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Connecting Across Nations – Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering

Coming from 160 nations, nearly a thousand young leaders gathered, “United in the Great Story” to learn, connect, fellowship, and grow together. This was the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering 2016 (YLG). “God is writing a Great Story that stretches from Creation to New Creation via the cross. A story in which every continent and people group across history takes part. We rejoice in and honor those who came before. We also rejoice in that this generation also has a chapter in it,” states Lausanne.org.

Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering Many One Challenge workers and Global Alliance personnel joined in the event, serving as coordinators, mentors, and participants. Sarah, an OC Sepal Brazil worker serving in Europe, was chairperson of the entire Younger Leaders’ Gathering. “She did a splendid job of keeping the group focused, keeping energy high, and keeping our eyes on the Lord,” says Stephanie. One Challenge workers Stephanie and Larry, along with Jason from Korea and Barry Whatley from Outreach Canada, served as mentors for the gathering.

Both Sarah and her husband René spoke at the gathering. René gave final Bible message. As Chair of the Lausanne Movement Younger Leaders Gathering 2016, Sarah says, “I see a generation that is humble to build on the wisdom of previous generations, but also bold enough to contextualize it and come up with new initiatives for global mission.”

Other Brazilians from Sepal and OC-UK attended. “It was extremely well organized, rich in content and connections, sensitive to the world tendencies and very helpful to our generation,” says Hélder, OC-UK mission worker and director of 180º Global. “I’m sure it’s impossible to count the results of such a historical gathering. Surely hundreds and hundreds of initiatives, connections, and ministry projects will be born as a result of the YLG.”

Purpose of the Lausanne Movement

According to the Lausanne website, “The Lausanne Movement is eager to connect evangelical influencers across all generations to work together toward the vision of the gospel for every person, an evangelical church for every people, Christ-like leaders for every church, and kingdom impact in every sphere of society.” This desire fits in tandem with One Challenge’s heart. It’s OC’s honor to partner with this movement.

Lausanne Younger Leaders

“Lausanne is probably the most influential evangelical movement in history. It has the capacity to connect and embrace so many groups across the Evangelical Spectrum. It’s not an organization and neither a denomination. It’s a movement and seeks to connect influencers and ideas for global mission,” Hélder says. “The theology Lausanne promotes is very healthy, biblical and accepted by Evangelicals in general. This gives us another fantastic platform to talk, reflect and act.”

Going Beyond the Gathering

This gathering did not end with the conclusion of the sessions. They intend to foster ongoing mentorship between younger leaders and more experienced mentors. “Leighton Ford who used to lead Lausanne now has a ministry totally devoted to mentoring. He sees this as the most important thing we can do for younger leaders. He was not there, but did provide the training and orientation for the 160 or so mentors. These men and women came from every continent, covering their own expenses, to serve the younger leaders present.

Lausanne Younger Leaders

The Lausanne Movement has encouraged all YLG participants to continue mentoring relationships in one of the following ways:

  • One on one with a senior leader, either whom they met at YLG or know from elsewhere
  • A global, regional, or country peer mentoring/connect group (they will be providing content to guide these interactions)
  • A connect group around a key issue

Lausanne Younger Leaders

Connecting One-On-One

Connection was at the forefront of the gathering. “YLG’s team launched this amazing app called ‘Connector’. This social media app is where you found all the information you needed. Updated with special meetings, seminars, etc. And you could find the profiles of all the participants and mentors and write to them. You just had to look for people’s interest and geography. You could sort a meeting with literally anyone from the gathering, including very influential mentors, senior leaders…” Hélder says.

As a result, Larry and Stephanie, who lead the OC Global Research Team, connected with young leaders interested in or doing research.

Lausanne Younger Leaders

“Many of my one-to-one conversations were requested by talented young women from Africa, Australia, Ireland, Kenya, and elsewhere who had been assigned to do research by their organizations and were struggling with these responsibilities,” Stephanie says. “They read in my bio that I had been involved in mission research for three decades and came to me for encouragement, tips, and just a listening ear. I felt hugely honored to be asked to serve them in this way, and I was also extremely impressed by the caliber of their talents and their love for the Lord.”

Stephanie said apart from researchers she was able to mentor church planters, pastors, and student workers.

About Lausanne

Lausanne Younger LeadersSo much more could be shared on this incredible movement and how the Lord is guiding young leaders. For a wealth of information and perspectives on the gathering or the young leaders movement go to Lausanne.org or the Lausanne Movement Facebook page.


Partnering & Bridge Building
One Challenge is an international mission sending agency empowering local church ministry in more than 100 countries around the world. We serve, equip, and connect the body of Christ to advance God’s kingdom among all people. We engage in strategic partnerships out of a conviction that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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