Nearly twenty younger leaders and mentors gathered in Tomasov, Poland, earlier this year (March 2008) for the second younger leaders gathering for Europeans. This was a follow-up to the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering held in Malaysia in September 2006.
Over the four days we were together, we spent time praying and worshipping God, receiving stimulating teaching and input on missions in Europe from Jeff Fountain (YWAM Europe), working out plans for the future of younger leaders gatherings and networks in Europe, joining worship in a local church in Tomasov, and sampling local food.
The interaction with Fountain was key for the gathering. His knowledge of Christianity and missions in Europe—gathered over the last 25-plus years of missional engagement in Europe—encouraged and inspired the younger leaders. Fountain himself was encouraged by being part of the gathering, and warmly invited participants to engage further with existing networks in Europe, including the Hope for Europe network, which he has been instrumental in facilitating.
In terms of the network of Lausanne Younger Leaders, the group recognised the contribution made by Andy Goodacre in leading the network and keeping communications flowing between younger leaders in Europe following the Malaysia conference in September 2006.
Due to his upcoming move away from Europe, Goodacre will no longer be heading up this network. During the gathering, it was decided that Rike Huettmann from Germany will take on this role, with support from Rafal Piekarski (Poland), Gabi Gencheva (Bulgaria), and David Hausmann (Switzerland).
We see two areas in which this network is effective and can continue to be effective.
- By holding an informal, relational gathering every twelve to eighteen months, where younger leaders can come together, meet, and receive input and encouragement from one another.
- By helping younger leaders in Europe to engage with existing networks of Christian leaders, both within Europe (e.g., Hope for Europe, mission-net, European Evangelical Alliance) and internationally (e.g., the Lausanne Movement/Cape Town 2010).
The core team, led by Huettmann, will be instrumental in developing this work further in the future. We are planning another meeting next year, possibly in Germany.
Thanks for your prayers and interest in and support of this network.