June conversation


Impact Groups can find everything they need for the June Lausanne Europe 20/21 Conversation right here. This month’s Impact Group looks at the issue of Reconciliation and introduces the final of the five threads we have wanted to feature in the Conversation: Scripture.
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Given current world events, more than ever we need to think about how the gospel of reconciliation can speak into our broken world. We would ask you to prepare for the Impact Group by reading the following articles. The first two are required and the third is optional.
If you want to dig deeper into the issues of Racial Justice and Reconciliation you might want to check out these resources from the Lausanne Movement.


Over the next year, we will read Paul’s letter to the Philippians and reflect on it several times. We will learn from Paul and use the same questions each time to discuss and apply the text as we look at it through different lenses, or perspectives. This month we will do that through the lens of: Unity and Love in the Church.

Jesus prayed for complete unity among his followers so that the world may believe (John 17:23).

One of the greatest barriers to belief is disunity in the church. In politics, the moment a political party becomes disunited, it loses popularity. It happens in the secular world, and even more so in the church. When churches fight each other, people lose interest.

Yet the opposite is also true: when churches unite it is attractive. Unity is powerful. But it is never easy; it is always a huge challenge.

Please prepare by reading the whole letter to the Philippians, all 4 chapters through the lens of:

How the gospel effects our relationships, with Christ, with each other and the church.

Please pray before you start reading that the Holy Spirit will guide you to learn new things.

1. Introductions and Prayer

Begin with prayer but if there is someone new to the group, make sure everyone introduces themselves.

2. Reconciliation

As Christians we are called to be agents of reconciliation in a broken world. Yet often, through our words or actions, we fan the flames of conflict. Or through our silence, we perpetuate the injustices in our societies. The last few weeks have seen racial conflict come to the top of the news agenda, so our choice some months ago that the conversation would deal with reconciliation seems almost prophetic.

You should have read the articles in preparation for your Impact Group, so now we would like you to discuss the following questions:
  1. “The justification of conflict is always found in real or perceived injustices in the past” (Memory). What examples of this have you observed in your country, region, church or personal relationships?
  2. Do you recognise nationalism as a danger for the church in Europe and, if so, how might the church speak to it?
  3. Reimer’s article set out the steps of Christian reconciliation: knowing the truth about the injustices that have led to the conflict, naming and confessing those hurts, seeking and receiving forgiveness, and working together to build a new future. How can we apply these principles in our own situations?
  4. The tragic death of George Floyd has highlighted the issue of racism and systemic injustice that still exists in many countries today. The foundational documents of the church leave no room for racism: “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). How must the church live out that calling today?

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: Unity and love in the church, both direct and indirect. 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: What are the implications for us today as we read these words? Is there anything you can apply to your local context? What about Europe?

4. Prayer

  • Pray for God to search our hearts and expose our prejudices as individuals, and as the body of Christ, so that in turn we can repent of our actions of disunity and dishonour towards one another. (Philippians 2:3-5; 21, 3:4-6, 3:18-19)
  • As the Church, may we humble ourselves before God and ask the Holy Spirit to teach us and reveal to us God’s will so that we can know how best to demonstrate true love and genuine unity towards each other (Philippians 1:9-11, 2:6-8)
  • Pray for God to grant us the wisdom and attention to discern the spaces we as the Church, are being called to facilitate forgiveness and reconciliation
  • May we allow ourselves as individuals, and as the Church, to sit at the foot of the cross and allow God to reveal His will and intentions in this pandemic season. This will help us gain the wisdom to know what to do to fulfil God’s good purposes (Philippians 2:12-13, 4:7-8)

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. See you next month.