Summer Conversation


The summer has arrived! We want to give you all a chance to rest so, for the months of July and August, there will be just be a single Summer Conversation page for the Lausanne Europe 20/21 Conversation. Your Impact Group can meet whenever you want over this period, and the themes have been chosen to echo the holiday season.

Firstly, we want to encourage you to marvel at the beauty of God’s creation but also to recognise the mandate we have from God to care for it. And secondly, we want you to reflect on the part of that creation mandate that includes taking care of ourselves. So, this Summer’s themes are Creation Care and Rest.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us at

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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Creation Care

In preparation for your Impact Group, we would ask you to read the following article by Ruth Valerio. Her article “Reconciling a Wounded Planet in the Midst of a Pandemic”, makes connections between Creation Care and the themes of the last two month’s conversations, on Covid-19 and reconciliation.

Rest and Burnout

Whilst Covid-19 has caused most church activities to be cancelled this Spring, it has certainly not stopped everything. In fact, the moving of so many activities online has meant that many of us have been busier than ever. Some of us have not been able to take any breaks for months. Therefore, part of the Summer Conversation involves us reflecting on the danger of burnout and what Scripture teaches us about the call to rest.

There are two things to read before your Impact Group: a short article written for aid workers and emergency responders to get you thinking about the topic, and then a chapter from Take Care of Yourself: Survive and Thrive in Christian Ministry by Pablo Martinez.

1. Introductions and Prayer

Take a moment at the start of the Impact Group to pray and, of course, if there is anyone new in the group, for them to introduce themselves.

2. Creation Care

Everyone should have read “Reconciling a Wounded Planet in the Midst of a Pandemic” by Ruth Valerio before the Impact Group. We suggest you then discuss the following questions:
  1. Ruth Valerio says that “a Gospel that does not include our relationship with the whole creation is not the full Gospel”. Do you agree? What are the consequences of preaching a gospel which does not feature our relationship with the whole of creation?
  2. What would it look like if Creation Care were central to church life?
  3. This world is wonderful but wounded. How have you experienced those two realities during the Covid-19 pandemic?
  4. How did the article help you to understand more fully what it means to be made in the image of God?

3. Rest and Burnout

We really want you to take some time off this summer to rest. Perhaps you have already done that, but we do want you to discuss the importance of rest. After reading the two texts, consider the following questions:
  1. “The divine design includes a balance between working and resting, giving and receiving” (Martinez). Knowing this, why do we find is so difficult to take care of our own vineyard? What insights did the book chapter give us in regard to this?
  2. “The problem is not working too much but resting (renewing) too little.” What practical steps can you take to find the right balance in the practice of the two movements (output/input; ministry/monastery)?
  3. Did you agree with the Burnout formula of “Burnout = Overwork/Fatigue + Cynicism + Inefficacy”? Are there any other factors in your opinion?
  4. The article from the Headington Institute concludes with some ideas to avoid burnout. What have you found to be the most effective tactics/ideas for you personally?

4. Prayer

  1. Begin this prayer time with a time of repentance:
    • To repent of our actions that have dishonoured God’s wider creation (eg. deforestation, air pollution, plastic pollution, animal trafficking etc.)
    • To repent of “neglecting our vineyard” through making work into an idol. Pray that God might reveal to us the areas in our lives that we have neglected to care for so that we may be brought back to finding rest in God by just being and not doing (Matthew 11:28-30).
  2. Pray that as the body of Christ, we may be disciplined to genuinely care and nurture the natural world through our actions and speech as an expression of the full gospel.
  3. Pray for the churches of Europe, to selflessly give up daily practices that cause pollution- e.g. unnecessary purchases that harm the environment, use of plastic bags, etc.
  4. Pray for wisdom to know the source of our burn-out and be courageous to submit to God’s leading in finding solace and rest.
  5. May the Holy Spirit lead us in knowing when to stop caring for other people’s vineyards and care for our own.

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.

Have a great summer. See you in September.