Countdown to the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris

The countdown to the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris is well underway! The city is bustling with activity as shops and merchants gear up for an influx of 15 million visitors, including athletes, spectators, media professionals, and volunteers. The streets of Paris are set to be filled with people eager to experience the city’s iconic art, architecture, and cuisine.

One group that is particularly excited about the upcoming Olympics is the International Mission Board’s Paris team. Led by Jason Harris, the team sees this as a unique opportunity to share the message of Christ with the people of France, who are considered one of the largest unreached people groups in the world. With millions of visitors expected to descend upon Paris this summer, the team is gearing up for a whirlwind of evangelism and outreach.

Over the course of six weeks, the team will be hosting over 300 Southern Baptist volunteers from all over North America, as well as fourteen summer interns. These volunteers will gather at three church buildings in key locations around Paris to worship, pray, and debrief. The team’s goal is to deepen partnerships with local French and international churches, share the gospel in neighborhoods, and lay the groundwork for future church planting efforts.

One of the key locations for outreach will be the oldest Baptist church building in Paris, which is now home to a bookstore and art space. The team plans to host an immersive art experience at the church, led by a local French artist and believer, focusing on principles of salvation. Additionally, they have planned Olympic-themed events, fun festivals, ultimate frisbee games, and visitor rest stops as part of their outreach efforts.

The team is also utilizing digital engagement strategies and traditional methods like distributing water bottles, conducting spiritual surveys, and engaging in pin trading with specially designed pins. Their goal is to connect with people and share the message of the gospel in creative and meaningful ways.

As the team prepares for the summer ahead, they ask for prayers for successful outreach, effective follow-up after the games, and the establishment of new church plants in Paris. Their hope is that the Olympics will serve as a launching point for long-term ministry in the city.