Mission Leaders Network

Detailed information about the 2018 Forum is not yet available but will be posted in the future. Please review the information from the 2017 Forum for a look at the quality of instructors, teaching, and content that will be available in the 2018 Forum's Networks.

2017 European Mission Leaders Network

Mission leaders have a vital role in the European church today. Europe and the European church are changing. The missiological issues and challenges are enormous.

The Mission Leaders Network exists to target and help mission leaders in and from Europe –

• to understand the changing face of mission in Europe
• to grapple with contemporary missiological issues
• to learn from each other
• to share the best resources available
• to train the next generation of mission leaders

The Mission Leaders Network will do this through –

  • Sharing and teaching of different missiologists and specialists on contemporary missiological issues
  • Providing a meeting place for leaders of mission organisations for sharing of challenges that the leaders and their organisations are facing
  • Training new mission leaders on missional thinking using group discussions, debates, and mentoring of the next generation of mission leaders in Europe
  • Using the best resources available on mission statistics, area investigation, and policy work on mission.

This year’s Network will provide several global voices and incorporate a learning community approach.  The time together in the Network will be not only content-driven but allow for more relational and processing time.  For the first three days of the Network, participants will be given a paper to read in advance.  Speakers will go deeper into the topics and share their perspective.  The final day of the Network will be a unique processing time in which participants will be able to consider what they have learned and what concrete action steps they can take to improving their leadership and their ministry.

Applicants should be leaders of mission organisations or missiologists in Europe or from Europe who wish to understand and address contemporary issues, common challenges, and the changing face of missions. Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.



Rolf Kjøde is the Director of Continuing Education and External Courses at NLA University College in Norway. Up until recently, he has for many years served as General Secretary of Normisjon, one of Norway’s leading mission organisations. Rolf has also been director and for a number of years chairman of NORME (Norwegian council of Mission and Evangelisation), which is the merged Norwegian branch of The Lausanne Movement and the national Evangelical Alliance, and has thus also been an active participant at several international Lausanne gatherings. He has been principal and teacher at two Bible schools and was for some years responsible for international relations in the Norwegian branch of IFES. Rolf holds a Master of Theology, has written a number of articles in Scandinavian theological and missiological journals, and has written a textbook for Bible schools in evangelism.


Todd Hiltibran is the Europe International Leader for ReachGlobal, the mission agency of the Evangelical Free Church of America. Todd moved to Poland with his family in 1995 to work in church planting. In 2004, they moved from Poland to Budapest, Hungary to work regionally with ReachGlobal staff and national partners. Since then, he has focused on developing partnering relationships throughout Europe and coaching ministry leaders. Currently, he oversees more than 139 households in 27 ministry locations across Europe.  




Michael Cassidy, the founder of African Enterprise, has been involved in evangelism, teaching and leadership ministries since 1962, the year he launched AE in Pietermaritzburg. Today, AE has evangelistic teams in Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. He has been instrumental in calling together several major gatherings of church leaders over the years and also played a leading role in behind-the-scenes negotiations in the run-up to the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994. Michael has written several books the latest being a treatise on John chapter 17, entitled The Church Jesus Prayed For. He is currently writing his memoirs. He is also an avid sports fan, particularly cricket, rugby, and tennis. He and his wife, Carol, live in Hilton, near Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. They have two daughters, a son, and eight grandchildren.


Decio de Carvalho, born and bred in Brazil, to Wilson and Francisca, who were ministers with the Methodist church, joined OM in 1979. He first served on the OM Ship Doulos for four years and then as director of Operation Mobilization in Brazil for the next ten years. The focus was to challenge the church and the believers towards an active participation in global missionary work and to train and send workers to unreached regions of the world. The following stage was a period of service overseas. With his wife Elba and three children, he worked in Central Asia for seven years. In 2001 they moved to Puerto Rico, Elba's native land, for an extended sabbatical. Decio served as Director of RECOMI, the Puerto Rico Missions Network, which brings together churches, denominational missions' departments, missions training centers, and other organisations. In November of 2009 he was appointed Executive Director of COMIBAM, the Cooperación Misionera Iberomaricana (Iberoamerican Mission Alliance). He is a member of the La Cumbre Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Samuel Escobar was born in Peru, where he graduated as a teacher. Presently he lives in Valencia, Spain and teaches at the Baptist Seminary in Madrid. For 26 years he and his wife Lilly were active in work among university students with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Canada. From 1985 to 2005, he was Professor of Missiology at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Theological Seminary) in Philaldephia, USA. He has a doctorate from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain. Among his books are Changing Tides, Latin America and World Mission Today (2002), and The New Global Mission (2003). Lilly Escobar passed away in 2015. Their daughter Lilly Ester teaches in Valencia, and their son Alejandro works as an economist in Washington DC.


Hélder Favarin is an evangelist, missionary and pastor. He is the founder of 180º Global/Festival 180º and the founding pastor of the church "Capítulo 29" in Granada, Spain. He is also a founding leader of RedTimoteo, a pioneer program for young evangelists in Spain and serves as a board member of Mission-Net, a European-wide youth movement and congress commissioned by the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) and the European Evangelical Missionary Association (EEMA). Hélder is part of OC Global Alliance, an interdenominational missionary organisation, and a member of the young leaders leadership team of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. He is the author of the booklet Algo Más (Something Else) as well as numerous articles. He holds degrees in business administration and theology, has a master’s degree from the London School of Theology, and is currently working towards a Doctor of Ministry degree in preaching at the Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. He has worked for a number of companies, including HSBC bank and General Motors, before devoting himself to full-time evangelistic, missionary, and pastoral ministry in his early twenties. Hélder was born in Brazil but also holds Italian nationality. He has lived in Brazil, Mexico, England, and Scotland, and he currently resides in Spain. Hélder is married to Ana, and they have four little children. 


Tom McGehee is the CEO and founder of The WildWorks Group. Tom’s mission is to facilitate and release the collective power of the Body of Christ. For over fifteen years he has worked with churches, and ministries all over the world. Tom is an acknowledged leader in collaborative work, as well as systemic and culture change. He is a published author, speaker, trainer, and thought leader in collaboration and culture change. Tom has worked with church plants, and mega churches, various denominations, and global ministries.  He developed the learning community process with Leadership Network, and currently supports church planting networks in both the US and Europe. Tom has also had successful careers in the military and business. Tom became a Christian through Campus Crusade for Christ while attending Auburn University. Tom and his wife, Elaine, have four children, have been married for 37 years, and live in Plano, Texas. 


Las G. Newman is the Global Associate Director of the Lausanne Movement. He served in campus ministry for over thirty years with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES). He has been involved in Theological Education and is the immediate past president of the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology (CGST) in Kingston, Jamaica. Dr. Newman is a graduate of Tyndale University College, Toronto, and the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He holds a PhD in Mission Studies from the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies/University of Wales. He is a member of the Board of the International Fellowship of Mission as Transformation (INFEMIT) and member of the INFEMIT Networking Team. As organizer and host of the Lausanne Global Consultation on Creation Care and the Gospel in Jamaica in 2012, he helped produce the “Jamaica Statement on Creation Care: A Call to Action” and publish the book Creation Care and the Gospel: Reconsidering the Mission of the Church (2016).


Scott Moreau has been a professor of Missions and Intercultural Studies at Wheaton College since 1991 and Associate Dean of the Wheaton College Graduate School since 2011. He has a doctorate of Missiology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.  He spent fourteen years on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC), ten years in Africa, and he taught at Nairobi International School of Theology for over seven years.  Scott is particularly interested in contextualization of the Christian faith, issues related to phenomenology (folk religions, spiritual warfare), and technology in missions (especially information technology and the use of the Internet). Since 1990, he has written or edited five books on spiritual warfare, and served on behalf of Lausanne in organizing a consultation on the topic.  Since 2001, he has served as the editor of Evangelical Missions Quarterly and his most recent book (2014) is Effective Intercultural Communication: A Christian Perspective (Baker).

Evi Rodemann has been involved in creating and organising events for young people and churches locally, nationally, and on the European level since she was a teenager. Events have always played a vital part in her own walk with God, but she has also seen how they bring Christians together and mobilise them for a missional lifestyle. As well as receiving training in event management, Evi also earned an MA in European mission with a focus on the impact of conferences. She studied missions in the Netherland and has worked in India, Africa, and Hong Kong, but her strongest passion remains Europe and helping its young people to find their kingdom role and live missionally wherever God has called them. Until 2016 she directed Mission-Net for nine years and organized four European youth mission congresses. In addition to being engaged in various European networks such as Lausanne and the European Youth Ministry Network, Evi also works part-time in an aluminium company.


Lawrence Tong was appointed the International Director of Operation Mobilisation (OM) in 2013. He graduated with a degree in communications from Biola University (Southern California), where he also served as Summer Missions Director of the Student Missionary Union. Lawrence also holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of LaVerne (California). Lawrence’s leadership journey in OM has included serving on the Board of OM Singapore, as OM country leader for Taiwan, as director of OM’s third ship, Logos II as well as in financial development with the OM Ships office in Florence, South Carolina. He is also recognised to have led the fast-growing work of OM in China with a significant focus on welfare and agricultural programmes which have won them recognition from the Chinese government. Lawrence is married to Susan, from the United States, and they have two grown sons, Joshua and Benjamin.



Day 1

Cross Cultural Leadership Challenges and Opportunities in Mission Partnership
Scott Moreau

It does not take long for leaders in new cultural settings to realise they do not understand the rules of the new setting. Leaders from Western societies complain that followers do not do what they say they will do, show up late or not at all without any excuse, expect the leader to make all the decisions, and so on. Leaders from Majority World societies complain that their followers do not care about obligations, do not respect them as leaders, put policies above relationships, and more. In a globalised world, we anticipate continued proliferation of multicultural and multinational teams with ever greater diversity of leaders. While there are challenges, there are also opportunities. Cross-cultural partnerships can be far more fruitful than homogeneous partnerships—but it requires developing a “third way” of navigating relationships, policies, procedures, and values. We will explore selected elements of this in our session together. 

Cross-Cultural Leadership Lessons: A South American Perspective
Decio de Carvalho 

Decio de Carvalho leads COMIBAM, an alliance of 25 national mission initiatives in Ibero-America with over 12,000 missionaries working in countries all over the world. Decio will share from his experience on cross-cultural leadership lessons from a South American perspective.  What mistakes have we frequently made in leading cross-culturally?  What challenges are common?  What are we doing to ensure that we learn from the mistakes and equip those who will be future leaders?

Cross-Cultural Leadership Lessons: An South African Perspective
Michael Cassidy

Michael Cassidy has over fifty years of experience as the founder of African Enterprise.  Today, AE has evangelistic teams in Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. He has been instrumental in calling together several major gatherings of church leaders over the years and also played a leading role in behind-the-scenes negotiations in the run-up to the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994. From this depth of experience, Michael will share lessons he has learned in cross-cultural leadership and partnerships for mission.


Day 2

Mobilising Youth for Mission
Evi Rodemann

There are about 1 million children and youth in the evangelical community across European churches. How can we challenge them to get involved in missions? In this session we will particularly look at youth (16-30 years of age) and how we can not only mobilise them for missions but also partner with them in doing missions. What are some of the tools used for mobilisation and how can youth be integrated in the mobilisation process? Among other things, mission conferences play a vital role and the more they are embedded into a local context, the more profound the results. Together we will explore what helps and hinders the mobilisation process and what makes a partnership so worthwhile and at the same time so challenging.

Mobilising Youth for Mission: Four Priorities
Hélder Favarin

The greatest presence of secularism and atheism in the world is found amongst the young people in Europe. As we embrace the huge challenge of reaching the youth in this continent, there are some priorities that our churches, missionary agencies, organisations, ministries, educational institutions and networks should consider. In this session we will suggest and reflect on four of those priorities: technology, multigenerational leadership, proclamation and a new generation of church planters.

Mobilising Youth for Mission: Pitfalls and Opportunities
Lawrence Tong

In view of the Church’s contemporary challenges in mobilising more youth for global missions, Lawrence Tong will discuss the pitfalls and opportunities that this enormous task presents.  He will share from his own field experience as well as from the ministries of Operation Mobilisation.  


Day 3

Integral Mission Today
Samuel Escobar

Integral Mission has developed from the missionary and evangelistic practice of a generation of evangelical thinkers from different parts of the world. Following the missionary model of Jesus, it pays attention to both the quality of our presence in the world and the clarity and faithfulness to God's Word of our message. It also pays attention to the questions that come from the context in which mission takes place. It explores how the Church is to reflect the love of God, to follow the example of Jesus, and to be obedient to the drive of the Holy Spirit.

Collaborating as Evangelical Mission for Creation Care
Las G. Newman

There is a global environmental crisis affecting over seven billion people on planet earth. This crisis poses a direct challenge to the global church. In light of this crisis, and the challenge it poses to the church, this session addresses four questions; (a) what is Creation Care all about, (b) why should we collaborate (c) what happens if we don’t, and (d) how do we collaborate as Evangelical Mission. The session seeks to strengthen the evangelical witness of the church and advance its global impact in the Mission of Christ.

Lessons from The Dalit Freedom Movement
Joseph D’Souza

Major reformations powered by the Gospel took place in the past in societies or cultures undergoing major upheavals due to a variety of factors at play. The Dalit Freedom movement is one such reformation affecting tens of millions. The movement intersects issues of human dignity, oppression, worldview, health, economics, media, politics, and the quest for a spiritual alternative among competing alternatives. This calls for a renewed look at the Gospel of the Kingdom of God which Jesus and the apostles taught and lived. This calls for a doing, being, and teaching of Jesus as Lord- of all of life. When cultures and  


Day 4

Learning Community 
Tom McGehee

The final day of the Network will be spent in a learning community with time for discussion and processing the learning from the Network to make it applicable and actionable for members of the Network. 


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