Lausanne Europe Launches Major Initiative

Republished with permission by Evangelical Focus, see original article here
Photo by Ostap Senyuk on Unsplash

Lausanne Europe 2020 sets out to host 800 invited delegates in a gathering in Wisla, Polen 21-25. October. They will represent every country in Europe, men and women, young and old.  They are church leaders and professionals and there will also be diaspora leaders among them. The gathering will be the culmination of a conversation gaining momentum now, and eventually encompassing as many as 10.000 people all across Europe.  The 800 selected delegates are encouraged to form local groups of Christian leaders and influencers to wrestle with and think through current issues and challenged facing Europe and how we as Christians can meet them.

Chair of LE2020, Dr. Lars Dahle says that the new Europe is a continent challenged by issues like the environment, poverty, slavery, human trafficking, identity, sex abuse, and attack on the family, to name a few.  Secular Europeans have exchanged Christian culture for new frameworks as normative for the understanding of issues such as family, identity and faith.

Dr. Dahle points out that the Lausanne Movement over the last decades has been able to draw together Christians from all walks of life for reflection on how to bear witness to Christ both locally and globally.

The question to be answered is: what does it mean to be involved in ministry in the new Europe, and also to and from Europe?  Dahle says that the current migration creates opportunities for Christians from other continents to engage in mission and evangelism in Europe, in the same way that European missionaries traditionally have been and continues to be involved in missions work in various parts of the world.

Dahle says that Europe is one of the toughest places to do Christian ministry today. At the same time, Europe is strategic as the continent has great influence around the world.   In the first plenary session, the story of how the gospel came to Europe and thus changed the continent, will be told.  Over the last few decades Europe has changed again, this time in a secular direction.  LE2020 will discuss what this means for Christians seeking opportunity for witnessing in their daily lives. Much emphasis will thus be put on faith and the workplace. 

Dahle sums up the main purpose of LE2020 in the words from the Cape Town declaration:

To bear witness to Jesus Christ and all his teachings in every nation, in every sphere of society, and in the realm of ideas.