January 2021 Conversation


Happy New Year to you from the Lausanne Europe 20/21 Planning Team.

The turn of the year is always a good moment to review and our first Conversation of 2021 will help us all to do that. But we also want to encourage you to engage again with the Letter to the Philippians, and with Paul's focus on the transforming power of the gospel. That is a message we all need to take to heart as we begin 2021.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us at conversation@lausanneeurope.org

And if you are just starting your Impact Group, or are confused about what they are about, then check out the introduction pages to the Conversation and Impact Groups to find out more.
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Looking Back Looking Forward

There is no new article to read for this Impact Group. Rather, before you come together as a group, we would ask you to take some time to look back over the issues we have dealt with during 2020. You might want to re-read something or make a mental note of which issues made a particular impact on you and why. Take a look at the questions we will be discussing in the Impact Group session and make a few notes on how you might contribute to the conversation.


On two occasions last year, we spent time together reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians, but each time doing so consciously through two different lenses. In June, we read Philippians through the lens of Unity and Love in the Church and we reflected together on the huge challenge that unity is for God's people. Then in October we read the letter again, but this time through the lens of Present Joy and Future Hope, a powerful message in the midst of the Covid pandemic.

As we begin this new year, and in faith prepare for studying the letter together at the Lausanne Europe 20/21 Gathering in November, we want you to read Philippians a third time but now through the lens of Living a Life Worthy of Christ.

The fruit of the gospel and its transforming power in the life of Christians. Reflecting back on 2020 and looking forward to 2021.

Please prepare for your Impact Group by reading the whole letter to the Philippians and praying that God would help you to live a life worthy of him during 2021.

1. Introductions and Prayer

Give time for everyone to introduce themselves if this is your first Impact Group. Ask someone to pray that God would speak to us as we meet together for the first time in 2021.

2. Looking Back – Looking Forward

Hopefully, you all took some time to look back over the issues you discussed together in your Impact Groups during 2020. We would like you to give the first part of your time together this month to reflecting back on the past year's Conversation. You may not have time for all the following questions but after you have shared together, make sure you stop to pray to thank God for what He has taught you over the last year.
  1. Which of the topics we have covered in the Impact Groups has made the biggest impression on you and why?
  2. What new perspectives would you say you have acquired?
  3. Was there any topic you would have liked expanded (deepened or broadened)?
  4. What connections have you made as a result of being part of the Lausanne Conversation / Impact Group?
  5. Have you been challenged to pray more for a given issue?
  6. And lastly, what steps have you taken, or are planning to take, in regard to any of the issues, either personally or in your church or organisation?

3. Scripture

You should have all read through Paul’s letter to the Philippians before the Impact Group. We now want you discuss together the insights that this amazing letter has revealed to you.

Take notes so that you can summarise the conclusions of your Impact Group in the Comments section below.
  1. OBSERVATION: Concerning this month’s theme: Living a Life Worthy of Christ. Is there anything that stood out to you?
  2. INTERPRETATION: What do you think is the main idea in Paul's mind around this theme?
  3. APPLICATION: Reflecting back on 2020, what are the implications for us today as we read these words? What were the chains that might have held you back last year? Or did they make you more creative/innovative? Is there anything you can apply to your local context in 2021? What is Philippians saying to Christians in Europe in 2021?

4. Prayer

Always make sure that you leave enough time to pray together every time you meet. Here are the prayer points for this month’s Conversation:
  1. Lift up a prayer of thanksgiving for God's faithfulness and provision through the year 2020. (You might even want to make a "gratitude journal", a list of how God has been faithful in the past year - Philippians 4:8). Also pray for continued strength and hope into the year 2021 and that we may continue fixing our eyes on God.
  2. Pray for God to reveal to us as individuals, and as the Global Church, what He is already doing in our communities, and how we can be part of His work in our walk with Christ.
  3. Pray that we may commit to live a life that reflects servanthood and selflessness as exemplified by Christ (Philippians 1 and 2).
  4. Pray for God to open our spiritual eyes to the worldly treasures that may have taken the place of Christ in our lives (Philippians 3:1-11).

5. Make Your Contribution to the Conversation

We really want to hear back from your Impact Group after each session. Please find a few minutes to summarise what you hear from God, the highlights of the discussion, and any questions that were raised, in the comments box immediately below.