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.
Joseph D’Souza is the Moderating Bishop of the Good Shepherd Church and Associated Ministries of India. He also serves as the President of the All India Christian Council. He is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades for his work as a human rights activist. He is also the founder and International President of the Dalit Freedom Network.
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.
Patrick Fung is the General Director of OMF International (formerly the China Inland Mission). He studied medicine in Sydney, Australia and received specialist training in the UK as a physician. He also graduated from the HK Graduate School of Theology and Fuller Seminary. Patrick and his wife Jennie joined OMF in 1989 and served as medical missionaries in South Asia in a Muslim context. In 2005, Patrick was appointed the General Director of OMF International, the first Asian General Director in the 150 years since the mission organisation was founded. He was the Bible expositor for Urbana 2015, plenary speaker for the Cape Town 2010 Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, and one of the Keswick Bible Conference speakers in the UK in 2011 and 2015. He is actively involved in missionary training and preaching ministry and is involved in ministries that facilitate indigenous missionary movements in China. Patrick provides spiritual leadership for OMF, which currently has more than 1,400 workers from over 25 countries serving among East Asia’s peoples. He is also the author of Live to Be Forgotten and Medical Missionaries of the China Inland Mission.
Jørn Lemvik trained as a teacher and worked 10 years with the Mekane Yesus Church and 2 years with the Ethiopian Orthodox church. He served for 15 years as a consultant, working with churches and church-based organisations across the global south focusing on leadership, organisational issues, partnership, conflict resolution, etc. He has worked as the General Secretary of Digni, a funding organisation for Norwegian Churches and Mission organisation doing development work, for the last 8 years. He has written two books: Enabling Organisations - Stories and Tools, and Enabling Organsations - Supporting Articles, as well as being a contributor of articles in several other books (Focus on Planning, Leadership Development, Partnership and Power).
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.
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.
Cross Cultural Leadership Challenges and Opportunities in Mission Partnership
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 Asian Perspective
Often Asians grow up in a culture of a hierarchical leadership. Decision-making process, conflict resolution, team work etc. are often governed by such worldview. In this session, we will explore some key questions related to cross-cultural leadership from the Asian perspective. How can Asians serve and lead effectively in a multi-cultural and multi-national team? What do they need to re-learn or un-learn to overcome their cultural blind spots? How can we encourage Asians and those from different cultures to serve well in a multi-cultural team? We will also look at some case studies to explore this important topic.
Mobilising Youth for Mission
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
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
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.
Integral Mission Today
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.
Partnership in Integral Mission
“Partnership” is a word that has almost lost its meaning completely. Everybody wants to be a partner with everybody on everything these days. How does this affect the church? What does partnership mean in the Bible, and what kind of partnership do we find among churches today? Looking back on much of the cooperation between churches in the richer parts of the world and churches in the poorer parts of the world, much cooperation is better characterised with words like "dependency" and "parent-child" relations. We also need to be aware of the power-relations where dependency is easily covered by the term “partnership.” We need to ask: Is this how the partnership should be working? Is this how we are most effective in building up God’s Kingdom? How do we work in mutual respect as active partners?
Lessons from The Dalit Freedom Movement
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
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.