commission has been published, which examines the world situation and identifies 25 key issues for Christian action, after several years of work by more than 150 thinkers from around the world.

These themes will be the focus of much of the work to be carried out during the meeting, which is also planned to be inter-generational and which has encouraged the presence of people under 40 years of age.

The theme of Seoul 2024 is: “Let the Church declare and display Christ together”.

The preparation for the underlines “the power of collaboration, where leaders, thinkers, and believers from various backgrounds come together to share resources, insights, and strategies (…) Together, we can close gaps and seize opportunities as we obey Jesus' Great Commission”.

In addition to the in-person attendance - 5,000 people have been invited - the possibility of virtual (online) attendance is still open.

A new feature is that churches, communities of believers and evangelical entities are also being invited to participate as “satellite venues”, allowing them to access various contents and take part in the congress from a distance.

The organisation has also confirmed that there will be streaming broadcasts of the plenary sessions and other parts of the congress.

Learn more about the Fourth Lausanne Congress by visiting its official website.


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