This month’s Impact Groups will think afresh on the Lausanne Covenant. Some of you will already be very familiar with it, but others may be less so. Then in the second part of the Impact Group, we will return to Paul’s letter to the Philippians. All the materials can be found below.

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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The Lausanne Covenant

The Lausanne Covenant is widely regarded as one of the most significant documents in modern church history. Emerging from the First Lausanne Congress in 1974, with John Stott as its Chief Architect, it served as a great rallying call to the evangelical Church around the world. It defined what it means to be evangelical and challenged Christians to work together to make Jesus Christ known throughout the world. It is a covenant with one another, and a covenant with God himself.

This month, we would like the Impact Groups to reflect on the content of the Lausanne Covenant. Although it was written nearly 50 years ago, it continues to speak prophetically into our European context today.

Before your Impact Group, take some time to read the Lausanne Covenant from beginning to end. Then consider the questions we will discuss together (on the right). This may well require you to read it again. Make a note of your thoughts so you can share them in your Impact Group.


Back in June, we had our first chance to read Paul’s letter to the Philippians together. We will follow the same pattern as then, reading through the whole letter, and then using the same questions but through different lenses. This month we want you to read Philippians through the lens of Present Joy and Future Hope.

Covid-19 has caused so much distress in the present and uncertainty about the future, so this theme has never been more relevant. Paul was “hard pressed on every side, but not crushed” (2 Corinthians 4:8) because the gospel gave him joy and hope, even in the face of death.

Please prepare for your Impact Group by reading the whole letter to the Philippians, all four chapters, through the lens of:

PRESENT JOY AND FUTURE HOPE How the gospel gives us hope and a reason for joy in all circumstances

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


In 2010 the Lausanne III Congress reaffirmed the Lausanne Covenant and expanded upon it in the Cape Town Commitment. The preamble of the Cape Town Commitment took up the now famous phrase from the Covenant, “World evangelization requires the whole Church to take the whole gospel to the whole world”, and reframed it in the language of love:

  1. Our love for the whole gospel, as God’s glorious good news in Christ, for every dimension of his creation, for it has all been ravaged by sin and evil;
  2. Our love for the whole Church, as God’s people, redeemed by Christ from every nation on earth and every age of history, to share God’s mission in this age and glorify him for ever in the age to come;
  3. Our love for the whole world, so far from God but so close to his heart, the world that God so loved that he gave his only Son for its salvation.
Ten years after Cape Town 2010, we invite you to join us on the 24th October for our special virtual event LE20/21 Engage, when we will be joined, amongst others, by Chris Wright, the principal author of the Cape Town Commitment, who will speak on “Whole Gospel, Whole Church, Whole World – Europe Too”.

1. Introductions and Prayer

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

2. Reading and Reflection

Before your Impact Group, everyone should have read through the Lausanne Covenant and thought about these questions. Now we would like you to discuss them as a group:

  1. Throughout the Lausanne Covenant there is a spirit of repentance, both in the introduction, and in many of the individual sections. Which one of these phrases most stands out to you, and of what do today's churches in Europe need to repent?
  2. Which of the sections in the Lausanne Covenant seem most keenly relevant to your situation in Europe? What challenge does it bring to the church in your country, city, or specific local congregation?
  3. The Lausanne Covenant strongly affirms the uniqueness and universality of Jesus Christ. How do we proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in a Europe of religious pluralism and secularisation?
  4. Another of the key themes in the Lausanne Covenant is unity. The evangelisation of Europe requires the whole church to be mobilised, and mobilised into co-operation rather than competition. What more could you be doing to encourage collaboration in your city, country, or ministry?
  5. The Lausanne Covenant made crucial statements on Christian social responsibility, not least the unequivocal affirmation that “evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty”. Fifty years on from the first Lausanne Congress, to what degree have evangelical churches in Europe heard this prophetic call to share God’s concern for justice and reconciliation?

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: Present Joy and Future Hope. 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? Can you make any connections to the Lausanne Covenant?

4. Prayer

  • Pray that as the Church in Europe, we may preach and teach the fullness of the Gospel of Christ, in all its scope and truth.
  • Pray for a renewed vision of the Gospel for every individual, nation and continent. That God may pour out His Spirit to stir the Church in Europe and the rest of the Global Church with a fresh vision of the Gospel.
  • Pray that as Christians around Europe we may be challenged to accept and affirm our own daily ministry and mission as being wherever God has called us to work.
  • Pray for God's wisdom to be able to balance between remembering the past, celebrating today (present joy) and anticipating the future with confidence and hope. (Philippians 3:13-14).

5. Make Your Contribution to the Conversation

Immediately following your Impact Group, we would encourage you to summarise your discussion in the comments box immediately below. Note there anything you hear from the Lord, any questions you have, or any other ideas and thoughts.