A note of thanks from Michael Oh, Executive Director / CEO
As I review the progress Lausanne made in 2021, I’m humbled by God’s faithfulness to the Lausanne Movement’s mission: to connect influencers and ideas for global mission.
virtual gathering participants
increase in digital engagement across social media platforms
leaders in nearly every country of the world
When we expected 5,000 participants, God gave over 25,000—with unprecedented gatherings taking place on continents like Europe and Africa. Our digital engagement multiplied by 66%, and our digital reach grew in 2021 to now include over 700,000 mission-minded leaders in nearly every country of the world.
And even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, God used your faithfulness in giving and praying to move Lausanne closer to fulfilling its four-fold vision:
The gospel for every person
Disciple-making churches for every people and place
Christ-like leaders for every church and sector
Kingdom impact in every sphere of society
Not only has Lausanne made progress toward its mission and vision, but that increase in 2021 was also accelerated beyond what I had imagined.
From the first page of the report on progress that follows, I think you’ll agree that God has greatly blessed Lausanne. And you have been a major part of that blessing through your gifts and prayers. Thank you!
Embracing Digital Gatherings
The Lausanne Movement highly values convening global mission leaders. While the COVID-19 pandemic continued to present challenges in this area in 2021, it certainly did not prevent gatherings. In fact, embracing digital gatherings allowed greater participation.
At the beginning of 2020 before the pandemic started, we anticipated a record-breaking year for Lausanne gatherings with participants totaling 5,000 or more. COVID dashed those hopes, but after adjusting to primarily virtual gatherings by mid-2020, the numbers began to explode. Based on a survey conducted of Lausanne’s volunteer leaders in July 2021, more than 25,000 mission leaders participated in gatherings between June 2020 and June 2021—a 400% increase on what we had expected.
Highlights from 2021 Gatherings
Asia 2021 Congress
South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia
- Over 1,250 influencers from 34 countries participated
- Participants focused on unity in the Asian church, reaching the next generation, and the responsibility of the Asian church considering shifts in church growth and mission sending from the West to the Majority World.
- Cosponsored by Lausanne, Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center, and Outreach Magazine, Amplify Outreach convened nearly 500 church leaders in person and online.
- Speakers such as Ann Voskamp, Brian Tome, Mark Mittelberg, and many more were invited to encourage, exhort, and equip church leaders to increase the evangelistic temperature of our churches.
‘We live in a post-Christian, post-modern, post-truth world where the evangelism approaches of the past are increasingly ineffective. The Amplify Outreach conference is helping pastors and their teams ask the right questions together.’ — Craig Springer (US), Executive Director of Alpha USA and author of How to Revive Evangelism
- Around 1,200 European evangelical leaders participated virtually in Lausanne Europe 20/21 with the theme of ‘Dynamic Gospel—New Europe’, the first continent-wide event of the Lausanne Movement in Europe since 1974.
- Leading up to the gathering, delegates formed Impact Groups to discuss key issues for mission in Europe today. Many of these groups will continue even as new ones start.
- Delegates participated in over 60 seminars on the crucial issues for mission in Europe. Participants were challenged to go out of their comfort zone, especially when it comes to crossing cultural barriers.
‘The acceptance of the contributions from the Majority World was a big leap. To accept them as a mission force in Europe requires some humbling from all sides. The Majority World has been working on re-evangelizing for some years, but this event recognized their efforts and hopefully will lead to practical partnerships that would see us lead initiatives rather than only follow.’ — Usha Reifsnider (UK), Lausanne Co-Regional Director for Europe
Proclaim Africa Congress
- Nearly 2,000 evangelists representing 49 of 54 African nations gathered for what the Lausanne Proclamation Evangelism Network called ‘the most representative gathering of African evangelists in the history of the Christian movement in Africa’, with a digital footprint of interactions reaching 50,000 people.
- The resulting Proclaim Evangelism Network (PEN), an Africa-wide network of evangelists, organizations, and denominational movements, will continue coordinating, supporting, and accelerating the work of evangelism across the African continent.
‘It’s been a blessing to be part of the Proclaim Congress as my life has been blessed by amazing and challenging speakers that have encouraged and fired me up to raise more evangelists in Ghana because the harvest is plenty.’ — Daniel Tetteh (Ghana)
Digital Evangelism and African Youth
In Kenya, high school youth affiliated with African Enterprise’s Foxfires program gathered in the TV room for the three-day virtual Proclaim Africa Youth Congress. The most popular topic for them was digital evangelism. Social media has always been for them a tool for fun and amusement. Learning that it can also be a powerful tool for evangelism was eye opening. As they prepare to graduate and transition to universities and colleges around Kenya, they can’t wait to put their newfound knowledge to the test.
Additional gatherings from 2021 included the BAM (Business as Mission) Global Congress, the Anti-Corruption Conference held in partnership with the World Evangelical Alliance, a global prayer call for Afghanistan, the annual Diaspora Summit, and the Lausanne Workplace Ministry Network’s monthly Public Reading of Scripture virtual calls.
‘Such a privilege to listen to God’s Word with people from all over the world.’ –Bill (US), Public Reading of Scripture Call participant
Bridging the Generations
In 2021, Lausanne marked the five-year anniversary of the Younger Leaders Gathering (YLG2016) and the launch of the Younger Leaders Generation (YLGen), a ten-year commitment to walk alongside younger leaders.
Since YLG2016, the number of younger leaders in YLGen has grown to 890. The work of YLGen also continues to bloom as staff and volunteers coordinate webinars, produce podcasts, grant scholarships, and provide opportunities for growth. Read our full 5-Year Anniversary YLGen Impact Report
Highlights from 2021
- A Conversation with a Mentor podcast was launched in 2021, with six episodes featuring leaders like Leighton Ford, Stephen Osei-Mensah, Lindsay Olesberg, and Dr Soo-Inn Tan.
- Younger leaders from around the globe were given the opportunity to write articles in collaboration with Christianity Today, Lausanne Global Analysis, and Langham Publishing.
- In partnership with Gordon Conwell Seminary, California Baptist University, Wheaton College, and 14 other Christian higher education schools, 26 scholarships were granted to rising younger leaders from the Majority World. In 2021 the number of graduates reached 20. Degrees range from master’s to PhD level.
‘Through the scholarship assistance of YLGen Educate, I completed a master’s degree in Leadership with Belhaven University. The impact of my learning has been tremendous as more opportunities to serve God’s mission keep unveiling through the local and global needs of the Church.’ – Samuel Chibueze Osuji (Nigeria)
- Monthly webinars addressed topics of interest to younger leaders like ‘What Seminary Won’t Teach You’, ‘Equipping Women for Word Ministry in a Global Pandemic’, and ‘What It Takes to Raise Funds in Difficult Times’.
Lausanne Core Team Encourages Younger Leader
After the ‘Engaging Anger’ seminar in June with Alasdair Groves from CCEF (Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation), one YLGen member asked a vulnerable question about anger that she had been experiencing because of circumstances out of her control. Alasdair took the time to address the heart of her question and prayed with her. After the webinar ended, Lausanne YLGen staff were able to stay on the call to talk further for a time of Jesus-centered counseling and encouragement. The staff passed along resources, prayed with her, and helped bear the burden of anger and grief. Over the next few weeks, they checked in frequently and saw a lot of growth in the younger leader’s life, in how she viewed the sovereignty of God, His hand in all that had transpired, and even her anger towards the things she couldn’t control.
From Lausanne 3 to Lausanne 4
The last major Lausanne global congress was held in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2010. Hailed as ‘the most representative gathering of Christian leaders in the 2,000-year history of the Christian movement’ (Christianity Today), Lausanne 3 has shaped the course of global mission ever since. Read the full Cape Town 2010 Impact Report
In 2021, much progress was made toward preparing for the Fourth Global Congress in 2024. Rather than a single event, Lausanne 4 is a multi-year, polycentric process with the aim of facilitating catalytic collaboration of the global church for the discipling of all nations. We believe that L4 will be the flywheel in shaping global mission toward 2050.
L4 Progress in 2021
Read the full report from the L4 Global Listening team.
The L4 Global Listening Team was assembled to analyze the transcripts and notes from calls with regions, issue networks, and younger leaders. A preliminary report revealed that the global church’s priorities for missions include:
- Making disciples—fully devoted followers of Christ—in addition to evangelism
- Activating the workplace as the context for ministry, mission, and kingdom engagement
- Reaching younger generations and empowering them to take the helm
The Nehemiah Mobilization Team was selected in order to strategize how global Christians can engage with the gaps and opportunities discovered through the listening calls.
The first Nehemiah Mobilization Team ‘think tank’ meeting was conducted. In keeping with Lausanne’s primary strategic focus, the forthcoming Nehemiah Teams will engage with specific missional gaps and opportunities in tandem with the global body of Christ.
Lausanne began work on the heart of a digital platform that will exponentially enhance the global church’s ability to collaborate toward the acceleration of missions. Initially called the Next Steps Recommendation Engine, this first step toward AI-based intelligent recommendation of mission resources will help provide each individual follower of Christ with specific, personalized, and practical steps they can take to go deeper in their engagement with global mission. Development of the prototype will begin in 2022.
Pray for the Lausanne 4 process in 2022 as we prepare for regional and issue network gatherings in late 2022 and early 2023, and the Fourth Lausanne Congress in 2024, which will soon be announced publicly.
Help us accelerate global mission in 2022.
Give now to the Lausanne Movement