L4NY: 180 gather in New York to prepare for Lausanne’s next major congress
Although much of the focus was on preparations for the fourth Lausanne congress (Seoul 2024), participants were constantly challenged to think towards 2050 and beyond.
Lausanne Movement Europe · 04 JULY 2022 · 11:43 CET
“Together”, was the first and last word uttered by Lausanne Movement International Director Michael Oh as he opened and closed the recent L4NY gathering in New York City.
180 leaders from every region of the world came together from 13-17th June to work on preparations for the next global Lausanne congress which will be held in Seoul, South Korea in September 2024.
The Lausanne Movement regional directors, in New York, June 2022.
An European perspective for Lausanne 2024
For Jim Memory and Usha Reifsnider, recently named Lausanne Regional Directors for Europe, this gave them the opportunity to properly meet the regional directors from the other 11 Lausanne regions and to connect with the more than thirty issue group catalysts covering everything from diaspora mission, to leadership development, to church planting.
“To hear stories of what God is doing around the world and how Lausanne is serving the world church by encouraging connections and collaboration was so inspiring”, said Jim. “And we also had many opportunities to give a European perspective on issues. In terms of the world church today, Europeans are a minority, but our unique context makes our voice in the global conversation a really crucial one”.
“From the inclusion of women, younger leaders, and those from the Majority World, it was evident that the Lausanne Movement is making great efforts to diversify its leadership. The move toward polycentric leadership shows evidence of increased networking opportunities across regions and issues that should hopefully connect people and resources to do ministry more effectively”, says Usha.
Jim and Usha also had the opportunity to share during one of the plenaries about the recent Christian Ukraine Collaboration gathering in Krakow which Lausanne Europe had helped to facilitate, and about the issue of muted voices which had been so prominent in last years’ LE20/21 Gathering.
Other members of the Lausanne Europe Regional Team were also present, Bodil Skjott as catalyst for Jewish Evangelism, Ole-Magnus Olafsrud as one of the leaders of YLGen, and Janet Sewell who was part of the cohort of selected regional younger leaders who were taking part in the pilot program of the Lausanne Leadership Journey, a two-year leadership development scheme which seeks to prepare the Lausanne leaders of tomorrow today.
10 framing questions for 2050
Although much of the focus was on preparations for the fourth Lausanne congress in 2024, participants were constantly challenged to think towards 2050 and beyond. In one of the concluding plenaries, Matthew Niermann invited participants to imagine the world in 2050 by asking 10 framing questions. He suggested that these are the questions which the next generation are asking now and the answers they give to these questions will shape the life and Christian mission in 2050.
Over the next two years, the Lausanne Movement around the world will seek to discern the answers to these questions. “We will be living in a new world in 2050 but, as we expressed in the theme of our own European regional gathering last year (Dynamic Gospel New Europe), we believe the gospel is dynamic enough to speak powerfully into whatever context the future might bring. But can only do that if we listen to God and listen to our European context together”, says Jim.