Michael Young-Suk Oh is global executive director and CEO of the Lausanne Movement. He served on the younger leaders planning team for the 2006 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering. In 2007 he joined the Lausanne Board of Directors as its youngest member. Prior to joining Lausanne, Oh and his family served as missionaries in Nagoya, Japan. In January 2004, he founded a ministry called Christ Bible Institute (CBI). He currently serves as chairman of the board of directors for CBI and chancellor of Christ Bible Seminary. Oh received his B.A., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Pennsylvania; an M.Div. at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an M.A. in regional studies at Harvard University.
Jesus calls us to himself and then sends us on mission — The Great Commission as told in Matthew 28 — to “go make disciples of all nations.” But where does global missions stand today? And what does it look like to collaborate across organizations, denominations, ethnicities and countries to accelerate the advance of the gospel?
In this episode of Today’s Conversation, we’ve joined with The Mission Matters podcast to bring you special guest, Michael Oh, the global executive director and CEO of the Lausanne Movement. NAE President Walter Kim co-hosts the conversation with Ted Esler, president of MissioNexus, and Matthew Ellison, president of sixteen:fifteen.
Together they share how God is moving around the world, particularly through the global missions movement. You’ll hear them discuss:
- What the difference is between global missions and the globalization of missions;
- How the demonstration of the gospel interacts with the proclamation of the gospel;
- The unique aspects of the upcoming Lausanne Congress in Seoul; and
- What brings them hope for the next decade of the global Church.
Read a Portion of the Transcript
Matthew: You will be celebrating 50 years here very soon. What makes this [Lausanne] gathering unique? Again, a lot of history here. What makes this gathering so special?
Michael: Lausanne’s passion is to accelerate global mission together. We believe that together is better. So we basically started with a question of how do we help the Global Church do the Great Commission together. Then we decided that there are three critical things towards that end. First of all, what we need to do, how we need to do it and the way to get it done.
First, what do we need to do. Over the past years I have asked dozens of global missions CEOs about the Great Commission: How are we doing, how far have we come, how much is left? No one had an answer for me. They only knew about their own contribution, their own growth chart. We need a growth chart for the Great Commission for the Global Church. We need a baseline of what it looks like to make progress of the fulfillment for the Great Commission. That’s why as a part of Lausanne 4, we are producing the first ever global report on the state of the Great Commission.
In addition to knowing what we need to do, we need to know how we need to do it. We need to come together and share information. We need to figure out how to do global mission together. Together is better. September 2024 the Global Church will gather together for the fourth Lausanne Congress. Five thousand from every nation joining in Seoul, South Korea, and 5,000 joining for Seoul virtual will come together to figure out how to do global mission together.
Lastly, how do we get it done? We need Netflix for global mission. Global mission today is the equivalent of local video stores, like the old company Blockbuster. We have tens of thousands of local video stores trying to build up their own stores and convince people to come into their stores to watch great videos they have on their shelves. We can’t use a 20th century modal to engage with a 21st century world. We need to find a way to bring the best of the Global Church to all of the Global Church. We need a global mission platform that is on behalf of the Global Church to accelerate the global mission together.
Seoul 2024 will be launching a meta platform — a platform that can help us connect with each other, learn from each other, collaborate together and respond strategically to the global report on the state of the Great Commission. Lausanne will then do one of the things that we do best which is curate people and platforms and theologies and strategies, resources and opportunities and make connections that will help accelerate global missions together.
Not only will we be working to develop a Netflix for global mission, the Fourth Congress itself will be Netflix-like. Seoul 2024 will be thousands participating from all around the world both in person and virtually with an additional hundreds of thousands be able to join various parts globally as well.
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- Consider nominating leaders for the Fourth Lausanne Congress in Seoul 2024.
- Learn more about Missio Nexus and sixteen:fifteen.
- Listen to the The Mission Matters podcast.
- Check out our podcast with Tish Harrison Warren on Evangelical Identity in a Global Context.
Today’s Conversation is brought to you by He Gets Us.