Why Seoul 2024?

David Bennett | 01 Sep 2023

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The Fourth Lausanne Congress on World Evangelisation, also known as the Seoul 2024 Congress, is taking place in Seoul, South Korea from 22-28 September 2024. The purpose of this significant gathering, as well as the multi-year and multi-faceted Lausanne 4 (L4) journey leading up to and beyond the gathering, is to accelerate collaborative action toward fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission.

The Challenge

Despite the commission Jesus gave in Matthew 28:19-20, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’, over the last 100 years the percentage of the world’s population who identify as Christians has essentially remained the same, hovering just over 30%. 

There are many who have not yet heard the good news and lack Christian witnesses. There are people groups and places that have no disciple-making churches. There are numerous churches and sectors of the workplace needing Christlike leaders who understand the times and who know what God’s people should do. And there are remaining spheres of society in desperate need of the influence of the Kingdom of God. 

The Great Commission is holistic and comprehensive, and the global mission that the Lausanne Movement seeks to accelerate aims to impact every person in every community in every sphere of human endeavour—including the home, the workplace, local communities, and society at large.

More than ever before, our mission remains sharply focused on a vision we have held to since 1974.

The Gospel for Every Person

Christ-Like Leaders for Every Church and Sector

Disciple-Making Churches for Every People and Place

Kingdom Impact in Every Sphere of Society

The global church lacks a truly comprehensive, coordinated and collaborative global mission.

We believe it is intrinsic to God’s mission that the global church declare and display Christ together to a watching world. It is not through one nation, people, or denomination, or culture, but through our diversity as a unified body that Christ is seen and God is glorified. 

However, there are significant gaps in the progress toward that mission, globally as well as regionally. With this in mind, around four years ago the leadership of the Lausanne Movement decided to convene a fourth global congress, and to initiate a multi-year process leading up to, and extending beyond, that congress.

‘Lausanne 4 is a multi-year, global, polycentric process facilitated by the platform of Lausanne, towards catalytic collaboration of the global church, for the discipling of all nations and the shaping of the world in 2050.’
Michael Oh, Global Executive Director / CEO

Discover more about the Lausanne 4 Journey

We have been on a journey to identify where the current gaps exist, and where new gaps are likely to open up—globally, as well as in each region of the world.

We have been on a journey to identify where the current gaps exist, and where new gaps are likely to open up—globally, as well as in each region of the world. We have been seeking to identify where the greatest challenges and the most glaring opportunities are. We have endeavoured to discover where the groundbreaking innovations and encouraging breakthroughs are taking place. We have been experiencing the cumulative effect of learning to work together in collaboration. And we want to keep on listening, gathering, learning, and journeying together through action.

We want to see an acceleration of collaborative initiatives and collaborative action teams that can function on the ground to address the existing gap and seize current opportunities with the goal of fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples of all the nations, and to teach these disciples to embrace and live out everything Jesus taught.

Our process of listening includes a number of intentional activities that engage us in listening to God, through Scripture and prayer, as well as to one another.

Together we are better—harnessing our different strengths and perspectives to achieve missional advancement for the sake of God’s kingdom.


What if we could accelerate the fulfilment of the
Great Commission together like Nehemiah completed the walls around Jerusalem?

We invite the gobal church to join in the Lausanne 4 Journey

The Listening Process

Over the last three years the Lausanne Movement has been engaged in a process of listening, inviting diverse demographics from all over the world to answer five questions:

  1. What are the most significant gaps or remaining opportunities toward the fulfilment of the Great Commission?
  2. What promising breakthroughs or innovations do you see that can accelerate the fulfilment of the Great Commission?
  3. In what areas is greater collaboration most critical in order to see the fulfilment of the Great Commission?
  4. Where is further research needed?
  5. To whom else should we be listening as part of this process? 

We have hosted global listening calls, engaged in listening through global and regional gatherings, held focused groups, and sought to listen to as many voices engaged in mission from every corner of the world as we can, to discern how God is moving in our day, and to prepare the next generation of leaders who will be at the forefront of global mission efforts in the year 2050.

The State of Great Commission Report

In addition, we have commissioned a team of over 100 researchers from around the world to prepare The State of the Great Commission Report on some of the most important developments and most relevant trends impacting our global efforts to make disciples of all nations. The State of the Great Commission Report will be released several months before Seoul 2024, so that all of the participants in the fourth congress can share a common understanding of the current state of the world, and the issues that will be impacting all of us in the decades ahead, as well as the particular context of each region.


10 Questions That Will Shape 2050

How we can steward the Great Commission in the decades ahead?

The Seoul Statement

Some of the gaps we are talking about require strategic action. But some of the gaps are in our biblical and theological understanding. Our Theology Working Group has also been listening, and is laying the groundwork for a Seoul Statement that will build on the three foundational Lausanne documents—The Lausanne Covenant, The Manila Manifesto and The Cape Town Commitment. The Seoul Statement will reaffirm our commitment to the authority of Scripture and highlight biblical insights, imperatives, and implications for our times.

The Seoul 2024 Congress will be a culmination of this multi-year listening process, as well as a catalyst to stimulate collaborative action to address both the gaps and the opportunities that have been identified.  

Seoul 2024 is an opportunity for the global church to declare and display Christ together.

The first three Lausanne Congresses on World Evangelization were hosted in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1974; Manila, Philippines, in 1989; and Cape Town, South Africa, in 2010. Built on the foundation of the three previous congresses, the congress in Seoul is an opportunity to gather 5,000 in-person participants and a further 5,000 who will participate virtually for ‘a once in a generation’ gathering of men and women influencing mission from most, if not all, nations of the world. Participants will include both younger and older generations and represent a spectrum of sectors, including the workplace as well as church and mission-related vocations. 

‘A once in a generation’ gathering of men and women influencing mission from most, if not all, nations of the world.

One Lausanne leader described Seoul 2024 as ‘a mixing of silos.’ We expect that new ideas will be sparked, new partnerships will be birthed, and new collaborative action teams will be launched as a result of this gathering. During the pre-congress preparation, as well as during plenary sessions, table group interactions, and a variety of afternoon breakout sessions, participants will become aware of ways that God is at work in the world. We trust the Holy Spirit to open opportunities for participants to work in collaboration with others at both a local and global level to address the most urgent needs, gaps, and strategic opportunities before us. 

In I Corinthians 12 the apostle Paul reminds us that we have been put together as a body, of which Christ is the head, and in which each part needs every other part. It is through gatherings like this that we discover the manifold ways in which the global Body of Christ can learn from one another, and share resources with one another.


The Impact of Lausanne Congresses

How our Movement intersects with the global church’s story.

Seoul 2024 will accelerate collaborative action towards fulfilling the Great Commission.

In our polarised, fragmented world, it is important for the global church to be reminded of its central mission

In our polarised, fragmented world, it is important for the global church to be reminded of its central mission, to declare as well as display the beauty and the sovereignty of Jesus as Lord in every area of life, and to be a beacon of hope and direction in such a chaotic sea of needs. To this end, Lausanne has been leading the global church on a journey guided by our fourfold vision:

  • The gospel for every person
  • Disciple-making churches for every people and place
  • Christ-like leaders for every church and sector
  • Kingdom influence in every sphere of society

Collaborative Action Commitment

During this journey we have been reminded of Nehemiah’s call to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and its gates—to close the gaps that made the city vulnerable to attack. Nehemiah 4:6 says, ‘So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work’ (ESV). As described in Nehemiah 3, a diverse number of people participated in the project, some as individuals, and some as teams. But all were coordinated, and all were prepared to come to one another’s assistance. 

Just as Nehemiah united Israel to rebuild the wall, the Lausanne Movement seeks to unite the global church for kingdom work through an initiative called Collaborative Action Teams, which will launch as a result of the congress in 2024. Through these teams, Lausanne seeks to overcome the silos we as Christians tend to operate in, that lead to the duplication of work and the waste of resources, by enabling connections that spark strategic collaborations and the sharing of global resources. 

Key to achieving these goals is being united by the Collaborative Action Commitment which is a resource for thousands of groups around the world who commit to collaborative action together. 


Lausanne 4’s Collaborative Action Teams

A new initiative for accelerating global mission based on the example of Nehemiah.

Throughout its nearly 50 years of existence, the Lausanne Movement has been accelerating global mission. We long to see the continued acceleration of collaborative action, toward closing the gaps in fulfilment of Jesus’ commission to make disciples of all the nations. We hope to say with believers from every nation on earth, ‘Let the church declare and display Christ together’.

David Bennett is Global Associate Director for the Lausanne Movement and Congress Director for the Seoul 2024 Congress. David has served with Lausanne for many years, and has a range of ministry and missional experience. He also brings with him a wealth of relational capital, global understanding, and kingdom insight.