May 2021 Conversation


The May 2021 Lausanne Europe Conversation focusses on the challenge of reaching the next generation. We have two fascinating articles by specialists in this area. We will look at some very recent research into the younger generation and reflect on what this might mean for the transmission of faith to children and young people. And we will also hear from someone whose ministry is specifically communicating the gospel among today’s Global Youth Culture. But given that last month saw the centenary of the birth of one of the fathers of the Lausanne Movement, John Stott, we will also take some time to reflect on his legacy.

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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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Understanding and Discipling Youth

The first element in this month’s Conversation is an article by Jo Haaijer, the European Director for Onehope. It presents the results of Onehope’s Global Youth Culture Study, with a particular emphasis on the insights it gives to the values of European young people.

The Spiritual Hunger of a Secularised European Youth Culture

How might we bridge the gap between the Church and the globalised youth culture? That is the question asked in the article by Luke Greenwood, European Director for Steiger, a ministry that is focussed on reaching the secularised youth of today.

The Legacy of John Stott through the Lausanne Movement

Billy Graham was the visionary and convener of the 1974 Lausanne Conference for World Evangelization, but it was John Stott who shaped the Lausanne Movement which emerged from it. The 100th anniversary of his birth would seem an appropriate moment to reflect on his life and influence and give thanks to God for him.

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.

2. Europe’s Younger Generation

We would like you to give most of the time in this month’s Impact Group to discussing the two articles about the younger generation. Together the two articles cover the full breadth of the challenge that faces us, both in discipling the children and young people who are raised in the church, or are in contact with it, and reaching the largely secularised youth generation who have no time for church but are still spiritually hungry. Feel free to answer the questions in any order but please make sure you discuss question 3.
  1. How can we help this next generation discover the life-giving truth that God’s Word has for them and develop a hunger for Scripture in their lives?
  2. How can we create safe spaces for young people to wrestle with life’s hard questions and their struggles with identity and relationships, and engage the Bible as a trusted guide?
  3. Both articles emphasised the challenge of passing on religious faith from one generation to the next. How can we help parents become aware of the influence they have and strengthen families to disciple the next generation within the home?
  4. How can we build bridges across the cultural gap between the globalised youth culture and the church in order to share the gospel?
  5. Were there any other questions or statistics in the articles that caught your eye and that merit discussion?

3. The Legacy of John Stott through the Lausanne Movement

We would like the Impact Groups to spend a few minutes reflecting together on the impact of John Stott’s life and ministry. The following questions might help you to do that.
  1. There will be very few of us who have not read any of John Stott’s books or commentaries. Which of his books has made the most lasting impression on you and why?
  2. Were there any parts of the story of John Stott’s influence on the Lausanne Movement that particularly caught your attention? Share those together in your Impact Group.
  3. The article concluded with the statement that the Lausanne Movement is characterized by ‘the spirit of Lausanne’ - a spirit of humility, friendship, prayer, study, partnership, and hope. Are these values still as critical as they were in 1974 and, if so, how can we continue to exemplify them today?

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. Pray that the Church might have the courage, wisdom, creative ideas, and guidance from the Holy Spirit, to know how best to bridge the gap between the Church and the globalised Youth culture today. Pray that we might know how to seize opportunities to open up conversations about God such that we might speak to the hearts and minds of today’s children and young people.
  2. Pray for Christian parents, that they might recognise their unique role in influencing the next generation and specifically that they know how best to disciple their children in the ways of Jesus.
  3. Pray that God might grow the desire among our children and youth to boldly live out their faith in Christ and be ambassadors for the Kingdom in their generation.
  4. Give thanks for the life of John Stott, for the influence he had and continues to have, in making Christ known to all peoples. Pray that we too may be good stewards of the opportunities God has given us to reach our generation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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.