October 2021 Conversation


Welcome to the October 2021 Lausanne Europe Conversation page.

The news during the month of August was dominated by events in Afghanistan. Some Afghan refugees have already arrived in Europe and many more may do so in the months and years ahead, not to mention those who are already here. Many of them are Muslims so this month’s Conversation seemed a good time to look at both the issue of Islam in Europe and the broader issue of Refugees.

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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Muslims in Europe and the Response of the Church

The October Conversation features an article by Bert de Ruiter, a consultant in Christian-Muslim relations. His article encourages us to understand the reality of Islam in Europe today and to consider our attitudes towards Muslims. As he writes, “The presence of Islam in Europe should be high on the agenda of the Church in Europe”, so it is a necessary part of the Lausanne Europe Conversation.

Podcast: Finding Christ in the Chaos - Refugees in Europe

This month’s Conversation includes a short podcast interview with Vimal Vimalasakaran who works with refugees in South West Germany. With the prospect of many more refugees arriving in Europe from Afghanistan in the coming months, we need to reflect on this issue again. In the podcast, we will hear something of Vimal’s story as a refugee from Sri Lanka, and how God is working in the chaos of the refugee crisis to bring about His purposes in Europe. Make sure you listen to the podcast and consider the questions before you meet in your Impact Group.
Podcast and transcript


Please prepare in reading the whole letter to the Philippians, all 4 chapters through the lens of: EVANGELISM AND CHRISTIAN MISSION.

Taking the gospel to our local context and beyond.
Please pray before you start reading that the Holy Spirit will guide you to learn new things.

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. Muslims in Europe and the Response of the Church

After reading Bert de Ruiter’s article we would like you to discuss the following questions together:
  1. Bert de Ruiter suggests that Islamophobia is common among European Christians and this negative attitude is impacting our ability to communicate the gospel. Do you agree and, if so, what should we do about it?
  2. What do you know about the Muslims who live in your locality? Do you know where they are from and which branch of Islam they are part of? What might be the benefit of hearing their stories?
  3. How might you develop “a compassionate heart, an informed mind, an involved hand, and a witnessing tongue”, for the growing numbers of Muslims in Europe today?
  4. Were there any other parts of the article that you found particularly insightful or challenging?

3. Podcast on Refugees in Europe: Finding Christ in the Chaos

After listening to the podcast interview, we would now like you to discuss in your Impact Group the following questions:
  1. Vimal talks about his perspective of sharing life with refugees, not "just" helping them. Do you find this perspective challenging? Do you agree that “Europeans don’t like to be helped”? Do you have experiences from sharing life with refugees (or other groups in need) that might be worth sharing in your Impact Group?
  2. Vimal really emphasised the importance of the church saying it was “the best place for taking care of refugees”. Why do you think he says that?
  3. In the podcast Vimal talks about how God is using chaos for the re-evangelization of Europe. Do you see examples of this happening in your city/country?
  4. How might you and your local church/community prepare for, and engage, in the potential arrival of many more refugees in the months to come?
For more information on how Christians and churches can respond to this issue:

4. Scripture

Take notes so that you can summarize the conclusions of your Impact Group in the Comments section below.
  1. OBSERVATION: Concerning this month’s theme: Evangelism and Christian Mission. 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? Please share.
  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?

5. 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 for God's healing (physical, emotional, mental, psychological) for the Refugees from the traumas of fear, deprivation, loss, and abuse they may have encountered in their journey seeking safety.
  2. Pray for the Holy Spirit to spur us as nations, communities, and individuals to see Refugees as our brothers and sisters, and to welcome them with joy while responding to their needs for food, shelter, clothing, and love.
  3. Pray that God will give us eyes of love and compassion so that we may see grace instead of threat when responding to the presence of Muslims in Europe. Pray that we may respond with:
    • a compassionate heart
    • an informed mind
    • an involved hand
    • a witnessing tongue
  4. Pray for God to give us knowledge and wisdom on how best to walk alongside our Muslim brothers and sisters as we embody the attitude of God's self-giving love.

6. 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.